The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Countries who have become party to the treaty (State parties) are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights of the Convention are implemented. During its sessions the Committee considers each State party report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of concluding observations.
Canada was last reviewed by the Committee in 2008 and is up for its next review in October 2016. The upcoming review will be guided by a list of issues developed in March 2016. In October, Canada will be asked to provide information on:
- the provision of age-appropriate sexual and reproductive education in all schools;
- access to a comprehensive and integrated package of quality sexual and reproductive health information and services across all provinces and territories, consistent with international human rights standards; and
- measures taken to ensure that the exercise of conscientious objection by health professionals does not impede effective access for women to reproductive health-care services, including access to legal abortion and post-abortion services.
The Government of Canada and civil society organizations will be in Geneva for the review taking place 25 October. Canada Heritage will host a pre-session consultation with stakeholders in September. Parliamentarians are encouraged to raise questions in the house in the lead up to and during Canada’s review regarding compliance with obligations under the Convention.