28 January 2005

UN Women’s Rights Committee Issues First Findings Under Optional Protocol

Inquiry into Rapes, Murders, Abductions in North Mexico

NEW YORK, 27 January (UN Headquarters) -- The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today issued a report concerning the abduction, rape and murder of more than 320 women over the last 12 years in the Ciudad Juarez area of Chihuahua State, Mexico.  The report is the result of an inquiry under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Optional Protocol.

The Mexican inquiry is the first of its kind since the adoption of the Optional Protocol to the Convention in 1999. Under the Optional Protocol, the Committee can consider complaints from individual women, or groups of women, regarding violations of rights protected under the Convention, and can initiate inquiries into situations of grave or systematic violations of women’s rights.

The inquiry included a visit to Mexico in October 2003 by two Committee experts, Ms. Ferrer Gómez and Ms. Tavares da Silva. The final report contains the Committee’s findings and specific recommendations to the Government of Mexico.

The Government of Mexico’s response to the Committee’s findings and recommendations is also included in the report, in which the Government reinforces its commitment to resolve the murders and eradicate their causes.  While stressing that there is much room for improvement, the response from the Mexican Government states that progress has been made.

Copies of the report are available in English and Spanish at:


For media inquiries contact:  Renata Sivacolundhu, Focal Point for Women’s Issues, Development Section, UN Department of Public Information, tel.: +1 212 963 2932, e-mail:  sivacolundhu@un.org; or Eleanor Solo, Women’s Rights Section, Division for the Advancement of Women, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, tel.:  +1 212 963 1524.

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