Conventions, Protocols, and General Recommendations
Conventions and Protocols
For treaty ratification information, please see the website of the United Nations Treaty Collection .
- Charter of the United Nations (UN Charter), 1945. Protects the right to equality and non-discrimination based on sex in the enjoyment of all human rights.
- Fourth Geneva Convention, 1949, entered into force 1950. Protects civilian persons in time of war.
- Convention for the Supression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, 1949, entered into force 1951. Prohibits human trafficking, forced labor, and forced prostitution, among others.
- Convention on the Political Rights of Women, 1952, entered into force 1954. Protects civil and political rights.
- Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery, 1956, entered into force 1957. Protects against slavery in all its forms
- Convention on the Nationality of Married Women, 1957, entered into force 1958. Protects the right to nationality of women who marry.
- UNESCO Convention Against Discrimination in Education, 1960, entered into force 1962. Protects the right to non-discrimination in education.
- Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages, 1962, entered into force 1964. Protects against child marriage and other forced marriages.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),1966, entered into force 1976. Prohibits slavery; forced labor; torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; discrimination. Protects the rights to equality, to marry, to legal personality, and to freedom of movement and residence, among others.
- ICCPR First Optional Protocol, 1966, entered into force 1976. Enables individuals to petition the Human Rights Committee.
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), 1966, entered into force 1976. Protects the right to education, to health, and to non-discrimination and equality in the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights, among others.
- ICESCR Optional Protocol, 2008 (not yet entered into force). Once it becomes effective, will enable individuals to petition the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
- Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969, entered into force 1980. Prohibits reservations, declarations, and understandings that offend the object and purpose of treaties.
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 1979, entered into force 1981. Protects against all forms of discrimination based on sex, including gender-based violence.
- CEDAW Committee General Recommendation No. 14, 1990. Female Circumcision.
- CEDAW Committee General Recommendation No. 19, 1992. Violence against Women.
- CEDAW Optional Protocol, 1999, entered into force 2000. Enables individuals to petition the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
- Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980, entered into force 1983. Protects against child abduction across borders.
- Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989, entered into force 1990. Protects all rights of children, including the girl-child.
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography, 2000, entered into force 2002. Protects all children, including girls, against trafficking, prostitution, and pornography.
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, 2000, entered into force 2002. Protects against forced conscription and other forced acts of children during conflict.
- Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998, entered into force 2002. Establishes the International Criminal Court. Provides a jurisdictional basis for the international prosecution and punishment of gender-based violence in times of conflict.
- Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, 2000, entered into force 2003. Includes the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, 2000, entered into force 2003. Provides the first international law definition of trafficking in persons and requires States Parties to criminalize all forms of trafficking in their domestic laws.
- Annotated Guide to the Trafficking Protocol (Global Rights)
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948. Protects the rights to equality and non-discrimination in the enjoyment of all civil, political, social, economic, and cultural human rights.
- Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 1993. Protection against all forms of discrimination based on sex.