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Accountability for Discrimination Against Women in the Philippines: Key Findings and Recommendations from the CEDAW Committee's Special Inquiry on Reproductive Rights

2007 report by the Center documenting human rights violations associated with Executive Order 003 became the basis for a special inquiry convened by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)—an international human rights treaty body—in 2012 to investigate these concerns. The inquiry is the first of its kind to specifically examine the human rights implications of denial of contraceptive access for women and to hold a government accountable for failing to uphold this right.

In April 2015, the results of the CEDAW inquiry were published, and the committee’s findings are resounding: the Philippines has been held responsible for violating women’s human rights— particularly their right to freedom from discrimination—by denying thousands of women the full range of reproductive health services, which can cause irreparable harm, and failing to remove barriers to access. This factsheet provides information on the history of the inquiry request filed by the Center and our partners and summarizes the committee's key legal findings and recommendations.