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    PRESIDENT PUTIN SUBMITS TO STATE DUMA FOR RATIFICATION ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL TO INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN

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    MOSCOW, March 10, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- President of Russia Vladimir Putin submitted to the lower house of parliament - the State Duma - an optional protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the press service of the Kremlin has reported. The Protocol was adopted by the UN General Assembly in October 1999 and signed by Russia three yeas ago.

    The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which has been in force since 1981 is aimed at ensuring equal rights and opportunities for men and women. The optional protocol envisages the broadening of powers of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women set up within the UN framework for control over the implementation of the Convention.

    The Committee is to be vested with the right to accept and examine complaints from individuals or groups of people claiming that the state-party to the Convention violated their rights envisaged by it. It should be noted that these individuals prior to appealing to the Committee should try to get legal defense inside their country. In the wake of the complaint's examination by the committee it can forward to the state-party to the Convention its opinions and recommendations, and in case of information on serious or systemic violations being confirmed, to rule launching a probe into such cases.

    At present the Protocol has been signed by over 50 states.

    As the Russian experts note, the rules written down in this document have been already envisaged in the legislation of the Russian Federation. Its constitution seals the equal rights and freedoms of men and women, as well as the right of appeal to international bodies for protection of human rights and freedoms.

    According to the data of the Russian courts, there are practically no suits in them related to gender discrimination.

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