Author: Rangita de Silva-de Alwis
Year Published: 2009
International legal instruments, in particular conventions and treaties (‘instruments’), provide an important framework for defining the human rights of women and girls. As dutybearers, States Parties to these instruments are obligated to fulfil and guarantee the individual and collective rights outlined in them, in accordance with the specified terms. A key step to the fulfillment of the rights of women and girls (rights-claimants) is to ensure that national legislation and law conforms with international norms generally and with the treaty obligations of the State in question in particular (de jure compliance). Once de jure compliance is established, further analysis of secondary legislation and the application and enforcement of international law at the country level is required to better understand whether the rights of women and girls have actually been realized, and to determine what gaps exist in national capacity that would prevent fulfillment of these rights.