CEDAW concluding observations 2019, paragraph 22

UN recommendation

Plain English recommendation

Government should: (a) Assess the impact of leaving the EU on women’s rights, including those in Northern Ireland, and take steps to prevent or reduce the impact of any negative effects. (b) Include all relevant international and EU human rights laws in UK law, and use women’s rights as a tool to tackle current challenges. (c) Ensure that future UK laws maintain or improve women’s rights, including matching any progress made towards women’s rights in the EU. (d) Recognise the importance of Convention obligations and assess the impact on women’s rights when making any future trade and investment agreements. (e) Find alternative sources of funding to maintain women and girls’ services that may be lost when the UK leaves the EU.

Original UN recommendation

The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Undertake a thorough impact assessment of its withdrawal from the European Union on the rights of women, including women in Northern Ireland, and adopt effective measures to mitigate the negative effects. (b) Ensure the inclusion of the provisions of the Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights and the “acquis communautaire” (or “EU acquis”) in its domestic legislation, and utilize the human rights framework and the empowerment of women as a strategic tool to tackle the current challenges. (c) Ensure that any future change in legal provisions do not constitute a retrogression in the protection of women’s rights and adopt measures to ensure that its domestic legislation keeps pace with progress on women’s rights in the European Union. (d) Ensure that any future trade and investment agreements negotiated by the State party recognize the primacy of its obligations under the Convention and explicitly consider their impact on women’s rights. (e) Ensure that the loss of funding from the European Union does not lead to gaps in support and services provided to women and girls, including by securing alternative sources of funding.

Date of UN examination


UN article number

2 (elimination of discrimination against women)

Last updated on 11/09/2019