Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women
Concluding observations on the initial to fourth periodic report s of Comoros , adopted by the Committee at its fifty-third session, 1-19 October 2012
1.The Committee considered the combined initial, second, third and fourth periodic report of Comoros (CEDAW/C/COM/1-4) at its 1083rd and 1084th meetings on 10 October 2012 (CEDAW/C/SR.1083 and 1084). The Committee’s list of issues and questions are contained in CEDAW/C/COM/Q/4 and CEDAW/C/COM/Q/1-4, and the responses of the Government of Comoros are contained in CEDAW/C/COM/Q/4/Add.1.
2.The Committee appreciates that the State party submitted its combined initial, second, third and fourth periodic report although it was long overdue. It appreciates the Government’s written replies to the list of issues and questions raised by its pre-session working group in the absence of a report (CEDAW/C/COM/Q/4/Add.1); however, it regrets the absence of written replies to the list of issues and questions with respect to its combined periodic report (CEDAW/C/COM/Q/1-4).
3.The Committee appreciates the dialogue that took place between Mr, Sultan Chouzour, Permanent Representative of Comoros to the United Nations in Geneva and the Committee, although the Committee regrets that no answers were provided to some of the questions raised, and that some of the answers provided were not sufficiently clear, precise or detailed. The Committee therefore regrets the absence of a State party’s delegation composed of representatives from relevant ministries and institutions from Comoros, while underlining the benefits of broad-based participation in a constructive dialogue with the Committee to improve the implementation of the Convention at the national level.
4.The Committee notes with appreciation the adoption of:
(a)The legislation establishing the National Human Rights Institution, in March 2012;
(b)The National Policy on Gender Equality and Equity and its implementation with the support of United Nations agencies;
(c)The Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy and its plan of action, which incorporates a gender perspective.
5.The Committee welcomes the ratification by the State party of the following international human rights treaties since the entry into force of the Convention for the State party in 1994:
(a)The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 2004;
(b)The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, in 2007.
C.Factors and difficulties preventing the effective implementation of the Convention
6.The Committee recognizes that the deteriorating economic situation affecting the State party for the last 20 years, the political conflict and the overall poverty situation of its population poses difficulties in the implementation of the Convention. However, the Convention requires the State party to pursue its policy of eliminating discrimination against women, by all appropriate means and without delay. The delay cannot be justified on any grounds, including the constraints within the State party, in accordance with paragraph 29 of the Committee’s general recommendation No. 28 (2010) on the core obligations of States parties under article 2 of the Convention.
D.Principal areas of concern and recommendations
7. The Committee recalls the obligation of the State party to systematically and continuously implement all the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and views the concerns and recommendations identified in the present concluding observations as requiring the priority attention of the State party between now and the submission of the next periodic report. Consequently, the Committee urges the State party to focus on those areas in its implementation activities and to report on the actions taken and results achieved in its next periodic report. The Committee calls upon the State party to submit the present concluding observations to all relevant ministries, the National Assembly and the judiciary, so as to ensure their full implementation.
8. While reaffirming that the Government has the primary responsibility and is particularly accountable for the full implementation of the obligations of the State party under the Convention, the Committee stresses that the Convention is binding on all branches of the State apparatus and invites the State party to encourage the National Assembly , in line with its procedures, where appropriate, to take the necessary steps with regard to the implementation of the present concluding observations between now and the State party’s next reporting process under the Convention.
Visibility of the Convention
9.The Committee is concerned at the general lack of awareness of the Convention in the State party at all levels of the Government and the judiciary. It is further concerned at the lack of dissemination measures targeting women about their rights under the Convention and thus women’s lack of capacity to claim the full respect, promotion, protection and fulfilment of their rights on an equal basis with men.
10. The Committee recommends that the State party :
( a) Take measures to ensure the translation of the Convention into Comorian and the adequate dissemination and understanding of the provisions of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendations among all Government ministries, parliamentarians, the judiciary, law enforcement officers, and community leaders, so as to create awareness of women’s human rights and use them as the basis for measures aiming at the elimination of discrimination against women;
( b) Undertake awareness-raising campaigns targeted at women to ensure that they are aware of their rights under the Convention, and take measures to ensure that women can avail themselves of procedures and remedies in relation to violations of the i r rights under the Convention.
Harmonization of laws
11.The Committee notes that the Convention takes precedence over domestic Comorian law in the State party and that a comparative study (2007) of the legislation of the State party and the Convention has been carried out with the aim of harmonizing the national legal framework with the Convention. However, it is concerned at the lack of information about this process, in particular on how the comparative study’s harmonization proposals ensure the alignment of the three sources constituting the legal system (domestic law, Islamic law and customary law) of the State party with the provisions of the Convention.
12. The Committee urges the State party to prioritize the r evision of its laws and the proposals which emanated from the comparative study of its legislation with the Convention , with a view to fully harmoniz ing its legal system with the provisions of the Convention.
13.The Committee notes that the Constitution of the State party incorporates in its preamble the prohibition of discrimination. However, it is concerned that the legislation of the State party does not prohibit discrimination in accordance with article 1 of the Convention and that there is no Law on gender equality. It is further concerned at the persistence of discriminatory provisions in the legislation, in particular the Family Code, which impede women’s achievement of formal and substantive equality with men.
14. The Committee calls upon the State party to:
( a) Prioritize the elaboration and adoption of a Law on gender equality which incorporates the prohibition of discrimination against women, in line with articles 1 and 2 of the Convention;
( b) Revise its legislation with the aim of repeal ing discriminatory provisions against women, such as those contained in the Family Code.
National machinery for the advancement of women
15.The Committee is concerned that the national machinery for the advancement of women, namely the General Office for Solidarity and Gender Advocacy, does not have sufficient influence in the Government’s decision-making process. It is also concerned that the national machinery is not fully operational, that its internal organization has not been determined and that it lacks qualified staff and resources to ensure that gender equality policies are properly developed and fully mainstreamed throughout the work of all ministries and Government offices at the national and island levels. It is also concerned at the lack of capacity of the State party to implement policies and programmes, including the National Policy of Gender Equality and Equity in all its territory, i.e., at the national and island levels.
16. The Committee encourages the State party to:
( a) Take all necessary measures to strengthen its national machinery, namely the General Office for Solidarity and Gender Advocacy, by raising its institutional rank to the C abinet level and by providing it with adequate human, financial and technical resources to coordinate and work effectively for the promotion of gender mainstreaming and the achievement of gender equality ;
( b) Continue its collaboration with the United Nations system, in particular through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework ( U NDAF ) with the aim of strengthen ing the institutional capacity of the G overnment at the national and island levels to implement policies and programmes, including the National Policy of Gender Equality and Equity.
17.The Committee is concerned at the absence of representatives of the civil society during the consideration of the State party’s report, although it notes the important work and contribution of non-governmental organizations to the advancement of women and the social and economic development of the country.
18. The Committee urges the State party to continue its collaboration with non-governmental organizations and involve them, in particular women’s association s , in the design and implementation of policies, programmes and measures aiming at the advancement of women in all areas covered by the Convention as well as in the reporting process to the Committee.
Temporary special measures
19.The Committee is concerned at the State party’s lack of understanding of the nature, purpose of and need for temporary special measures to accelerate women’s substantive equality with men. It regrets that no temporary special measures have been adopted so far in the State party, either in the National Policy on Gender Equality and Equity or in the Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy.
20. The Committee recommends that the State party :
( a) T ake steps to understand the concept of temporary special measures , in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25 (2004 ) ;
( b) Make use of these measures as part of a necessary strategy towards the achievement of women’s substantive equality in all its policies, programmes and plans of action;
( c) S eek support from United Nations agencies and development partners to apply temporary special measures in address ing the specific needs of women, in fields such as health, education , employment and participation in political and public life at the decision-making level .
Stereotypes and harmful practices
21.The Committee expresses its concern about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes concerning the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and society. It is concerned that, in the State party, while men are traditionally considered as the legal heads of the household and as the breadwinners, women are considered only as a wife, daughter, sister or niece. It notes that such discriminatory attitudes and stereotypes constitute serious obstacles to women’s enjoyment of their rights. It also expresses its serious concern about the persistence of entrenched harmful practices, such as forced and early marriages and polygamy.
22. The Committee urges the State party to:
(a) Put in place a comprehensive strategy to eliminate harmful practices and stereotypes that discriminate against women, in conformity with article 2, and especially 2 (f), and article 5 (a) of the Convention. Such a strategy should include concerted efforts, set in a clear timeframe and pursued in collaboration with civil society organizations , to educate and raise public awareness about this subject, targeting women and men at all levels of society, and should involve the school system and the media;
(b) Monitor and review the measures taken in order to assess their impact and to take further appropriate action, and include in its next report clear information on progress that has been made .
Violence against women
23.The Committee expresses its deep concern at the results of the national qualitative study (2006) according to which one third of Comorian women are victims of violence either by their husbands or male relatives of their in-laws. It is deeply concerned that the majority of rape cases are settled “amicably.” It regrets that violence against women is considered a taboo and therefore a culture of silence prevails in the State party. It is concerned at the absence of accurate and updated data on cases of gender-based violence reported, as well as at the lack of information on the number of investigations, prosecutions and punishment of perpetrators of violence against women, including domestic and sexual violence. It is also concerned about the absence of information with respect to the availability of social support services, including shelters for victims and about the mandate of the Observatory on gender-based violence.
24. Recalling its g eneral r ecommendation No. 19 (1992) on violence against women, the Committee urges the State party to continue and strengthen its collaboration with the United Nations agencies and development partners in order to :
( a) Elaborate and adopt a comprehensive law on violence against women, which recognizes that such violence is a form of discrimination against women and therefore constitutes a violation of their human rights under the Convention , and ensure that the legislation criminalizes all forms of violence against women, including rape;
( b) Develop a national strategic action plan for the prevention of all forms of violence against women , protection of victims and punishment of perpetrators and ensure its full implementation;
( c ) Conduct awareness-raising campaigns to e ncourage reporting of domestic and sexual violence against women and girls and ensure that all such reports are effectively investigated and that perpetrators are prosecuted and punished adequately ;
( d) Provide systematic training on women’s rights and on combating violence against women, including domestic and sexual violence, for judges, prosecutors, lawyers and police officers as well as for health professionals ;
( e) Ensure that the re is an adequate number of shelter facilities and that together with established counselling centres for women victims of violence , there is a p rovi sion of adequate assistance and protection to victims, in particular psychosocial rehabilitation at the national and island level ;
( f) Collect comprehensive statistical data on violence against women, disaggregated by sex, age and relationship between the victim and perpetrators ;
( g) Provide detailed information about the mandate and activities of the Observatory on gender-based violence.
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
25.The Committee regrets the lack of information about the extent of the phenomenon of trafficking in persons and exploitation of prostitution in the State party. It expresses its concern about the lack of a legislative framework on trafficking in persons. It notes that prostitution is illegal in the State party and regrets the lack of information on the existence, if any, of a regulatory framework to combat the exploitation of prostitution.
26. The Committee recommends that the State party:
( a) C onduct assessments on the extent of trafficking in persons and exploitation of prostitution and provide information of their results in its next periodic report;
( b) D evelop and implement a national plan to combat trafficking in persons , in line with the Convention and ratify the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime ( Palermo Protocol ) ;
( c ) Adopt a regulatory framework to combat the exploitation of prostitution, as well as measures aimed at discouraging ma le demand for prostitution, provide women with economic alternatives to prostitution as well as assistance , rehabilitation and reintegration programme s for women and girls exploited in prostitution.
Participation in political and public life
27.The Committee notes that women’s political rights are guaranteed by law in the State party, however it is concerned that socio-cultural constraints and deeply rooted stereotypes have relegated women’s participation in political life at a minimal level. It is deeply concerned that women are excluded from participating in decision-making positions because it is believed that repeated pregnancy and motherhood are incompatible with positions of responsibility. It is further concerned that women who engage in politics without the consent of their husbands are at risk of being victims of violence by either their husband or his relatives. It is concerned that at the community level men dominate the grass roots and customary decision-making bodies. It regrets the State party’s lack of policies and measures, including temporary special measures, to increase the participation of women in political and public life.
28 . The Committee urges the State party to:
( a) Implement awareness-raising activities targeting the public at large about the importance of women’s participation in decision-making for the society;
( b) T ake measures to increase the participation of women in political and public life, in particular in decision-making positions by for example adopting temporary special measures, such as quotas, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation No. 25 (2004) .
29.The Committee acknowledges the implementation of the Education and Training Policy Framework (2005-2009) in the State party. However, it is concerned at the high illiteracy rate of women (64.8 -per cent) in the age group of 15-24 years. It is concerned that 55 per cent of the total children between 6 and 14 years who are out of school are girls as well as at the lack of alternative ways to accommodate these girls in the education system. It is further concerned about the gender disparity in primary and secondary school and about the alarming and consistent dropout rates of girls in secondary school. It is also concerned at the lack of information about the causes, which impede adolescent girls’ access to education such as negative gender stereotypes, sexual harassment at school, teenage pregnancies and early marriages.
30. The Committee urges the State party to enhance its compliance with a rticle 10 of the Convention and rais e awareness of the importance of education as a human right and as the basis for the empowerment of women. To that end, it urges the State party to:
( a) Take measures to expand capacity, particularly for the 6 to 14 - years - old age cohort;
( b) Identify and implement measures to reduce the gender disparity in primary and secondary school, in particular to prevent dropouts among adolescent girls as well as alternative measures to accommodate girls between 6 and 14 years in the school system;
( c) Address causes of the high dropout rates of adolescent girls from school such as gender stereotypes, poverty and sexual harassment in school, teenage pregnancies and early marriages ;
( d) Revise the school curriculum in order to eliminate stereotypes which impede girls ’ wide curriculum options and career paths ;
( e) Improve the lit eracy rate of women through the adoption of comprehensive programmes for formal and non-formal education and training.
31.The Committee acknowledges that the Labour Code contains various provisions aimed at ensuring equality between men and women in the employment sector, such as the principle of equal pay for work where working conditions, professional qualifications and productivity are equivalent, although it remains concerned that the code does not fully implement the principle of equal pay for work of equal value nor does it ban sexual harassment in the workplace. It is also concerned at the marked feminization of temporary work, informal employment and unemployment in the State party and the lack of statistical data and measures to adequately address this situation.
32. The Committee requests the State party to ensure equal opportunities for women in the labour market, in accordance with article 11 of the Convention and urges the State party to:
( a) Effectively implement the goals of the National Policy on Gender Equality and Equity aiming at eliminating gender disparities in the employment sector such as putting in place an employment policy targeting women , including entrepreneurial program me s ;
( b ) Make sure that the Labour Code adequately implements the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in accordance with ILO Convention 100 (1951) and effectively ban sexual harassment in the workplace;
( c) Elaborate regulatory frameworks for temporary work and for the informal employment sectors, to provide women working in these sectors with access to basic social security and other benefits;
( d) Adopt programmes aimed at curbing the high unemployment rate of women and combating the occupational segregation of women in temporary employment.
33.The Committee takes note of the National Health Policy and its implementation plan. It is concerned, however, that according to the Health Code of the State party, health-care services provided by public health facilities are not free of charge. The Committee is also concerned that a large number of women do not have access to health-care services because of poverty and lack of financial resources available to them. It expresses its concern at the high maternal mortality rate (380/100,000), despite policies and programmes in place to reduce it, and at the lack of detailed information about programmes in place to ensure effective pre-and postnatal care and access to family planning and contraceptives for women. It notes the low prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the State party, including among pregnant women, but regrets the lack of information with respect to the status of the bill on the protection of persons living with HIV/AIDS and the Multisectoral HIV strategic plan.
34. The Committee recommends that the State party:
( a) Take all necessary measures to improve women’s access to health care including reproductive health care and related services within the framework of the Committee’s general recommendation No. 24 (1999) on women and health , by ensuring women’s free health care and access to the cooperative health insurance scheme in place;
( b) Strengthen the measures in place to reduce the incidents of maternal mortality , and to provide training to medical and health professionals in order to ensure that women are assiste d and treated by trained health-care personnel, especially in rural areas ;
( c) Strengthen and expand efforts to increase knowledge of and access to affordable contraceptive methods throughout the country and ensure that women and girls, especially in rural areas, do not face barriers to accessing family planning information and services;
( d) Expedite the adoption of the bill on the protection of persons living with HIV/AIDS , and provide detailed information in its next periodic report on the implementation of the Multisectoral HIV/AIDS strategic plan and results achieved.
Economic and social life
35.The Committee welcomes the establishment of the Office of Female Entrepreneurship and notes the implementation of a small loans programme for women in the State party. However, it regrets the lack of measures in place to effectively support self-employed women. It is concerned at the reported lack of managerial skills of women entrepreneurs, their difficulties to access credit and loans and the difficulties faced in autonomously managing and developing their businesses due to gender stereotypes on the roles and responsibilities of women and men in society.
36. The Committee urges the State party to:
( a) Expedite the adoption of the National Policy on Female entrepreneurship with the aim of support ing self-employed women by enhancing their capacity and facilitating their access to credit and markets;
( b) Make the promotion of gender equality an explicit component of its development plans and programmes and take measures aimed at the elimination of discrimination against women, including negative gender stereotypes in the economic and social life.
37.The Committee notes that the large majority of women in the State party live in rural areas and regrets the lack of specific strategies and measures in place or envisaged to address poverty and discrimination against rural women and guarantee their access to justice, education, health and housing, clean water and sanitation services as well as on their participation in decision-making processes at the community level. It is particularly concerned that the absence of a land registry and the customs and traditions of the matrilineal system prevent rural women from using their ownership of land and other property to access financial credit and capital.
38. The Committee calls upon the State party to:
( a) Formulate and implement within the framework of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy specific measures to combat women’s poverty, including effective measures to ensure rural women ’s access to justice, health-care services , education , housing, clean water and sanitation , fertile land and income-generating projects;
( b) Ensure rural women’s participation in decision-making processes at the community level;
( c) Take measures to a ddress the root causes, including irregularities in the registration of land and the customs of the matrilineal syst em, which prevent rural women from access ing land, property and credit and capital.
Marriage and family relations
39.The Committee notes the coexistence of the three systems of law (civil, Islamic and customary) regulating marriage and family relations in the State party, however, it is concerned that this situation results in the deep and persistent discrimination against women on issues such as the right to freely choose a spouse, child custody, division of property acquired during the marriage and inheritance. It is particularly concerned at the lack of information with respect to measures taken to abolish de jure and de facto polygamy, which is permitted by the Family Code. It is concerned that women requesting no-fault divorce are required to pay compensation (khol) to their husbands, while the same is not required from men. It is also concerned that the separate property regime in place and the infrequent payment of alimonies, leave divorced women in a disadvantageous position since they are often left alone with the responsibility to bring up their children.
40. The Committee calls upon the State party to ensure equality between wo men and men in marriage and family relations by:
( a) Carry ing out a comprehensive review process of its legal system and repeal existing discriminatory provisions against women within civil, Islamic and customary laws so as to guarantee that these bodies of law are harmonized with the Convention, and set up a clear time frame for the completion of such review process;
( b) Abolishing polygamy in accordance with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 21 (1994) on equality in marriage and family relations .
National human rights institution
41.The Committee takes note of the adoption, in March 2012, of legislation establishing a National Human Rights Institution in the State party; however it is concerned about the lack of information about the mandate and resources allocated to it.
42. The Committee recommends that the State party:
( a) Ensure the independence of the National Human Rights Institution , in compliance with the Paris Principles and provide it with sufficient human and financial resources and a broad human rights mandate and a specific mandate on gender equality;
( b) Ensure that its composition and activities are gender-sensitive.
43.The Committee regrets the report’s lack of statistical data disaggregated by sex, age, rural and urban area and ethnicity and recalls that the absence of such data makes it difficult to accurately assess the real situation of women in most of the areas covered by the Convention. The Committee also notes with concern that the paucity of disaggregated data impedes the State party’s own efforts to design and implement specific gender equality policies and programmes, and to evaluate their effectiveness in terms of implementing the Convention.
44. The Committee urges the State party to seek assistance from the United Nations system and other stakeholders to:
( a) Develop a system of data collection in all areas covered by the Convention in order to be able to accurately assess the real situation of women and adequately monitor evolving trends;
( b ) Include in its next periodic report such data, disaggregated by sex and urban and rural area, and indicate the effects of the measures taken and the results obtained in terms of the practical realization of substantive equality between women and men.
Optional Protocol and amendment to article 20, paragraph 1 of the Convention
45. The Committee encourages the State party to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention and to accept, as soon as possible, the amendment to article 20, paragraph 1, of the Convention concerning the meeting time of the Committee.
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
46. The Committee urges the State party, in the implementation of its obligations under the Convention, to fully utilize the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which reinforce the provisions of the Convention, and requests the State party to include information thereon in its next periodic report.
Millennium Development Goals
47. The Committee emphasizes that full and effective implementation of the Convention is indispensable for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It calls for the integration of a gender perspective and explicit reflection of the provisions of the Convention in all efforts aimed at the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and requests the State party to include information thereon in its next periodic report.
48. The Committee requests the wide dissemination in Comoros of the present concluding observations in order to make the people, including Government officials, politicians, Parliamentarians and women’s and human rights organizations, aware of the steps that have been taken to ensure de jure and de facto equality of women and the further steps that are required in that regard. The Committee recommends that dissemination should include dissemination at the local community level. The State party is encouraged to organize a series of meetings to discuss the progress achieved in the implementation of the present observations. The Committee requests the State party to disseminate widely, in particular to women’s and human rights organizations, the Committee’s general recommendations, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly on the theme “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”.
Ratification of other treaties
49. The Committee notes that the adherence of Comoros to the nine major international human rights instruments would enhance the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms in all aspects of life. The Committee therefore encourages Comoros to consider ratifying the treaties to which it is not yet a party, i.e., the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Follow-up to concluding observations
50. The Committee requests the State party to provide, within two years, written information on the steps undertaken to implement the recommendations contained in paragraphs 16 and 24 (a ) , ( b ) , ( c ) , ( d ) , ( e ) , ( g ) above.
51. The Committee recommends that the State party consider seeking cooperation and technical assistance in the development and implementation of a comprehensive programme aimed at the implementation of the above recommendations and the Convention as a whole. The Committee also calls upon the State party to continue its cooperation with specialized agencies and programmes of the United Nations system, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the Statistics Division, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Population Fund, the World Health Organization, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Preparation of the next report
52. The Committee requests the State party to ensure the participation of all ministries and public bodies in the preparation of its next periodic report and, at the same time, to consult a variety of women’s and human rights organizations.
53. The Committee requests the State party to respond to the concerns expressed in the present concluding observations in its next periodic report under article 18 of the Convention and invites the State party to submit its next periodic report in October 2016.
54. The Committee invites the State party to follow the harmonized guidelines on reporting under the international human rights treaties, including guidelines on a common core document and treaty-specific documents that were approved at the fifth inter-committee meeting of the human rights treaty bodies, in June 2006 (HRI/GEN/2/Rev.6, chap. I) . The treaty-specific reporting guidelines adopted by the Committee at its fortieth session in January 2008 (A/63/38, part I, annex I) must be applied in conjunction with the harmonized reporting guidelines on a common core document. Together, they constitute the harmonized guidelines on reporting under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The treaty-specific document should be limited to 40 pages, while the updated common core document should not exceed 80 pages.