Since the founding of the United Nations (UN) in 1945, efforts to promote gender equality, women's empowerment, and women's rights have been at the foundation of several key conventions agreed upon and ratified by UN member states. While they are often referred to as “soft laws,” conventions are international treaties of sorts; they are negotiated norms, setting global standards for state behaviors, and when protocols are attached, rules for monitoring and compliance may apply.

In regard to women's global status and human rights, most UN member states have voluntarily agreed to the following international conventions that eliminate various discriminations against women and protect their bodily integrity: Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (1949); Convention Concerning ...

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