CEDAW/C/74/D/126/2018 Background 1.1 The authors are A.J., S.B., D.L., T.B., R.B., H.S. and B.H., nationals of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, born in 1973, 1971, 1972, 1971, 1965, 1965 and 1962, respectively. They claim that the State party has violated their rights under articles 1, 2 (a), (b), (d) and (f), 3, 5, 7 (c) and 16 (a), (b) and (e) of the Convention. The Optional Protocol to the Convention entered into force for the State party on 17 March 2005. The authors are represented by counsel, Birnberg Peirce Ltd. 1.2 On 12 March 2018, the communication was registered. On 10 March 2019, the Committee, acting through its Working Group on Communications under the Optional Protocol, granted the State party’s request to split the consideration of the admissibility and merits of the communication. Facts as submitted by the authors 2.1 The authors were activists and/or were associated through social networks with political groups conducting environmental and/or social justice campaigns. They were deceived into entering into long-term intimate relationships with male undercover police officers during various periods between 1987 and 2009. 2.2 A.J.’s relationship began in September 2004 and ended in October 2010, when she learned of the identity of the undercover officer, who had left the police force in 2009 but had continued to spy on her for a private company. S.B. ’s relationship lasted from February to September 2005. S.B. had further intimate encounters with the officer in 2007 and 2008, and learned of his underco ver identity in October 2010. 2.3 D.L.’s relationship lasted from November 1999 to September 2000, when the officer left her abruptly, which was traumatizing for her. He informed her in November 2001 that he had been paid as an undercover police officer. In a state of vulnerability, D.L. became pregnant with their first child two weeks later and subsequently had another child with him. Both children were diagnosed with a degenerative disorder. D.L. felt compelled to marry the officer in 2005; they are now divorced. 2.4 T.B.’s relationship lasted from November 1997 to the middle of 1999; she discovered the officer’s undercover identity in January 2011. R.B.’s relationship lasted from the second quarter of 1995 to April 2000, when the officer abruptly moved out of their shared home. R.B.’s subsequent suspicions that the man was an undercover officer were confirmed in 2010. 2.5 H.S.’s relationship lasted from May 1990 to April 1992, when the officer abruptly left her. She learned of his identity in 2003, when her efforts to trace him led her to discover his marriage certificate. B.H.’s relationship lasted from May 1987 to December 1988, when the officer abruptly left her. She learned of his undercover identity at an unspecified time. 1 2.6 The officers who targeted the women were all members of two covert units controlled by the Metropolitan Police Service in London. Their mission was not to investigate crime, but to infiltrate social and political movements in order to gather intelligence and thereby predict and control the impact of protest activity. One of the units was the Special Demonstration Squad, a highly secretive and small unit created in 1968 during the Vietnam War and disbanded in 2008. The other, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, operated nationally. It was formed in 1999 and disbanded in 2011. The public knew little about the existence, activities, policies and __________________ 1 2/15 In its observations, the State party maintains that this discovery occurred in 2011. 19-22187

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