Whether you are a member, ally or new to this struggle for access to justice, the NGO Coalition for the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR) invites you to engage in the global campaign: Justice Now! Ratify to Protect all Human Rights.
The OP-ICESCR entered into force on May 2013, allowing individuals and groups to bring complaints to the UN Committee on ESCR for violations of their economic, social and cultural rights. As of today, 21 countries have become party to the OP-ICESCR, securing access to justice for their people at the international level. Visit here for more information on the OP-ICESCR.
Has your country ratified the OP-ICESCR? Check the status of your country here .
If not, explore important opportunities to push your country to ratify the OP-ICESCR:
- Your country may have signed the treaty (but not ratified); check here. Their signature demonstrates an intention to ratify the OP-ICESCR.
- If your country is a member of or candidate for the Human Rights Council, ratifying the OP-ICESCR would be an important demonstration of human rights leadership.
- If your country is being reviewed by the Committee on ESCR or approaching a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the Human Rights Council Countries, this is another important moment for advocacy. Some states make commitments to ratify the OP-ICESCR during these processes, so you might also look at recent commitments by your State.
- Send a letter encouraging ratification of the OP-ICESCR to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) or other relevant officials involved in considering international commitments and treaties. If possible, get support from several organizations as co-signatories to the letter. Please download model letter here.
- Request a meeting with your MoFA or other relevant authorities: In your request, you might cite upcoming anniversaries and International Human Rights Day. For suggestions, please see Booklet 4 of the Toolkit on the OP-ICESCR. Booklet 3 outlines arguments for why countries should ratify the OP-ICESCR.
- Write a blog, op-ed or press release highlighting these anniversaries and the reasons for ratification, if your country has not ratified, or celebrating access to justice at the international level, if it has ratified. This Q and A may be helpful.
- Build a national coalition for ratification, including other human rights and social justice organizations, unions, social movements, artists and other concerned people. You might start with an online petition or a public action/demonstration. Or invite others to join any of the actions above. For more information and ideas, please contact the NGO Coalition for the OP-ICESCR at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Raise public awareness through social media, posting Facebook messages and tweets about the OP-ICESCR. You can share our Commitment Stamp with followers and ask them to use it for a period of time in their Facebook and Twitter profiles.
- Join the Coalition now!
Imagine you have been forcibly evicted from your home, but the law in your country offers you no protection and no compensation. What do you do? Who do you turn to?
If you live in one of these 21 countries that have ratified the OP-ICESCR [link to map], you can now turn to the UN for justice! But what if you live in Germany, Brazil or South Africa? [link to Statement/press release/petition/Booklet 3]
21 countries have now strengthened access to justice for rights! #RatifyOPICESCR [link to map]
These countries[LINK TO MAP] have ratified the OP-ICESCR. We call on States to follow their example and grant access to justice for all. [link to Booklet3]
We call on #[ratifyingcountry] to encourage its peer[#country] to move forward and #RatifyOPICESCR [link to Booklet3]