October 12-13, 2010: Workshop- Strategic Litigation Initiative in Support of the OP-ICESCR


The Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, which was opened for signature and ratification on September 24, 2009, ushers in a new era at the UN, in which the adjudication and enforcement of ESC rights will be engaged for the first time. Increasing numbers of national level organizations around the world are building capacity to advance ESC rights claims before domestic and international courts or tribunals, and within human rights institutions. The scope and effectiveness of the OP-ICESCR will have an immense effect on this emerging area of human rights practice. The approach taken by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to critical areas in this developing field will be influential in all domestic and regional jurisdictions.

At the International Strategy Meeting on ESCR in Nairobi in 2008, it was pointed out that with the recent adoption of the Optional Protocol to ICESCR, there would soon be a need to support good cases at the domestic level that could be potentially taken forward under the new complaint mechanism in order to render positive precedents and provide attention to the process.  The objective of this initiative is to enhance collaborative efforts and shared strategies in the use of the OP-ICESCR, support organisations in countries that have ratified the OP-ICESCR to begin bringing cases forward and provide assistance and promote collaboration in the development of strategies and arguments.

This initiative is being jointly organized with the NGO Coalition for an OP-ICESCR, the Social and Economic Rights Programme of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the University of Oslo, and the Social Rights Advocacy Centre in Canada.

A workshop to discuss the development of this Initiative will take place in New York City, October 12-13, 2010.

Resources and materials related to this workshop can be found below.