Open Letter

International NGO Coalition calls on all States to Ratify the OP-ICESCR

On the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the unanimous adoption of the Optional Protocol by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 2012, the NGO Coalition for the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR) urges all governments to take all necessary steps to ratify this Protocol without delay.

This anniversary is an opportunity for all state parties to the ICESCR, to become party to its Optional Protocol, as well. Since its adoption in 2008, 41 states have signed and 8 have ratified the OP-ICESCR. By doing so, they have reaffirmed their commitment to social justice and the realization of all human rights. Only 2 more ratifications are needed for the Optional Protocol to enter into force and many more to ensure all people in all countries are able to access justice and remedies for economic, social and cultural rights violations.

Forty-six years after the adoption of the ICESCR, States must take the opportunity to close the unjustifiable gap in human rights protection and bring the Optional Protocol into force.

Therefore, the Coalition calls to all States to affirm the commitments at the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights that “[all] human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated”, and that [t]he international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis.”

By becoming party to the Optional Protocol, States will reaffirm this commitment. We urge you to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the adoption by adding your ratification to this important international instrument. 


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