Human rights organizations meet in Praia, Cabo Verde, to discuss the protection of ESCR

Publish Date: 
Friday, December 4, 2015

On October 29-30, ESCR-Net's Strategic Litigation Working Group (SLWG) and Plataforma das ONGs (Cabo Verde) co-facilitated a workshop on ESCR Strategic Litigation, parallel reports, and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR). The workshop brought together almost 30 human rights activists from Cape Verde, together with members and allies from Portugal and Brazil, in Praia, Cabo Verde. 

Cabo Verde ratified the OP-ICESCR in 2014, creating a new opportunity for individuals and groups of individuals in Cabo Verde to protect their economic, social and cultural rights. The OP-ICESCR provides a remedy for violations at the international level, but it also provides civil society with a new basis to advocate for respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights at the local and national level, including through access to justice for violations. The Protocol might also foster the use of other protection mechanisms, such as the elaboration of alternative reports to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Although the presentation of such reports was already a possibility under the ICESCR, alternative and parallel reports may now be used as a first step towards the litigation of specific cases. They may also serve as a channel for mobilizing civil society organization against recurrent violations of human rights.

Eneias da Rosa, Projeto Monitoramento em DireitosHumanos (Brazil) 

The Strategic Litigation Working Group (SLWG) has organized a number of workshop on the OP-ICESCR in collaboration with members in countries that have ratified the Protocol: Argentina (ACIJ and CELS), BiH (Andrea Dabizzi), Mongolia (CHRD), Montenegro (HRA and CEDEM), Slovakia (CDA), Spain (CESR), Uruguay (IELSUR), and El Salvador (FESPAD).

Maria Virginia Bras Gomez, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  

To learn more about how to present individual and collective claims to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, please check ESCR-Net’s “Claiming ESCR at the United Nations”, which is now available in Portuguese.