Support the Campaign for the Ratification of the OP-ICESCR

Millions of people around the world suffer violations of their economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), including abuses of the rights to adequate housing, food, water, sanitation, health, work and education. The United Nations has created a new international mechanism: the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Optional Protocol or OP-ICESCR), which allows victims of ESCR violations, who are unable to find remedies within their own country, to seek justice within the United Nations.

The International NGO Coalition for the OP-ICESCR brings together over 300 civil society organizations and individuals from more than 70 countries; it led civil society efforts towards the drafting and subsequent adoption of the Optional Protocol and now runs the Global Campaign Justice Now! Ratify to Protect all Human Rights! focused on getting a wide and regionally diverse ratification of the OP-ICESCR.

The work of the Coalition is coordinated by the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net) and led by an international Steering Committee formed by:

  • Amnesty International
  • DECA Equipo Pueblo
  • Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape                                             
  • Fédération internationale des droits de l'Homme (FIDH)                                                                    
  • Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN)                                                                              
  • International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)                                                                                          
  • International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific                                                             
  • Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD)
  • National Center for Advocacy Studies (NCAS)
  • Social Rights Advocacy Centre (SRAC)

Join the NGO Coalition and support accountability for ESCR violations:

  • If you want to be part of the Coalition and receive further information about the Campaign, fill in the membership form or contact us at:
  • You also can be up to date of activities and opportunities for taking action by subscribing to our mailing-list.
  • Support the signing and/or ratification process in your country. Look at Booklet 4 of our Toolkit for Action to advocate for the Ratification and Implementation of the OP-ICESCR.
  • Determine if your government plans to ratify or accede to the OP-ICESCR. What are the challenges, opportunities, anticipated obstacles and timing of this process? If your government does not plan to ratify it, what are the reasons?
  • Organize discussions that support the signing or ratification of the OP-ICESCR between national authorities and civil society organizations, and build public awareness of the ICESCR and its Optional Protocol through activities such as public seminars or media work.
  • Lobby national level authorities within your country (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, relevant bodies within the Executive Power and Congress or Parliament) to push for the signature and ratification of or accession to the OP-ICESCR.
  • Lobby your country’s representatives during relevant meetings of intergovernmental bodies like the sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Organization of American or the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights.
  • Ensure that your country raises the issue of ratification of the OP-ICESCR during the Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR) of other countries and work to ensure that it is raised as an issue in your own country’s UPR.
  • Support litigation to ensure that strong cases reach the Committee to set positive precedent and verify that the decisions are publicized in your country.
  • Follow us on twitter for more updates and news on the OP-ICESCR campaign!