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The NGO Coalition for the Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP- ICESCR), coordinated by ESCR-Net, led the international NGO Campaign for the OP-ICESCR and continues to support national efforts for the ratification and implementation of the OP-ICESCR to ensure that individuals and groups have access to justice for violations to their ESCR.

Timeline of the Campaign

Please visit here to see the full timeline.

  • 1994 UN Committee on ESCR (CESCR) begins work on a draft Optional Protocol to the ICESCR.
  • 1997 CESCR presents a draft Optional Protocol to the UN Commission on Human Rights.
  • 2001 Civil society groups and advocates committed to the development of an Optional Protocol meet in South Africa to form the NGO Coalition for the OP-ICESCR.
  • 2004 The UN Open-Ended Working Group on the OP-ICESCR meets for the first time. The NGO Coalition for the OP-ICESCR participates in the process.
  • 2008 The Human Rights Council approves the text of the draft Optional Protocol. In December, the UN General Assembly adopts the OP-ICESCR, and the NGO Coalition launches an official campaign for ratification of the OP-ICESCR.
  • 2009 The OP-ICESCR opens for signature and ratification, with immediate signature by 29 States.
  • 2013 The newly established ‘Group of Friends of the OP-ICESCR,’ composed of ratifying States, holds first events in Geneva and New York City.
  • 5 May 2013 The OP-ICESCR enters into force following submission of the 10th ratification by Uruguay.


The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR) is a key human...
The NGO Coalition for the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has...
Should African States ratify the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural...
On 10 December 2008, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United...
The Campaign for the Ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and...


Has your country ratified the OP-ICESCR?

Not a party to the ICESCR
Party to the ICESCR
Signed the OP-ICESCR
Ratified the OP-ICESCR

Last update: April 2017

Steering Committee

The Coalition is led by a Steering Committee of the following organizations:

  • Amnesty International- Renata de Souza
  • DECA Equipo Pueblo- Areli Sandoval Terán
  • Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape- Ebenezer Durojaye
  • Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'Homme (FIDH)- Maddalena Neglia
  • Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN)- Ana Maria Suarez Franco
  • International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific -  Michaela Guthridge
  • National Center for Advocacy Studies (NCAS)- Sandeep Kumar Pattkaik
  • Social Rights Advocacy Centre (SRAC)- Bruce Porter 

This Steering Committee is committed to supporting ongoing ratification efforts; for technical or strategic support, please write to the Steering Committee at: opcoalition@gmail.com (being monitored in English by Bruce Porter, SRAC, and being monitored in Spanish by Ana Maria Suarez, FIAN).

ESCR-Net coordinated this Steering Committee and an active International Campaign for the OP-ICESCR from 2008-2016. This Steering Committee also included Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD) and the International Commission of Jurists. ESCR-Net continues to support the communication of the Steering Committee and Coalition, while working to advance access to justice for ESCR more broadly and the use of the OP-ICESCR in practice via its member-led working groups. To add new resources to this site and/or promote ongoing ratification efforts, please contact ESCR-Net at: op-coalition@escr-net.org.