Resources for Campaigning
The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR) allows victims of violations of ESCR to present complaints before a United Nations body, against a state that violates its obligations established in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), if the state has ratified the OP-ICESCR. Below are resources providing information to NGOs, especially those working at the national level, who wish to support the OP-ICESCR and advocate for state ratification.
- Has your country ratified the OP-ICESCR? Check the status of your country here.
- Your country may have signed the treaty but not ratified it, check here. Their signature demonstrates an intention to ratify the OP-ICESCR.
- If your country is a member of or candidate for the Human Rights Council, ratifying the OP-ICESCR would be an important demonstration of human rights leadership.
- If your country is being reviewed by the Committee on ESCR or approaching a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the Human Rights Council, this is an important moment for advocacy.
- Send a letter encouraging ratification of the OP-ICESCR to your Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) or other relevant officials involved in considering international commitments and treaties. If possible, get support from several organizations as co-signatories to the letter. Download a model letter here.
- Request a meeting with your MoFA or other relevant authorities. For suggestions, please see Booklet 4 of the Toolkit on the OP-ICESCR. Booklet 3 outlines arguments for why countries should ratify the OP-ICESCR.
- Write a blog, op-ed or press release highlighting the reasons for ratification, if your country has not ratified, or celebrating access to justice at the international level, if it has ratified. This Q and A may be helpful.
- Raise public awareness through social media, posting Facebook messages and tweets about the OP-ICESCR. You can share our Commitment Stamp with followers and ask them to use it for a period of time in their Facebook and Twitter profiles. #RatifyOPICESCR
- Build a national coalition for ratification, including other human rights and social justice organizations, unions, social movements, artists and other concerned people. You might start with an online petition or a public action/demonstration. Or invite others to join any of the actions above.
Advocacy Resources for the OP-ICESCR
A promotional brochure explaining what the OP-ICESCR is, why it is valuable for people and important for governments.
This manual provides theoretical and practical information for lawyers and other advocates interested in utilizing the OP-ICESCR as a means to ESCR.
This 4-part toolkit provides practical guidance to NGOs and other civil society groups, as well as States, on their work around the OP-ICESCR.
This factsheet examines the ratification of the OP-ICESCR by Uruguay and outlines the advocacy strategies adopted by civil society.
For more information on the OP-ICESCR, find a complete list of resources here.