Resources for Campaigning

Commitment Stamp

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.

Country Status

Suggested Actions

  • 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

lucy videoVideo - Lucy and the Right to Education

This animated video highlights that access to justice is key to the full recognition and implementation of human rights, and can be used as a tool to promote ratification of the OP-ICESCR.

The video is available in EnglishSpanishFrenchArabic, and Portuguese.

OP-ICESCR Brochure

Brochure - The OP-ICESCR : A Tool for Demanding Our Rights

A promotional brochure explaining what the OP-ICESCR is, why it is valuable for people and important for governments.

The brochure is available in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.

Manual for OP-ICESCR

Manual - Claiming ESCR at the United Nations

This manual provides theoretical and practical information for lawyers and other advocates interested in utilizing the OP-ICESCR as a means to ESCR.

The manual is available in English and Spanish.

Toolkit for Action

A Toolkit for Action for the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

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.

The toolkit is available in English, Spanish, and French.

OP-ICESCR Factsheet

A Case Study: Ratifying the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in Uruguay

This factsheet examines the ratification of the OP-ICESCR by Uruguay and outlines the advocacy strategies adopted by civil society.

The factsheet is available in English, Spanish, and French.

For more information on the OP-ICESCR, find a complete list of resources here.