Optional Protocol to the ICESCR

The Project's participation in the optional protocol process is driven by the need to ensure that those whose socio-economic rights have been violated have access to justice at not just the national level but the international level as well. Together with other organisations forming the International NGO Coalition, we aim at ensuring that the best possible optional protocol to the ICESCR is swiftly adopted, so as to remedy the current gaps in the procedures to render socio-economic rights justiciable at the international level.

2009

icescr9.jpg

Lilian Chenwi attended the Signature Ceremony for the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, which took place during the Treaty Event at the UN headquarters in New York on 24 September 2009. Click here for the list of states that have signed this treaty.

The NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol, which the Community Law Centre is part of, organised a series of meetings on the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR from 23 to 25 September 2009 in New York. The meetings aimed at, among other things, defining a strategy for the campaign for ratification and implementation of the Optional Protocol, and advancing the discussion on substantive and procedural issues relevant to the Optional Protocol.

In addition, on the eve of the signing ceremony of the Optional Protocol, the NGO Coalition together with the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, co-organised a Panel Discussion on ‘Enforcing economic, social and cultural rights: The hope and challenges of the Optional Protocol’ at New York University School of Law on 23 September 2009. Three experts, who were involved in the Optional Protocol moving forward, engaged in conversation about the evolution of the Protocol, possible impacts, and implementation challenges it is likely to face.

Following its adoption, the focus is on raising awareness of the mechanism, ensuring that states sign and ratify the Protocol so that it comes into force, and ensure the development of effective rules of procedure.

The Human Rights Council has invited "all States parties to participate in the ceremony of the opening for signatures of the Optional Protocol, to be held in New York on 24 September 2009 during the 2009 Treaty Event, and to consider signing and ratifying or acceding to the Optional Protocol with a view to its early entry into force" (UN doc. A/HRC/10/L.14, 20 March 2009).

Join the campaign for the ratification and implementation of the Optional Protocol to the International covenant on economic, social and cultural rights.


2008

Lilian Chenwi participated in the ‘African Regional Consultation Meeting on an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’, organised by the Egyptian government and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, held in Egypt from 9-10 January 2008. She also made a presentation on international cooperation and assistance and the establishment of a fund during this meeting.

Following the Fourth Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on an optional protocol to the ICESCR, a revised draft optional protocol was prepared. This revised draft was discussed at the First Part of the Fifth Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on an Optional Protocol to the ICESCR held in Geneva from 4-8 February 2008. Lilian Chenwi attended this session and also made oral submissions on behalf of the NGO Coalition.

A new revised draft of the optional protocol was prepared and discussed (including subsequent drafts) at the Second Part of the Fifth Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on an ICESCR held in Geneva from 31 March - 4 April 2008. Lilian Chenwi participated in this session.

At the end of the session, the draft optional protocol to the ICESCR was adopted by consensus and transmitted to the Human Rights Council for its consideration. The Council adopted the OP-ICESCR in June (UN doc. A/HRC/8/L.2/Rev.1) and transmitted it to the General Assembly of the United Nations.

From 27-31 November, Lilian Chenwi participated in the Third Committee of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, during which the report of the Human Rights Council including the optional protocol to the ICESCR was considered.

The Third Committee approved by consensus the draft resolution on the adoption of the optional protocol to the ICESCR (Res. A/C.3/63/L.47). Following this, the Project wrote letters to some government departments in South Africa and to the South African Permanent Mission in Geneva, requesting South Africa to consider sponsoring the resolution on the adoption of the optional protocol to the ICESCR at the General Assembly.

On 10 December, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR. It establishes a complaints procedure through which victims of economic, social and cultural rights violations that are not able to get an effective remedy in their domestic legal system can seek redress at the international level. It will come into force three months after the deposit of the 10th instrument of ratification.


2007

A Project member, Lilian Chenwi, seats at the Steering Committee of the NGO Coalition for an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The Coalition brings together individuals and organisations from around the world including international NGOs, regional networks, grassroots activists, community based organisations, and individuals, all of whom have a common goal to promote an optional protocol to the ICESCR.

As part of our involvement in this process, Lilian Chenwi participated in the Fourth Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on an optional protocol to the ICESCR held in Geneva from 16 - 27 July 2007, in which the draft optional protocol was discussed. Together with the other organisations of the Coalition, the Project made a written submission. Lilian Chenwi also made oral submissions on behalf of the NGO Coalition.

Prior to the Fourth Session, the Project wrote letters to some government departments in South Africa, in which it included the view points of the NGO Coalition as regards the content of the draft optional protocol.


2006

A project member, Lilian Chenwi, participated in the International Civil Society Forum on an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights held in Lisbon from 12 - 13 October 2006; organised by the International Centre on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CIDESC). The Forum was composed of 31 NGOs and academic institutions. The Forum addressed a number of key elements that will be the subject of discussion and negotiation by the Open-ended Working Group on an Optional Protocol to the ICESCR during its upcoming session in July 2007, and came up with recommendations on a number of points.


2004

A project member of the Socio-Economic Rights Project, Sibonile Khoza, attended the Open-ended working group on an optional protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights held in Geneva on 23 February – 5 March 2004. Through the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights Mr Khoza made a number of interventions including presenting a paper on Justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights: the South African experience at the side event organized by the NGO forum.

© 2021 Dullah Omar Institute | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions
CMS Website by Juizi