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ESCR optional Protocol approved

On 4th April 2008, the United Nations Working Group finally approved the optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which will be sent to the Human Rights Council for the notification of the UN Secretary-General and General Assembly.

This victory is an indisputable consequence of the effort to create a world with better and stronger rights, which has especially depended on the contributions of a group of civil society organisations from different countries around the world. Since 2006, IAI has been part of this network of NGOs, which was the driving force behind the approval of this Protocol.

We therefore congratulate all these organisations on this outstanding result, which among its most important terms, assigns competence to the ESCR Committee to examine the legal resources of victims of economic, social and cultural rights violations. It also enables the ESCR Committee to start investigating serious and systematic violations of these rights, and to request preliminary measures in order to avoid the risk of irreparable damages.

Other indubitable achievements stemming from the approval of this protocol include strengthening international recognition and protection of economic, social and cultural rights, and establishing jurisprudence in each and every country; reaffirming the principal of universality, indivisibility, interaction and interdependence of all human rights, and increasing citizen awareness of these inalienable rights of the human condition.

Obviously, this Protocol will not end our organisations’ struggle, but it represents a powerful tool for the achievement of global recognition of all human rights.

Therefore, we invite you to support the finalised initiatives and work towards urgent ratification by the countries.

Find here the Optional Protocol on ICESCR (english)