Pivotal Moment for the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR

From Monday 23 February to Friday 5 March 2004, governments and civil society representatives are meeting in Geneva to discuss future work on the development of an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).The meeting of this "Open-Ended Working Group" will report back to the Commission on Human Rights in its upcoming session (15 March to 23 April 2004), with recommendations for future actions on the development of the Optional Protocol, an individual complaint procedure to the ICESCR.

The meeting is a pivotal point in the campaign for the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR in determining whether governments move forward towards drafting - and ultimately adopting - the Optional Protocol. Four of the six international human rights treaties currently have Optional Protocols. An Optional Protocol to the ICESCR, similar to the one that has been in place for 25 years under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), is important for ensuring that full recognition is accorded to economic, social and cultural rights.

The NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol to the ICESCR is holding daily strategy sessions for NGOs attending the Open-Ended Working Group to share information and coordinate strategies. The Coalition has prepared an advocacy kit which can be accessed here. To receive regular updates from the Coalition’s listserv, subscribe here

To learn more about the Optional Protocol, please see the brochure, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Real Rights, Right Now, (39K PDF) which was prepared by the NGO Coalition, and is now available in English, Spanish and French.

Full text
Source: ESCR-Net

Daily NGO reports: What’s happening at the Open-Ended Working Group for the OP to ICESCR?

  • Day 1: Monday 23 February
  • Day 2: Tuesday 24 February
  • Day 3: Wednesday 25 February
  • Day 4: Thursday 26 February
  • Day 5: Friday 27 February
  • Day 6: Monday 1 March
  • Day 7: Tuesday 2 March
  • Day 8: Wednesday 3 March
  • Day 9: Thursday 4 March
  • Day 10: Friday 5 March

    NGO interventions and statements
  • Intervention by the Centre on Housing Rights & Evictions (COHRE) on the question of resources (26 February)
    This intervention concerns the question of how the UN Committee on ESC Rights might deal with an Optional Protocol complaint that requested a country to spend more financial resources on certain social benefits. Many States at the Working Group had asked how the Committee might deal with such a case.

  • Responses to the Nine Questions posed by the Chairperson at the Conclusion of the Monday 3pm-6pm Session
    Prepared by the Coalition for an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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