8 May 2013
Entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR
On 5 May, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, allowing for individual complaints to be brought to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights entered into force. The entry into force took place more than four years after the adoption of the Protocol and three months after Uruguay became the required tenth country to ratify it, joining Argentina, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mongolia, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. The entry into force of the Protocol has been hailed for its potential to increase the justiciable character of economic, social and cultural rights and placing them on an equal footing with civil and political rights. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stated: “With the entry into force of the Optional Protocol, a jurisprudence will now be developed that will help define the scope of application of economic, social and cultural rights and outline adequate remedies for victims.” Of special interest will be the Committee’s future findings with regard to the extraterritorial applicability of the Covenant. Unlike many other human rights treaties, it does not contain a jurisdiction clause and the treaty places a strong emphasis on the role of international cooperation.
For some background on this topic, see here.
Source: OHCHR | News | Pillay welcomes major breakthrough enabling individual complaints on economic, social and cultural rights
Source: UNOG | News | Pillay hails new step in protection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights