15 September 2011
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité? Then why is President Sarkozy not signing up for equal rights for all?

Imagine your home is demolished without warning and your government does nothing to protect you or to ensure that you have housing. Your child is provided with poor education, and you cannot do anything about it. 

Picture being denied medical care because you cannot pay the bill, or that a company has polluted your water supply and made it unsafe to drink, but there’s nothing you can do.

For too many people, the rights to adequate housing, food, water, sanitation, health, work and education are denied on a daily basis and have no real opportunity to hold governments accountable. 

According to President Sarkozy, G20 countries live in a new world, « which needs new ideas ». Yet, in spite of his aspiration to lead the world in promoting social protection, the French government has failed to lead on securing economic, social and cultural rights for all.

Amnesty International belongs to a global NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) which is calling on all governments worldwide to ratify the Protocol. The Optional Protocol creates a new international mechanism that will enable people whose rights have been denied – and do not have a remedy in their own country – to seek justice through the UN. 

As France hold the Presidency of the G20, the NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol calls on President Sarkozy to seize this opportunity and show leadership in promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights for all, especially those living in poverty. We urge France to become party to the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR.  

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SIGN THE PETITION to the French President urging France to become party to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Dear President Sarkozy,

I urge you, as Chair of the G20, to ensure that victims of all human rights abuses in France are provided with access to effective remedies by becoming party to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The G20 summit in November in Cannes is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to the entire international community that France is committed to empowering people living in poverty by promoting human rights as a key tool to ensure social protection for all, by ensuring that all people, particularly those living in poverty, can access justice and hold governments accountable when their rights are denied. By doing this, France’s pledge will also strengthen the legal recognition and implementation of economic, social and cultural rights in France and around the world.

Yours sincerely,


Justice now! Ratify to protect all human rights

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