Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

11 December 2008

Access to justice for all rights becomes a reality

Access to justice for all rights becomes a reality
The international community marked the 60th anniversary of the UDHR by adopting a historic instrument that secures access to justice for everyone whose economic, social and cultural rights are violated and who is denied a remedy at the national level.

The UN General Assembly adopted, by consensus, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on Wednesday and corrected historic imbalances.

Amnesty International has been campaigning for this path-breaking instrument along with other members of the NGO Coalition for the last four years. Amnesty International believes that access to justice is an essential right of victims of all human rights violations.

The elaboration and adoption of the Optional Protocol is the culmination of five years of negotiations and the final agreed text is the result of co-operation, consensus and concession by all.

Amnesty International has commended the Chair of the Working Group and thanked the overwhelming majority of UN member states for their support for this instrument.

Many people around the world suffer violations of their rights, including rights to adequate housing, food, water and sanitation, health, education and decent work, but are denied the ability and power to hold those responsible to account. People living in poverty and other marginalised groups in particular face difficulties accessing justice.

Amnesty International has called on all states to ensure that this historic step towards the enforcement of economic, social and cultural rights is translated into reality for all those whose rights have been violated. Amnesty International is urging all states to become parties of the Optional Protocol when it opens for ratification in 2009 and to ensure that it comes into force as soon as possible.

Amnesty International is a member of the NGO Coalition for an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Read More

UN adopts key economic, social and cultural rights instrument (News, 19 November 2008)
International Coalition for an OP-ICESCR

Issue

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 
Trials And Legal Systems 
United Nations 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

30 January 2015

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe should use his position as the Chairperson of the African Union to address key human rights concerns in different parts of the... Read more »

01 February 2015

Tens of thousands of individuals born in the Dominican Republic, the vast majority of Haitian descent, will be put at risk of expulsion when the deadline to register for... Read more »

26 January 2015

Tucked in a dark corner of a secret detention centre in The Philippines was a mock-up of the multicolour wheel used in the "Wheel of Fortune". But rather than spinning for... Read more »

30 January 2015

The UK authorities must respond urgently to a statement today by a former Bush Administration staffer that interrogations of CIA detainees took place on the British... Read more »

30 January 2015

Last night’s royal decree offering pardons for Saudi Arabian prisoners convicted on “public rights” charges will only be a step in the right direction if the releases do not... Read more »