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

24 September 2009

Governments sign up to defend economic, social and cultural rights

Governments sign up to defend economic, social and cultural rights
Twenty states began signing an international agreement to address violations of economic, social and cultural rights at the United Nations in New York on Thursday. For the first time, the Optional Protocol on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights establishes a mechanism to access justice at an international level for people whose rights are violated.


Many people around the world, particularly those living in poverty and discriminated against, suffer violations of their rights and are denied justice at the national level. The Optional Protocol will enable them to seek justice at the international level and will also support efforts within countries to ensure that effective remedies are available to victims.

"Justice for people whose economic, social and cultural rights are violated, took a decisive step forward today," said Muthoni Wanyeki of the Kenyan Human Rights Commission. Muthoni Wanyeki – representing a coalition of over 300 NGOs, including Amnesty International, campaigning for the Optional Protocol – is taking part in the Treaty Event for Heads of State at UN Headquarters in New York.

“The Coalition welcomes this significant beginning towards universal support for this historic mechanism. 33794 individuals and NGOs from 111 countries have signed a global petition calling on all States who are eligible to do so to become a party to the Optional Protocol through ratification.”

The following States have signed the Optional Protocol: Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Ecuador, Finland, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Luxembourg, Mali, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Portugal, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

Read More

Access to justice for all rights becomes a reality (News, 11 December 2009)
UN adopts key economic, social and cultural rights instrument (News, 19 November 2008)

Issue

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 

Campaigns

Demand Dignity 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

11 July 2014

Refugees in Nairobi are appealing against a controversial ruling that would force thousands of Somalis from their homes to live in squalid overcrowded camps in north Kenya.

Read more »
19 June 2014

Chile’s commitment to decriminalize abortion in cases where the pregnancy was the result of rape, the woman’s life is in danger and when the foetus is not viable is a positive... Read more »

10 July 2014

The sentencing of five media workers in Myanmar each to 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for “disclosing state secrets” makes today a dark day for freedom of expression... Read more »

11 July 2014

Amnesty International has gathered graphic and compelling evidence of savage beatings and other torture meted out against activists, protesters and journalists in eastern... Read more »

08 July 2014

Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, including the military wing of Hamas, to ensure that civilian lives are... Read more »