Call for Action – Elections Committee on ESCR by ECOSOC

Call for Action on the Elections of the Members of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by ECOSOC

Published on ESCRnet.org, not dated.

… The Coalition of NGOs for an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Optional Protocol to the ICESCR), in the framework of its campaign JUSTICE NOW, RATIFY TO PROTECT ALL HUMAN RIGHTS, calls upon organizations present in ECOSOC’s member countries to influence their governments to vote only for independent and capable members to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Optional Protocol) was opened for signature on September 24, 2009. It has already been signed by 31 States and will enter into force after 10 of them complete the required legal procedures (ratification or accession) to be bound by the treaty. Once the Optional Protocol enters into force, it will allow women, children, migrants, Indigenous peoples and anyone whose economic, social and cultural rights have been violated to present a complaint before the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Committee), the United Nations body responsible for supervising State’s compliance with all the rights protected in the Covenant. In this respect, it is very important that the Committee enjoys the necessary capability and expertise to deal with such complaints and be able to issue professional and independent recommendations to the alleged violating States, for providing effective remedies to victims … //

… The Coalition calls on your organization to carry out the following recommended actions:

  • Target: Ministry of Foreign Affairs or other relevant Ministerial-level authority.
  • Key message: encourage your country to vote only for candidates who meet the criteria of independence and impartiality and who are experts in the field of economic, social and cultural rights. The requirement for a gender balance should also be taken into consideration.
  • Timing: Please take action as early as possible, bearing in mind that the election process will take place from 28 to 29 April 2010.

In addition, you could:

  • Provide information to the government on the current candidates, their background and experience in ESC rights, based on their resume, published in the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Website: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cescr/elections2010.htm
  • After your initial contact, request a meeting with high-level representatives of your government and/or regularly follow up with relevant contacts in the Ministerial administration to encourage the government to identify and vote for the candidates that fulfill these criteria.
  • Contact members of parliament and ask them to raise questions with the government about the voting process of the candidates.
  • Contact your national human rights institution to seek their support for putting pressure on the government for this process.
  • Finally, the Coalition encourages your organization to support the ratification campaign of the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR by influencing your government to sign the OP, and if it has done so, to ratify it as soon as possible.

Feedback: Your feedback is very important to us. Please get back to us to let us know:

  • If you have been able to take action and if so, what.
  • The response of your government.
  • About the intention of your Government to sign or ratify the OP.

For more information on the election process of the Committee and the list of candidates you may visit: … (full text).

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