The optional protocol to the International covenant on economic, social and cultural rights: an ex ante assessment of its effectiveness in light of the drafting processThe optional protocol to the International covenant on economic, social and cultural rights: an ex ante assessment of its effectiveness in light of the drafting process
Faculty of Law
Law and Development
Human rights law review. - Oxford, 1994, currens
10(2010):2, p. 207-237
University of Antwerp
In this article it is submitted that the text of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as finally adopted on 10 December 2008, is to be seen as the outcome of a drafting process that was dominated by ideological prejudices rather than concerns with potential effectiveness. It goes without saying that political and ideological considerations always play a large part in negotiations of human rights instruments. However, the key question is whether this bargaining process has resulted in a potentially effective mechanism for addressing economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights violations, which takes into account the specificity of ESC rights, or rather an instrument which reflects the longstanding ideological prejudices against and scepticism towards ESC rights. Potential effectiveness is believed to have been jeopardised by weak wording, as a weak procedure is unlikely to be able to satisfactorily respond to violations of rights. At times an absolutist search for consensus seems to have been the driving force behind weakening the text.