Seminar: Stakeholders unpack state obligations under the ICESCR - 28 March 2014

On 28 March 2014, the Community Law Centre hosted a seminar on states’ obligations in relation to implementation and reporting under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and its Optional Protocol. Since the announcement in October 2012 that South Africa would ratify the ICESCR, which it signed on 3 October 1994, civil society has followed with interest the events that have unfolded. In this regard, the seminar had two main objective was to discuss the ICESCR and OP-ICESCR with stakeholders who would enrich the policy debates at parliamentary and political party levels and at the community level. In his opening remarks the director of the Community Law Centre, Prof Jaap de Visser, recalled how the civil society campaign to advocate for the ratification of the ICESCR was ‘born’ in response to government’s failure to do so, despite having signed it in 1994. The campaign engages in several activities, including holding strategy meetings and engaging with Parliament, government and state institutions (through letters and meetings). He highlighted the importance of state accountability, especially by office bearers.