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CHARTERS & TREATIES

The First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights regarding the submission of complaints by individuals

Adopted and offered for signature, ratification and accession under the General Assembly resolution
To the United Nations 2,200,000 (D-21) of December 16, 1966
Entry into force: 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 9

The States Parties to this Protocol,
Considering it appropriate, in order to enhance awareness of the purposes of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (hereinafter referred to as the “Covenant”) and to implement its provisions, to empower the Human Rights Committee established under the provisions of Part IV of the Covenant (hereinafter referred to as the “Committee”) Whoever performs in accordance with the provisions of this Protocol, the receipt and consideration of communications submitted by individuals who claim to be victims of any violation of any of the rights established in the Covenant,
Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

Each state party to the Covenant, which becomes a party to this Protocol, recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications submitted by individuals within the jurisdiction of that State party who claim to be victims of any violation by it of any of the rights established in the Covenant. The Committee may not receive any message relating to any State party to the Covenant that is not a party to this Protocol.

Article 2

Subject to the provisions of Article 1, individuals who claim that any of their rights in the Covenant have been violated and who have exhausted all available domestic remedies, may submit a written letter to the Committee for consideration.

Article 3

The committee must decide to reject any letter submitted under this protocol that is negligent to signature or which, in the opinion of the committee, involves an abuse of the right to submit messages or is contrary to the provisions of the Covenant.

Article 4

1. Subject to the provisions of Article 3, the Committee shall transmit any communication submitted to it under this Protocol to the State Party to this Protocol accused of violating any provision of the Covenant.
2. The aforementioned State shall, within six months, provide the committee with the explanations or written statements necessary to clear the matter, indicating, when necessary, any measures to lift the grievance that it may have taken.

Article 5

1. The Committee shall consider the communications received under this Protocol in light of all written information provided to it by the individual concerned and by the State Party concerned.
2. The committee may not consider any message from any individual without ensuring that:
(A) That the same matter is not actually being studied by another body of international investigation or international settlement,
(B) The individual concerned has exhausted all available local remedies. This rule does not apply in cases where the grievance procedure takes longer than reasonable limits.
3. The Committee considers the messages stipulated in this Protocol in closed meetings.
4. The committee sends the opinion it has reached to the State Party concerned and to the individual.

Article 6

The Committee shall include in the annual report it prepares pursuant to article 45 of the Covenant a summary of the work it has undertaken in the framework of this Protocol.

Article 7

Pending the fulfillment of the objectives of Resolution 1514 (XV), adopted by the General Assembly on December 14, 1960, regarding the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the provisions of this Protocol do not impose any restriction of any kind on the right to petition granted to these peoples in the United Nations Charter and in the Other international agreements and instruments concluded under the auspices of the United Nations and its specialized agencies.

Article 8

1. This Protocol is available for signature by any state that has signed the covenant.
2. This protocol is subject to ratification by any country that has ratified or acceded to the covenant. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. Accession to this Protocol is open to any country that has ratified or acceded to the Covenant.
4. Accession takes place by depositing an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
5. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all states that have signed or acceded to this Protocol of the deposit of each of the instruments of ratification or accession.

Article 9

1. Subject to the entry into force of the Covenant, this Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. As for the states that ratify or accede to this Protocol after the tenth instrument of ratification or accession has been deposited, this Protocol shall enter into force for each of them three months after the date of depositing his instrument of ratification or their instrument of accession.

Article 10

The provisions of this Protocol shall apply, without any limitation or exception, to the units that make up the Federal States.

Article 11

1. Any state party to this Protocol may propose an amendment and deposit it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Accordingly, the Secretary-General informs the States Parties to this Protocol of any proposed amendments, requesting them to inform him of whether they favor holding a conference of States Parties to consider these proposals and vote on them. If at least one third of the states parties favor holding the conference, it should be convened by the Secretary-General under the auspices of the United Nations, and any amendment adopted by the majority of the states parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly for approval.
2. Amendments shall enter into force when approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the states parties to this Protocol, in accordance with the constitutional procedures of each of them.
3. When the amendments enter into force, they become binding on the States Parties that have accepted them, while other States Parties remain bound by the provisions of this Protocol and any previous amendment that they have accepted.

Article 12

1. Any State Party may withdraw from this Protocol at any time by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The denunciation shall take effect three months after the date on which the Secretary-General receives the notification.
2. Withdrawal shall not prejudice the continued applicability of the provisions of this Protocol to any communication submitted under Article 2 prior to the effective date of the withdrawal.

Article 13

Notwithstanding the notifications made pursuant to paragraph 5 of Article 8 of this Protocol, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all the states referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Covenant of the following:
(A) Signatures, ratifications and accessions made pursuant to Article 8,
(B) The date of entry into force of this Protocol under Article 9, and the date on which any amendments made pursuant to Article 11 will enter into force,
(C) Notifications of withdrawal received pursuant to Article 12.

Article 14

1. This Protocol, of which the Spanish, English, Russian, Chinese and French texts are equally authentic shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall send certified copies of this Protocol to all the states referred to in Article 48 of the Covenant.

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