OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND
The States Parties to the Present Protocol,
Considering that in order further to achieve the purposes of
the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (hereinafter referred
to as the Covenant) and the implementation of its provisions it
would be appropriate to enable the Human Rights Committee set
up in part IV of the Covenant (hereinafter referred to as the
Committee) to receive and consider, as provided in the present
Protocol, communications from individuals claiming to be victims
of violations of any of the rights set forth in the Covenant,
Have agreed as follows:
A State Party to the Covenant that becomes a party to the present
Protocol recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and
consider communications from individuals subject to its jurisdiction
who claim to be victims of a violation by that State Party of any
of the rights set forth in the Covenant. No communication shall
be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party to the
Covenant which is not a party to the present Protocol.
Subject to the provisions of article
1, individuals who claim that any of their rights enumerated
in the Covenant have been violated and who have exhausted all available
domestic remedies may submit a written communication to the Committee
The Committee shall consider inadmissible any communication
under the present Protocol which is anonymous, or which it considers
to be an abuse of the rights of submission of such communications
or to be incompatible with the provisions of the Covenant.
- Subject to the provisions of article
3, the Committee shall bring any communications submitted to
it under the present Protocol to the attention of the State
Party to the present Protocol alleged to be violating any provisions
of the Covenant.
- Within six months, the receiving State
shall submit to the Committee written explanations or statements
clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have
been taken by that State.
- The Committee shall consider communications
received under the present Protocol in the light of all written
information made available to it by the individual and by the
State Party concerned.
- The Committee shall not consider any
communication from an individual unless it has ascertained that:
- The same matter is not being
examined under another procedure of international investigation
- The individual has exhausted
all available domestic remedies. This shall not be the rule
where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged.
- The Committee shall hold closed meetings
when examining communications under the present Protocol.
- The Committee shall forward its views
to the State Party concerned and to the individual.
The Committee shall include in its annual report under
article 45 of the Covenant a summary of its activities under
the present Protocol.
Pending the achievement of the objectives of resolution 1514
(XV) adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 14
December 1960 concerning the Declaration on the Granting of Independence
to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the provisions of the present
Protocol shall in no way limit the right of petition granted to
these peoples by the Charter of the United Nations and other international
conventions and instruments under the United Nations and its specialized
- The present Protocol is open for signature
by any State which has signed the Covenant.
- The present Protocol is subject to
ratification by any State which has ratified or acceded to the
Covenant. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with
the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
- The present Protocol shall be open
to accession by any State which has ratified or acceded to the
- Accession shall be effected by the
deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General
of the United Nations.
- The Secretary-General of the United
Nations shall inform all States which have signed the present
Protocol or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument
of ratification or accession.
- Subject to the entry into force of
the Covenant, the present Protocol shall enter into force three
months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General
of the United Nations of the tenth instrument of ratification
or instrument of accession.
- For each State ratifying the present
Protocol or acceding to it after the deposit of the tenth instrument
of ratification or instrument of accession, the present Protocol
shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit
of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
The provisions of the present Protocol shall extend to all
parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.
- Any State Party to the present Protocol
may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General
of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon
communicate any proposed amendments to the States Parties to
the present Protocol with a request that they notify him whether
they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of
considering and voting upon the proposal. In the event that
at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference,
the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the
auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority
of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall
be submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for
- Amendments shall come into force
when they have been approved by the General Assembly of the
United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the
States Parties to the present Protocol in accordance with their
respective constitutional processes.
- When amendments come into force,
they shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted
them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions
of the present Protocol and any earlier amendment which they
- Any State Party may denounce the
present Protocol at any time by written notification addressed
to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation
shall take effect three months after the date of receipt of
the notification by the Secretary-General.
- Denunciation shall be without prejudice
to the continued application of the provisions of the present
Protocol to any communication submitted under article 2 before the effective date of denunciation.
Irrespective of the notifications made under article
8, paragraph 5, of the present Protocol, the Secretary-General
of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to in article
48, paragraph 1, of the Covenant of the following particulars:
- Signatures, ratifications and accessions under article
- The date of the entry into force of the present Protocol under
article 9 and the date of the entry
into force of any amendments under article 11;
- Denunciations under article 12.
- The present Protocol, of which the
Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally
authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United
- The Secretary-General of the United
Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Protocol
to all States referred to in article 48 of the Covenant.