President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has today decided to ratify two key international treaties relevant to human rights: the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The President made his decision following consultations with his Cabinet of Ministers. Prior to ratifying these treaties, the President will seek approval for his decision from the Parliament.
The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights facilitates the ability of individuals and organizations to submit complaints regarding violations of the rights guaranteed to them by the main body of the treaty. The Cabinet expressed their unanimous agreement that ratifying this treaty will raise the Maldives’ profile as a country committed to human rights, and aligns with our key foreign policy priorities.
The Cabinet expressed similar sentiments with regard to the President’s intention to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance . The decision to ratify this treaty is indicative of the Maldives’ commitment to upholding human rights in the global arena and within our own borders.
The Optional Protocol to the International Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights was approved by the United Nations General Assembly on 10th December 2008. It was opened for signature by UNGA member states on 24th September 2009. The Maldives signed the Optional Protocol on the 21st of September 2011. However it has not yet been incorporated into domestic legislation through parliamentary approval and presidential ratification, as prescribed in the Constitution. Presently, of the 45 different states that have signed the Optional Protocol, 24 states have ratified it.
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances was adopted into international law by UNGA member states on 20th December 2006, in New York, USA. The treaty came into effect on 23rd December 2010. The Maldives signed this convention on 6th February 2007. However, as with the above mentioned Optional Protocol, it has not yet ratified the treaty. Of the 98 countries that have signed the treaty, 62 have ratified it thus far.