Human Rights NGO, MARUAH calls upon government to ratify international treaties on Human Rights Day

Local Human Rights Non-Government Organisation (NGO), MARUAH issued a statement today to call for the Singapore government to ratify two international treaties from the United Nations, in light of the Human Rights Day which falls on 10 December.

The Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, with 48 states in favor and eight abstentions, it was proclaimed as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”, towards which individuals and societies should “strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance”.

On this Human Rights Day, we call on our Singapore government to ratify both the ICCPR and ICESCR. – MARUAH

The NGO notes the Singapore government has not ratified the 2 core international human rights instruments, The International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) even after fifty years since the adoption of the two international treaties and independence of the country.

“Singapore still has much to do to build political institutions, judicial systems, and economies that allow ordinary people to live with dignity.” wrote MARUAH in its statement.

The NGO also highlighted that the growth of hate speech against religious and racial minorities, the justification of rights violations in the name of combating terrorism, the clawing back of economic and social rights in the name of economic crises or security, and the failure to respect the right to privacy in the digital age, show the relevance of the two international treaties and the need to respect them.

MARUAH has said that it will be sending the statement to relevant government agencies to call for the two international treaties to be ratified.


The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966, and in force from 23 March 1976. It commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966, and in force from 3 January 1976. It commits its parties to work toward the granting of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) to the Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories and individuals, including labour rights and the right to health, the right to education, and the right to an adequate standard of living.