International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Introduction

For details, see: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cescr.htm

Objective

Achieve that: Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures.

Parties

Values & Claims

Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. (From Preamble)

Interactions1

  • Recognize & ensure several rights (Art. 6.1 - work, Art. 8 - labour relations, Art. 9 - social security, Art. 10 - family, mothers, children, Art. 11 - standard of living, free from hunger, Art. 12 - health, Art. 13 - Education, Art. 15 - Culture & Science
  • Steps that include technical and vocational guidance and training programmes, policies and techniques to achieve steady economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment under conditions safeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual. (Art. 6.2)
  • Enact special measures of protection for vulnerable groups. (Art. 10.2&3)
  • Take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed to improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food, and to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need (Art. 11.2).
  • Steps to achieve the full realization of the right to health (Art. 12.2), education (Art. 13.2, Art. 14)
  • States prepare and submit Progress Reports to the Secretary-General of the United Nations with the UN Economic and Social Council involving further specialized agencies for deliberation and assessment (Art. 16-23)
  • Covenant enactment, ratification and maintenance (Art. 26-31)

Compliance and Service Levels

Follow up via the progress reports submitted by the States party to the covenant.

Competent Courts

See the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of the constitutions of the specialized agencies (Art. 24, Interpretation).

Issues

More states should ratify this optional protocol to the human rights treaties2, which then could be seen as a restriction to the policy space of the ratifying states. However in Par. 7 of the summary there is a call for greater policy space?


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