International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

The Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights is the counterpart to the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).The  Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 1966 and it is an international treaty and constitutes the second half of the legal transformation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into legal action. The ICESCR focuses on Economic, Social, and Cultural rights of all people.

Goal: to extend and legalize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from declaration to action.

Relevant Clauses:[i]

PART I

§  Article 1

1.    […] right of self-determination. […] freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

2.    2. All peoples may […]  freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources  […] In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

 

PART II

§  Article 3

1.    […] equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant.

PART III

§  Article 6

1.    The States Parties  […] recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right.

2.    […] a State  […]  shall 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.

§  Article 7

The States Parties […] recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work which ensure […] :

a)    Remuneration which provides all workers with:

                                              i.        Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value

                                             ii.        A decent living for themselves and their families

b)    Safe and healthy working conditions;

c)    Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted to an appropriate higher level

d)    Rest, leisure, limitation of work hours, periodic holidays with pay, and remuneration for public holidays

§  Article 8

1.    The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure:

a)    The right of everyone to form trade unions and join the trade union of his choice, […] No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right […]

b)    The right of trade unions to establish national federations or confederations and […] to form or join international trade-union organizations;

c)    The right of trade unions to function freely […]

d)    The right to strike […]

§  Article 9

[…] the right of everyone to social security, including social insurance.

§  Article 11

1.    The States Parties […] recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will […] ensure the realization of this right […]

2.    The States Parties […] recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall […]:

a)    To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources;

(a)  […] ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.

§  Article 12

1.     […]  right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

2.     The steps to be taken by the States  […]  for:

a)     The provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child;

b)    The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene;

c)    The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases;

d)    The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness.

§  Article 13

1.    The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education.

[i] Office for the high Comissioner for Human Rights. (1976, January 3). International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Retrieved August 22, 2013, from http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/cescr.pdf

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