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INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS

INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS


The States Parties to the present Covenant,

Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the
Charter of the United Nations, 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,

Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human
person,

Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want
can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy
his economic, social and cultural rights, as well as his civil and
political rights,

Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United
Nations to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights
and freedoms,

Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to
the community to which he belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for
the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in the present
Covenant,

Agree upon the following articles:

                               PART I

Article 1. 1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue
of that right they freely determine their political status and freely
pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural
wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of
international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual
benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its
own means of subsistence.

3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having
responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust
Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of
self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the
provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.


                             PART II

Article 2. 1. 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.

2. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that
the rights enunciated in the present Covenant will be exercised without
discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or
other status.

3. Developing countries, with due regard to human rights and their national
economy, may determine to what extent they would guarantee the economic
rights recognized in the present Covenant to non-nationals.

Article 3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure
the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social
and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant.

Article 4. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, in
the enjoyment of those rights provided by the State in conformity with the
present Covenant, the State may subject such rights only to such
limitations as are determined by law only in so far as this may be
compatible with the nature of these rights and solely for the purpose of
promoting the general welfare in a democratic society.

Article 5. 1. Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as
implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity
or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights or
freedoms recognized herein, or at their limitation to a greater extent than
is provided for in the present Covenant.

2. No restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human
rights recognized or existing in any country in virtue of law, conventions,
regulations or custom shall be admitted on the pretext that the present
Covenant does not recognize such rights or that it recognizes them to a
lesser extent.

                                PART III

Article 6. 1. The States Parties to the present Covenant 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. The steps to be taken by a State Party to the present Covenant to
achieve the full realization of this right 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 to the present Covenant recognize the right
of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work,
which ensure, in particular:
 (a)  remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with:
      (i)   fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value
            without distinction of any kind, in particular women being
            guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by
            men, with equal pay for equal work;
      (ii)  a decent living for themselves and their families in accordance
            with the provisions of the present Covenant;
 (b)  safe and healthy working conditions;
 (c)  equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his employment to an
      appropriate higher level, subject to no considerations other than
      those of seniority and competence;
 (d)  rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic
      holidays with pay, as well as 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, subject only to the rules of the organization
      concerned, for the promotion and protection of his economic and
      social interests. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of
      this right other than those prescribed by law and which are necessary
      in a democratic society in the interests of national security or
      public order or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of
      others;
 (b)  the right of trade unions to establish national federations or
      confederations and the right of the latter to form or join
      international trade-union organizations;
 (c)  the right of trade unions to function freely subject to no
      limitations other than those prescribed by law and which are
      necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national
      security or public order or for the protection of the rights and 
      freedoms of others;
 (d)  the right to strike, provided that it is exercised in conformity with
      the laws of the particular country.

2. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on
the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces or of the
police or of the administration of the State.

3. Nothing in this article shall authorize States Parties to the
International Labour Organisation Convention of 1948 concerning Freedom of
Association and Protection of the Right to Organize' to take legislative
measures which would prejudice, or apply the law in such a manner as would
prejudice, the guarantees provided for in that Convention.

Article 9. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right
of everyone to social security, including social insurance.

Article 10. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that:

1. The widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the
family, which is the natural and fundamental group unit of society,
particularly for its establishment and while it is responsible for the care
and education of dependent children. Marriage must be entered into with the
free consent of the intending spouses.

2. Special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable
period before and after childbirth. During such period working mothers
should be accorded paid leave or leave with adequate social security
benefits.

3. Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf
of all children and young persons without any discrimination for reasons of
parentage or other conditions. Children and young persons should be
protected from economic and social exploitation. Their employment in work
harmful to their morals or health or dangerous to life or likely to hamper
their normal development should be punishable by law. States should also
set age limits below which the paid employment of child labour should be
prohibited and punishable by law.

Article 11. 1. The States Parties to the present Covenant 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 take
appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to
this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on
free consent. 

2. The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental
right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and
through international co-operation, the measures, including specific
programmes, which are needed:
 (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; 
 (b)  taking into account the problems of both food-importing and
      food-exporting countries, to ensure an equitable distribution of
      world food supplies in relation to need.

Article 12. 1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the
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 Parties to the present Covenant to
achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary
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. They agree that education shall be directed
to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its
dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms. They further agree that education shall enable all persons to
participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance
and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious
groups, and further the activities of the United Nations for the
maintenance of peace. 

2. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, with a view
to achieving the full realization of this right:
 (a)  primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all;
 (b)  secondary education in its different forms, including technical and
      vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and
      accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by
      the progressive introduction of free education;
 (c)  higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the
      basis of capacity by every appropriate means, and in particular by
      the progressive introduction of free education;
 (d)  fundamental education shall be encouraged or intensified as far as
      possible for those persons who have not received or completed the
      whole period of their primary education;
 (e)  the development of a system of schools at all levels shall be
      actively pursued, an adequate fellowship system shall be established,
      and the material conditions of teaching staff shall be continuously
      improved.

3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for
the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to choose for
their children schools, other than those established by the public
authorities, which conform to such minimum educational standards as may be
laid down or approved by the State and to ensure the religious and moral
education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.

4. No part of this article shall be construed so as to interfere with the
liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational
institutions, subject always to the observance of the principles set forth
in paragraph I of this article and to the requirement that the education
given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may
be laid down by the State.

Article 14. Each State Party to the present Covenant which, at the time of
becoming a Party, has not been able to secure in its metropolitan territory
or other territories under its jurisdiction compulsory primary education,
free of charge, undertakes, within two years, to work out and adopt a
detailed plan of action for the progressive implementation, within a
reasonable number of years, to be fixed in the plan, of the principle of
compulsory education free of charge for all.

Article 15. 1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the
right of everyone:
 (a)  to take part in cultural life;
 (b)  to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications;
 (c)  to benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests
      resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of
      which he is the author.

2. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to
achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary
for the conservation, the development and the diffusion of science and
culture.

3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to respect the
freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity.

4. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the benefits to be
derived from the encouragement and development of international contacts
and cooperation in the scientific and cultural fields.


                               PART IV

Article 16. 1. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to
submit in conformity with this part of the Covenant reports on the measures
which they have adopted and the progress made in achieving the observance
of the rights recognized herein.

2. (a) All reports shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations, who shall transmit copies to the Economic and Social
Council for consideration in accordance with the provisions of the present
Covenant.
 (b)  The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall also transmit to
      the specialized agencies copies of the reports, or any relevant parts
      therefrom, from States Parties to the present Covenant which are also
      members of these specialized agencies in so far as these reports, or
      parts therefrom, relate to any matters which fall within the
      responsibilities of the said agencies in accordance with their
      constitutional instruments.

Article 17. 1. The States Parties to the present Covenant shall furnish
their reports in stages, in accordance with a programme to be established
by the Economic and Social Council within one year of the entry into force
of the present Covenant after consultation with the States Parties and the
specialized agencies concerned.

2. Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of
fulfilment of obligations under the present Covenant.

3. Where relevant information has previously been furnished to the United
Nations or to any specialized agency by any State Party to the present
Covenant, it will not be necessary to reproduce that information, but a
precise reference to the information so furnished will suffice.

Article 18. Pursuant to its responsibilities under the Charter of the
United Nations in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the
Economic and Social Council may make arrangements with the specialized
agencies in respect of their reporting to it on the progress made in
achieving the observance of the provisions of the present Covenant falling
within the scope of their activities. These reports may include particulars
of decisions and recommendations on such implementation adopted by their
competent organs.

Article 19. The Economic and Social Council may transmit to the Commission
on Human Rights for study and general recommendation or as appropriate for
information the reports concerning human rights submitted by States in
accordance with articles 16 and 17, and those concerning human rights
submitted by the specialized agencies in accordance with article 18.

Article 20. The States Parties to the present Covenant and the specialized
agencies concerned may submit comments to the Economic and Social Council
on any general recommendation under article 19 or reference to such general
recommendation in any report of the Commission on Human Rights or any
documentation referred to therein.

Article 21. The Economic and Social Council may submit from time to time to
the General Assembly reports with recommendations of a general nature and a
summary of the information received from the States Parties to the present
Covenant and the specialized agencies on the measures taken and the progres
s made in achieving general observance of the rights recognized in the
present Covenant.

Article 22. The Economic and Social Council may bring to the attention of
other organs of the United Nations, their subsidiary organs and specialized
agencies concerned with furnishing technical assistance any matters arising
out of the reports referred to in this part of the present Covenant which
may assist such bodies in deciding, each within its field of competence, on
the advisability of international measures likely to contribute to the
effective progressive implementation of the present Covenant.

Article 23. The States Parties to the present Covenant agree that
international action for the achievement of the rights recognized in the
present Covenant includes such methods as the conclusion of conventions,
the adoption of recommendations, the furnishing of technical assistance and
the holding of regional meetings and technical meetings for the purpose of
consultation and study organized in conjunction with the Governments
concerned.

Article 24. Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as
impairing the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of the
constitutions of the specialized agencies which define the respective
responsibilities of the various organs of the United Nations and of the
specialized agencies in regard to the matters dealt with in the present
Covenant.

Article 25. Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as
impairing the inherent right of all peoples to enjoy and utilize fully and
freely their natural wealth and resources.

                              PART V

Article 26. 1. The present Covenant is open for signature by any State
Member of the United Nations or member of any of its specialized agencies,
by any State Party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice,
and by any other State which has been invited by the General Assembly of
the United Nations to become a party to the present Covenant.              

2. The present Covenant is subject to ratification. Instruments of
ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United 
Nations.

3. The present Covenant shall be open to accession by any State referred to
in paragraph I of this article.

4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

5. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States
which have signed the present Covenant or acceded to it of the deposit of
each instrument of ratification or accession.

Article 27. 1. The present Covenant shall enter into force three months
after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United
Nations of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of
accession.

2. For each State ratifying the present Covenant or acceding to it after
the deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of
accession, the present Covenant shall enter into force three months after
the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument
of accession.

Article 28. The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all
parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.

Article 29. 1. Any State Party to the present Covenant 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 Covenant with a request that they notify
him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of
considering and voting upon the proposals. 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 approval.

2. 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 Covenant in accordance with
their respective constitutional processes.

3. 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 Covenant and any earlier amendment which they
have accepted.

Article 30. Irrespective of the notifications made under article 26,
paragraph 5, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all
States referred to in paragraph I of the same article of the following
particulars:
 (a)  signatures, ratifications and accessions under article 26;
 (b)  the date of the entry into force of the present Covenant under
      article 27 and the date of the entry into force of any amendments
      under article 29.

Article 31. 1. The present Covenant, of which the Chinese, English, French,
Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the
archives of the United Nations.

2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified
copies of the present Covenant to all States referred to in article 26.

IN FAITH WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto by their
respective Governments, have signed the present Covenant, opened for
signature at New York, on the nineteenth day of December, one thousand nine
hundred and sixty-six.


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