（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:
1.All peoples have the right of self-determination.By virtue of that right they freelydetermine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and culturaldevelopment.
2.All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth andresources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economicco-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law.Inno case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.
3.The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibilityfor the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promotethe realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, inconformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
1.Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individuallyand through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic andtechnical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achievingprogressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant byall appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures.
2.The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that therights enunciated in the present Covenant will be exercised without discriminationof 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 nationaleconomy, may determine to what extent they would guarantee the economic rightsrecognized in the present Covenant to non-nationals.
The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right ofmen and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights setforth in the present Covenant.
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, in the enjoyment ofthose rights provided by the State in conformity with the present Covenant, theState 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 thepurpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society.
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 atthe destruction of any of the rights or freedoms recognized herein, or at theirlimitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the present Covenant.
2.No restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rightsrecognized or existing in any country in virtue of law, conventions, regulations orcustom shall be admitted on the pretext that the present Covenant does notrecognize such rights or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.
1.The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, whichincludes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which hefreely 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 fullrealization of this right shall include technical and vocational guidance and trainingprogrammes, policies and techniques to achieve steady economic, social andcultural development and full and productive employment under conditionssafeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual.
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to theenjoyment 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 ofany kind, in particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior tothose enjoyed by men, with equal pay for equal work;(ii)A decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with theprovisions of the present Covenant;
(b)Safe and healthy working conditions;
(c)Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his employment to anappropriate higher level, subject to no considerations other than those of seniorityand competence;(d)Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidayswith pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays
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 andprotection of his economic and social interests.No restrictions may be placed on theexercise of this right other than those prescribed by law and which are necessary ina democratic society in the interests of national security or public order or for theprotection of the rights and freedoms of others;
(b)The right of trade unions to establish national federations or confederations andthe 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 thanthose prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in theinterests of national security or public order or for the protection of the rights andfreedoms of others;
(d)The right to strike, provided that it is exercised in conformity with the laws of theparticular country.
2.This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exerciseof these rights by members of the armed forces or of the police or of theadministration of the State.
3.Nothing in this article shall authorize States Parties to the International LabourOrganisation Convention of 1948 concerning Freedom of Association and Protectionof the Right to Organize to take legislative measures which would prejudice, orapply the law in such a manner as would prejudice, the guarantees provided for inthat Convention.
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to socialsecurity, including social insurance.
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 itsestablishment and while it is responsible for the care and education of dependentchildren.Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of the intendingspouses.
2.Special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable periodbefore and after childbirth.During such period working mothers should be accordedpaid leave or leave with adequate social security benefits.
3.Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of allchildren and young persons without any discrimination for reasons of parentage orother conditions.Children and young persons should be protected from economicand social exploitation.Their employment in work harmful to their morals or healthor dangerous to life or likely to hamper their normal development should bepunishable by law.States should also set age limits below which the paidemployment of child labour should be prohibited and punishable by law.
1.The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to anadequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food,clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.TheStates Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right,recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operationbased on free consent.
2.The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right ofeveryone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through internationalco-operation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed:
(a)To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food bymaking full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledgeof the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems insuch a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of naturalresources;
(b)Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exportingcountries, to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation toneed.
1.The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to theenjoyment 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 achievethe full realization of this right shall include those necessary for:
(a)The provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality andfor 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 andother diseases;
(d)The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medicalattention in the event of sickness.
1.The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone toeducation.They agree that education shall be directed to the full development of thehuman personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect forhuman rights and fundamental freedoms.They further agree that education shallenable 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 toachieving 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 vocationalsecondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all byevery appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of freeeducation;
(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 offree education;
(d)Fundamental education shall be encouraged or intensified as far as possible forthose persons who have not received or completed the whole period of their primaryeducation;
(e)The development of a system of schools at all levels shall be actively pursued, anadequate fellowship system shall be established, and the material conditions ofteaching staff shall be continuously improved.
3.The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for theliberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to choose for their childrenschools, other than those established by the public authorities, which conform tosuch minimum educational standards as may be laid down or approved by the Stateand to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity withtheir own convictions.
4.No part of this article shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty ofindividuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subjectalways to the observance of the principles set forth in paragraph 1 of this article andto the requirement that the education given in such institutions shall conform tosuch minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.
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 itsjurisdiction compulsory primary education, free of charge, undertakes, within twoyears, to work out and adopt a detailed plan of action for the progressiveimplementation, within a reasonable number of years, to be fixed in the plan, of theprinciple of compulsory education free of charge for all.
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 fromany 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 achievethe 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 freedomindispensable for scientific research and creative activity.
4.The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the benefits to be derivedfrom the encouragement and development of international contacts andco-operation in the scientific and cultural fields.
1.The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to submit in conformitywith this part of the Covenant reports on the measures which they have adoptedand 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 inaccordance with the provisions of the present Covenant;
(b)The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall also transmit to thespecialized agencies copies of the reports, or any relevant parts therefrom, fromStates Parties to the present Covenant which are also members of these specializedagencies in so far as these reports, or parts therefrom, relate to any matters whichfall within the responsibilities of the said agencies in accordance with theirconstitutional instruments.
1.The States Parties to the present Covenant shall furnish their reports in stages, inaccordance with a programme to be established by the Economic and Social Councilwithin one year of the entry into force of the present Covenant after consultationwith the States Parties and the specialized agencies concerned.
2.Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of fulfilment ofobligations under the present Covenant.
3.Where relevant information has previously been furnished to the United Nationsor to any specialized agency by any State Party to the present Covenant, it will notbe necessary to reproduce that information, but a precise reference to theinformation so furnished will suffice.
Pursuant to its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations in the field ofhuman rights and fundamental freedoms, the Economic and Social Council maymake arrangements with the specialized agencies in respect of their reporting to iton the progress made in achieving the observance of the provisions of the presentCovenant falling within the scope of their activities.These reports may includeparticulars of decisions and recommendations on such implementation adopted bytheir competent organs.
The Economic and Social Council may transmit to the Commission on Human Rightsfor study and general recommendation or, as appropriate, for information thereports concerning human rights submitted by States in accordance with articles 16and 17, and those concerning human rights submitted by the specialized agencies inaccordance with article 18.
The States Parties to the present Covenant and the specialized agencies concernedmay submit comments to the Economic and Social Council on any generalrecommendation under article 19 or reference to such general recommendation inany report of the Commission on Human Rights or any documentation referred totherein.
The Economic and Social Council may submit from time to time to the GeneralAssembly reports with recommendations of a general nature and a summary of theinformation received from the States Parties to the present Covenant and thespecialized agencies on the measures taken and the progress made in achievinggeneral observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant.
The Economic and Social Council may bring to the attention of other organs of theUnited Nations, their subsidiary organs and specialized agencies concerned withfurnishing technical assistance any matters arising out of the reports referred to inthis part of the present Covenant which may assist such bodies in deciding, eachwithin its field of competence, on the advisability of international measures likely tocontribute to the effective progressive implementation of the present Covenant.
The States Parties to the present Covenant agree that international action for theachievement of the rights recognized in the present Covenant includes suchmethods as the conclusion of conventions, the adoption of recommendations, thefurnishing of technical assistance and the holding of regional meetings and technicalmeetings for the purpose of consultation and study organized in conjunction withthe Governments concerned.
Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the provisions ofthe Charter of the United Nations and of the constitutions of the specialized agencieswhich define the respective responsibilities of the various organs of the UnitedNations and of the specialized agencies in regard to the matters dealt with in thepresent Covenant.
Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent rightof all peoples to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources.
1.The present Covenant is open for signature by any State Member of the UnitedNations or member of any of its specialized agencies, by any State Party to theStatute of the International Court of Justice, and by any other State which has beeninvited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a party to thepresent Covenant.
2.The present Covenant is subject to ratification.Instruments of ratification shall bedeposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3.The present Covenant shall be open to accession by any State referred to inparagraph 1 of this article.
4.Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with theSecretary-General of the United Nations.
5.The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States which havesigned the present Covenant or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument ofratification or accession.
1.The present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of thedeposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the thirty-fifthinstrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
2.For each State ratifying the present Covenant or acceding to it after the depositof the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the presentCovenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its owninstrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all parts of federal Stateswithout any limitations or exceptions.
1.Any State Party to the present Covenant may propose an amendment and file itwith the Secretary-General of the United Nations.The Secretary-General shallthereupon communicate any proposed amendments to the States Parties to thepresent Covenant with a request that they notify him whether they favour aconference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon theproposals.In the event that at least one third of the States Parties favours such aconference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspicesof the United Nations.Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Partiespresent and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly ofthe United Nations for approval.
2.Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the GeneralAssembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the StatesParties to the present Covenant in accordance with their respective constitutionalprocesses.
3.When amendments come into force they shall be binding on those States Partieswhich have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisionsof the present Covenant and any earlier amendment which they have accepted.
Irrespective of the notifications made under article 26, paragraph 5, theSecretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to inparagraph 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 thedate of the entry into force of any amendments under article 29.
1.The present Covenant, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian andSpanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the UnitedNations.
2.The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of thepresent Covenant to all States referred to in article 26.
IN FAITH WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto by theirrespective Governments, have signed the present Covenant, opened for signatureat New York, on the nineteenth day of December, one thousand nine hundred andsixty-six.