International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
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 .
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
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
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
(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
(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.
References and Further Reading
About the Author/s and Reviewer/s
Mentioned in these Entries
Charter of the United Nations, Conventions: Chronological Index 1951-1970, Development International Law – Part 8, Human Rights conventions, Human rights international conventions, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 2, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 3, International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Part 2, International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, International Law Encyclopedia 5, International human rights law7, International law index I, International law index, MPEPIL: Human rights, MPEPIL: International economic law and relations, MPEPIL: Public Law: I, MPEPIL: Specific treaties and instruments, Treaties, country.
Human Rights Conventions: CESCR – International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- A concise encyclopedia of the United Nations (including International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, H Volger, KA Annan -2010)
- The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations (TG Weiss – 2007)
- International Law: A Dictionary (including International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Boczek, Boleslaw Adam -2005)
Definition of International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
Within the context of international human rights, the following is a brief meaning of international covenant on economic, social, and cultural rights (icescr): Adopted 1966, and entered into force 1976. The ICESCR declares that all people have a broad range of economic, social, and cultural rights. One of the components of the International Bill of Human Rights.
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
In relation to the international law practice and economic, social, and cultural rights in this world legal Encyclopedia, please see the following section:
About this subject:
Water and Sanitation
Note: there is detailed information and resources under these topics during the year 2013, covered by this entry on economic, social, and cultural rights in this law Encyclopedia.
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
Embracing mainstream international law, this section on international covenant on economic, social, and cultural rights explores the context, history and effect of the area of the law covered here.
- The entry “economic, social, and cultural rights, international covenant on” in the Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (currently, the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 2009), Oxford University Press
- Human Rights