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International Covenants on Human Rights

 
Introduction | ICESCR : Article Summaries · Full Text | ICCPR : Article Summaries · Full Text

The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. "...in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can be achieved only if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights."

"...the International Bill of Human Rights represents a milestone in the history of human rights, a veritable Magna Carta marking mankind's arrival at a vitally important phase: the conscious acquisition of human dignity and worth."
 

--Fact Sheet No.2 (Rev.1), The International Bill of Human Rights,

Introduction | ICESCR: Article Summaries · Full Text | ICCPR: Article Summaries  Full Text

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


Unofficial Summary 


Article 1

All peoples have the right of self-determination, including the right to determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Article 2

Each State Party undertakes to take steps to the maximum of its available resources to achieve progressively the full realization of the rights in this treaty. Everyone is entitled to the same rights without discrimination of any kind.

Article 3

The States undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all rights in this treaty.

Article 4

Limitations may be placed on these rights only if compatible with the nature of these rights and solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society.

Article 5

No person, group or government has the right to destroy any of these rights.

Article 6

No person, group or government has the right to destroy any of these rights.

Article 7

Everyone has the right to just conditions of work; fair wages ensuring a decent living for himself and his family; equal pay for equal work; safe and healthy working conditions; equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted; rest and leisure.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to form and join trade unions, the right to strike.

Article 9

Everyone has the right to social security, including social insurance.

Article 10

Protection and assistance should be accorded to the family. Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of both spouses. Special protection should be provided to mothers. Special measures should be taken on behalf of children, without discrimination. Children and youth should be protected from economic exploitation. Their employment in dangerous or harmful work should be prohibited. There should be age limits below which child labor should be prohibited.

Article 11

Everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing. Everyone has the right to be free from hunger.

Article 12

Everyone has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Article 13

Everyone has the right to education. Primary education should be compulsory and free to all.

Article 14

Those States where compulsory, free primary education is not available to all should work out a plan to provide such education.

Article 15

Everyone has the right to take part in cultural life; enjoy the benefits of scientific progress.


Introduction | ICESCR: Article Summaries · Full Text | ICCPR: Article Summaries · Full Text

International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR)

Unofficial Summary


Article 1

All peoples have the right of self-determination, including the right to determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Article 2

Each State must respect and ensure to all people within its territory and jurisdiction all rights in this treaty without discrimination of any kind.

Article 3

The States undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all rights in this treaty.

Article 4

Derogation from State obligations is to be strictly limited.

Article 5

Derogation from State obligations is to be strictly limited.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to life.

Article 7

No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 8

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

Article 9

Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be arrested or detained arbitrarily.

Article 10

Everyone deprived of liberty shall be treated with respect.

Article 11

No one shall be imprisoned merely for failing to pay a debt.

Article 12

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and to leave and enter his own country.

Article 13

An alien lawfully in the territory of a State Party may be expelled only in accordance with law.

Article 14

Everyone is equal before the law. Everyone has the right to a fair trial. Everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one may be compelled to testify against himself.

Article 15

No one shall be held guilty of a criminal offense when the act did not constitute a criminal offense at the time it was committed.

Article 16

Everyone has the right to be recognized everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 17

Everyone has the right to privacy.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Article 20

Propaganda for war shall be prohibited. Hate speech that constitutes incitement to discrimination or violence shall be prohibited.

Article 21

Everyone has the right to peaceful assembly.

Article 22

Everyone has the right to freedom of association, including the right to join a trade union.

Article 23

All adults have the right to marry and found a family. Women and men have equal rights to marry, within marriage, and at its dissolution.

Article 24

Every child shall have protection as required by his status as a minor, without discrimination of any kind. Every child has the right to a nationality.

Article 25

Every citizen has the right to take part in public affairs and to vote.

Article 26

Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection of the law, without discrimination of any kind.

Article 27

Ethnic, religious, or linguistic minorities shall not be denied the right to enjoy their own culture.


For more information, please contact PDHRE:

The People's Movement for Human Rights Education (PDHRE) / NY Office
Shulamith Koenig / Executive Director
526 West 111th Street, New York, NY 10025, USA
tel: +1 212.749-3156; fax: +1 212.666-6325
e-mail: pdhre@igc.org