Economic, social and cultural rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, encompasses civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights. The declaration is not legally binding, but it serves as a common standard of achievement for all people and all nations.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted in 1966, expanded the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and, as a convention, it carries the force of international law. It stages all peoples' right to:
- disposal of their natural wealth and resources
- social security
- adequate standard of living
- participation in cultural life.
The monitoring body and optional protocol
The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, CESCR monitors implementation of the Convention by the State Parties.
In addition to the reporting procedure, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which entered into force on 5th May 2013, provides the Committee competence to receive and consider communications from individuals claiming that their rights under the Covenant have been violated.
The Commission on Human Rights established Special rapporteurs or independent experts to examine, monitor and report on economic, social and cultural rights worldwide. This mechanism of special rapporteurs is part of the Human Rights Council's Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.
More on UN and economic, social and cultural rights
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: In Swedish - In English.
- The documents from the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights carry the following symbols:
Economic and Social Council. Committee no 12 = Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Economic and Social Council. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Year 2002. Document no 11.
- At the website of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rightsthere are:
- background information
- optional protocols
- lists of signatures and ratifications
- reporting guidelines
- important documents and reports in fulltext via Treaty Body Database.
- The State Parties to the Convention submit periodic reports for consideration by the Committee. The Committee reports and comments are posted in Concluding observations. These reports and observations are available in fulltext in the Treaty Body Database.
- Documentation from the Special Rapporteurs can be accessed from the Human Rights Council website, Special Procedures assumed by the Human Rights Council.
Human Rights, conventions and declaration
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Swedish | in English
- Resolution 217 A (III) / (A/RES/217) adopted by the UN General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 during its 183rd plenary meeting.
- The Core International Human Rights Instruments and their monitoring bodies.
- Universal Human Rights Index - UHRI. Human rights recommendations from all parts of the UN system: the UN Treaty Monitoring Bodies, the Human Rights Council mechanisms Universal Periodic Review and Special Procedures. Each document links to other related information in the database.
- Charter-based Body Database. Documents and reports of the Human Rights Council, its predecessor and their subsidiaries and parent organs. Maintained by OHCHR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights).
- Treaty Body Database. Full text documents from the UN human rights treaty monitoring bodies.
- Yearbook on Human Rights 1946-1988
- OHCHR website for background information, documents and reports.
- Research guides by Dag Hammarskjöld Library:
Key UN documents
UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases
- United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
- UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
- ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
- Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
- UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
- Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
- a list of all documents
- a comprehensive subject index
- an index to speeches
- a voting chart of resolutions
- United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.