International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is an international human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966. It entered into force in 1976 and has been ratified by a significant number of countries. The ICESCR, along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, forms the International Bill of Human Rights.

The ICESCR recognises that individuals have certain economic, social, and cultural rights that are essential for their dignity and well-being. These rights are interrelated and indivisible, meaning that they are all equally important and must be addressed collectively. The covenant covers a wide range of rights, including:

Right to work: The ICESCR recognises the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain a living by freely chosen work, as well as the right to just and favourable conditions of work.

Right to social security: Individuals have the right to social security, including social insurance programs and assistance for those unable to support themselves.

Right to an adequate standard of living: The covenant recognises the right of individuals to an adequate standard of living, including access to food, clothing, and housing.

Right to health: The ICESCR recognises the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Right to education: Individuals have the right to education, which should be directed towards the full development of the human personality and the realisation of other rights.

Right to participate in cultural life: The covenant recognises the right of individuals to take part in cultural life, enjoy the benefits of scientific progress, and benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from scientific, literary, or artistic productions.

States that have ratified the ICESCR are legally bound to take steps, to the maximum of their available resources, to progressively realise these economic, social, and cultural rights. This includes adopting legislative, administrative, and other measures to promote and protect these rights. States are also required to report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on their progress in implementing the covenant.

The ICESCR has played a significant role in advancing the recognition and protection of economic, social, and cultural rights at the international level. It provides a framework for states to address issues such as poverty, healthcare, education, housing, and labor rights. The covenant emphasises the importance of social justice, equality, and the well-being of individuals in building a just and equitable society.
Back to blog
UOL Case Bank

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.