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International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) - Implementation in Switzerland

Approved by the Federal Assembly on 13 December 1991
Ratified on 18 June 1992
Entry into force on 18 September 1992 RS 0.103.1 (RO 1993 727)
Message on 30 January 1991: FF 1991 I 1189/1129/925

About the ICESCR 



Optional protocol

Switzerland has not yet signed the Optional Protocol to the International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 10 December 2008, which has not yet come into effect.

Reports by Switzerland


General information


Assigned to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by its States parties. The Committee meets in Geneva and normally holds two sessions per year, consisting of a three-week plenary and a one-week pre-sessional working group. The Committee publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, in the form of general comments on thematic issues.

No direct individual communication procedure yet

The Committee cannot consider individual complaints or communication, although a draft Optional Protocol to the Covenant is under consideration which could give the Committee competence in this regard. The Commission on Human Rights has established a working group to this end. However, it may be possible for another committee with competence to consider individual communications to consider issues related to economic, social and cultural rights in the context of its treaty.

Obligations by the States

All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented: states must report initially within two years of accepting the Covenant and thereafter every five years. Each report are examined by the Committee who addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”, published since 1989.

Update: 05.02.2014

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