Update: 11.11.2013

Committee on Economic and Social Rights

According to Article 16 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is assigned the task of monitoring the realisation of its rights. Nine years after the entry into force of the covenant ECOSOC created a Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) that is a recreation of other treaty monitoring bodies. It consists of 18 independent experts. The CESCR is, contrary to other treaty-based bodies, still under the authority of the ECOSOC. 

Sessions

The CESCR convenes in Geneva twice a year for three weeks respectively. Its task is to review the periodically handed in Country Reports. The report is due two years after entry into force of the covenant and all five years thereafter. 

General Comments

Based on the Country Reports the committee works out General Comments that specify the content and interpretation of the rights in the covenant. Until today (effective December 2010) the committee has released 21 such General Comments. 

Individual Complaint Process

On 10 December 2008 the Optional Protocol was adopted. It provides for an individual complaint process for the enforcement of the rights in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. To date 14 states have ratified the protocol and 45 states have signed it (as at 21 May 2014, current count). It It entered into force on 5 May 2013.

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