Update: 20.05.2014

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

Of 16 December 1966 (Entry into Force: 23 March 1976)

Text of Treaty

German / French / Italian / English

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees the classic human rights and basic freedoms.

Ratification

168 contracting states (as at 20 May 2014; current count)

Content 

The rights guaranteed by the ICCPR include classic civil rights and liberties and minority rights.

Obligations of Contracting States

The contracting states of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are obliged to respect and guarantee the listed rights of all persons living in their political authority without discrimination. The contracting states must also create effective domestic legal protection possibilities. 

Monitoring Process

The compliance of states with the Covenant is monitored through a reporting system: In periodic intervals the contracting states must report to the Human Rights Committee about the progress of implementing measures aimed at realising the guaranteed rights named in the covenant. The Covenant provides for an optional Inter-State Complaint Process in which contracting states can recognize the authorisation of the Human Rights Committee to accept Inter-States Complaints. 

Reporting Process

Every contracting state must periodically report to the Committee about implemented measures, progress and difficulties (Article 40). The first report is due one year after the entry into force of the Covenant and all four years thereafter. The states have the right to comment on the comments of the committee.

General Comments

The Human Rights Committee began working out general comments based on the reports of the states. These General Comments are considered when interpreting the rights of the covenant. 

First Optional Protocol: Individual Complaint Process

Text: English / French / German

Currently, 115 contracting states have ratified the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 (as at 20 May 2014; current count). Any person living in their political authority has the right to submit an individual complaint to the Human Rights Committee (CCPR) based on a violation of a right listed in the covenant. 

Second Optional Protocol: Abolishment of the Death Penalty

Text: English / French / German / Italian

81 contracting states have ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1989 (as at 20 May 2014; current count). They are obliged to abolish the death penalty.

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