Update: 04.06.2017

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

Adopted on 16 December 1966
Entry into force on 3 January 1976
Ratified by 162 States (as at 26 May 2014; current count)

For Switzerland:
RS 0.103.1 (RO 1993 727)
Ratified on 18 June 1992
Entry into force on 18 September 1992
Dispatch of 30 January 1991: BBl 1991 I 1189 (in German) / FF 1991 I 1129 (in French)

Official Text

Text: English / French / German / Italian



Optional protocol of 2008

Text: English / French

Switzerland has not yet signed the Optional Protocol to the International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 10 December 2008, which entered into force on 5 May 2013.

Reports by Switzerland


  • Federal administration:
    Mr. Christian Sieber, Tel 031 322 29 15, E-mail
  • Swiss NGOs, for subsequent publication of a «Black Book»:
    Christina Hausammann, humanrights.ch / MERS, Tel 031 302 01 61, E-mail

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.

Individual communication procedure

The Committee can consider individual complaints or communication, if a given State has ratified the Optional Protocol of 2008.

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.

© humanrights.ch / MERS - Hallerstr. 23 - CH-3012 Bern - Tel. +41 31 302 01 61