International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

Basic facts about the ICESCR
Stages of monitoring states’ obligation with the ICESCR

Guidance for NGO submissions on the ICESCR
Useful guides & links

Basic facts about the ICESCR

  • The ICESCR is monitored by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).
  • The CESCR was established under the ECOSOC Resolution 1985/17 of 28 May 1985
  • State reports are submitted to the CESCR every five years
  • Click here to read The Manual of Human Rights Monitoring: Monitoring Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • CESCR last monitored the UK’s implementation of the treaty in 2016.
  • The UK’s next reporting cycle is currently underway; the UK Government and stakeholders have submitted their reports, and the UN will adopt its List of Issues between the 6th-10th March 2023.

Stages of monitoring states’ obligations with the ICESCR

  • Phase 1:
    • Preparation of the state report at the national level
      • Broad consultation and input from civil society 
      • NGO submissions and reports
    • Pre-sessional preparation by the treaty bodies for the examination of the report
      • Adoption of a List of Issues (LOI) or a List of Issue Prior to Reporting (LOIPR)
      • pre-sessional working group of CESCR is public and open to NGO participation.
  • Phase 2:
    • Consideration of the report in a public meeting through a constructive dialogue with the state party
    • Issuing of concluding observations and recommendations
  • Phase 3:
    • Follow-up on implementation of the concluding observations
      • NGOs also play an important role in this process (pressure states into acting)
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Guidance for NGO submissions on the ICESCR

  • UN Information Note for civil society and national human rights institutions
  • Submission should be submitted in English, French or Spanish
  • Should be concise, not exceed 10 pages for individual and 15 pages for coalition submissions
  • Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference
  • Deadlines:
    • For the session: preferably 6 weeks and latest 3 weeks before the beginning of the session.
      • The UK state party’s report for Cycle 7 was submitted on 4th May 2022.
    • For the Pre-sessional working groups: preferably 10 weeks and latest 8 weeks before the beginning.
  • How submission should be made:
    • to the CESCR Secretariat electronically in word format to the following email address:

Useful guides & links

Cycle 7 (2022-2023)

Cycle 6 (2016)

Useful Guides