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
  • At the moment it is in the period of follow-up activity

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)
Image taken from here.

Guidance for NGO submissions on the ICESCR

  • 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.
      • UK state party’s report due date for cycle 7 is the 30/06/2021
    • 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: cescr@ohchr.org

Useful guides & links

UK’s most recent state report:
Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland adopted by the CESCR at its fifty-eighth session (June 2016).
Information Note for civil society and national human rights institutions on the CESCR (by the OHCHR).
Simple guide to the UN treaty Bodies.
A handbook for civil society by the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights.