The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(1966), together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(1966), make up the International Bill of Human Rights. In accordance
with the Universal Declaration, the Covenants “recognize that ...
the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom
and freedom from fear and want can be achieved only if conditions
are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights,
as well as his economic, social and cultural rights.”
All peoples have the right of self-determination,
including the right to determine their political status and freely
pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Each State Party undertakes to take steps
to the maximum of its available resources to achieve progressively
the full realization of the rights in this treaty. Everyone is entitled
to the same rights without discrimination of any kind.
The States undertake to ensure the equal right
of men and women to the enjoyment of all rights in this treaty.
Limitations may be placed on these rights
only if compatible with the nature of these rights and solely for
the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society.
No person, group or government has the right
to destroy any of these rights.
Everyone has the right to work, including
the right to gain one's living at work that is freely chosen and
Everyone has the right to just conditions
of work; fair wages ensuring a decent living for himself and his
family; equal pay for equal work; safe and healthy working conditions;
equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted; rest and leisure.
Everyone has the right to form and join trade
unions, the right to strike.
Everyone has the right to social security,
including social insurance.
Protection and assistance should be accorded
to the family. Marriage must be entered into with the free consent
of both spouses. Special protection should be provided to mothers.
Special measures should be taken on behalf of children, without
discrimination. Children and youth should be protected from economic
exploitation. Their employment in dangerous or harmful work should
be prohibited. There should be age limits below which child labor
should be prohibited.
Everyone has the right to an adequate standard
of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing
and housing. Everyone has the right to be free from hunger.
Everyone has the right to the enjoyment of
the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
Everyone has the right to education. Primary
education should be compulsory and free to all.
Those States where compulsory, free primary
education is not available to all should work out a plan to provide
Everyone has the right to take part in cultural
life; enjoy the benefits of scientific progress.
Source: Based on UN Centre on Human Rights,
The International Bill of Rights, Fact Sheet #2.