World Alliance for
|Public Health | International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights|
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The States Parties to the present Covenant,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his economic, social and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political rights,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,
Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant,
Agree upon the following articles:
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work which ensure, in particular:
Safe and healthy working conditions;
Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his employment to an appropriate higher level, subject to no
considerations other than those of seniority and competence;
Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays
Special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period before and after childbirth. During such period
working mothers should be accorded paid leave or leave with adequate social security benefits.
Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children and young persons without any discrimination for reasons of parentage or other conditions. Children and young persons should be protected from economic and social exploitation. Their employment in work harmful to their morals or health or dangerous to life or likely to hamper their normal development should be punishable by law. States should also set age limits below which the paid employment of child labour should be prohibited and punishable by law.
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family,
including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take
appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation
based on free consent. General comment on its implementation
The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed:
To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources;
Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries, to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of
physical and mental health.
The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for:
The provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child;
The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene;
The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases;
The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness.