Our Work: Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the CESCR Committee

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 was established under ECOSOC Resolution 1985/17 of 28 May 1985 to carry out the monitoring functions assigned to theUnited Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in Part IV of the Covenant. 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. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of "concluding observations". In addition to the reporting procedure, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which entered into force on 5th May 2013, provides the Committee competence to receive and consider communications from individuals claiming that their rights under the Covenant have been violated.

  • January 2016 The Right to Adequate Housing for Persons with Disabilities Living in Cities – Urban Women with Disabilities
    As established in international law and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, it is necessary to pay attention to the rights and needs of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are disproportionately represented in the poorest quintile of the population, and face additional challenges due to discriminatory laws and policies, environmental barriers, and lack of support services that would enable the enjoyment of the right to adequate housing on an equal basis with others. This study reviews the literature on the meaning and impact of the right to adequate housing for persons with disabilities in cities. It uses the foundational framework of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and demonstrates how the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides a new understanding of this complex right.

    The authors link the right to adequate housing not only to other international treaties, but also to the diverse groups of individuals who are persons with disabilities and the complexity of the identities involved. They outline major types of barriers that persons with disabilities encounter (physical inaccessibility, lack of access to transportation services, insecurity of tenure, among others), and identify trends in relation to policy and legal framework and national and sub-national solutions to the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities. The report takes a human rights-based approach to development of human settlements that offer equal opportunities to persons with disabilities. The report offers three case studies that highlight some good practices and topics worthy of further inquiry.
  • GENERAL COMMENTS accepted by the ESCR Committee enable the Committee to expand the review of country reports on specific themes. The impacts of General Comments as included in Country ESCR Reports/Reviews, can provide significant impact for gender issues and advocacy at the country level. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CESCR/Pages/Discussion2015.aspx Fair wages and safe and favorable conditions of work are women's rights, and yet challenges.

    General Discussion on the Draft General Comment on Article 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Right to just and favourable conditions of work Geneva, 16 June 2015, 3 - 6 p.m. Ground Floor Conference Room Palais Wilson

    On the occasion of its 56th session, to be held in Geneva from 1 to 19 June 2015, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will hold a half-day general discussion on the draft general comment on the right to just and favourable conditions of work (article 7 of the Covenant): Article 7 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:

    (a) Remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with:

    (i) Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind, in particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal pay for equal work;

    (ii) A decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with the provisions of the present Covenant;

    (b) Safe and healthy working conditions;

    (c) 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;

    d) Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays. Objective of the General Discussion The objective of the general discussion is to solicit input on the draft general comment by interested stakeholders, for consideration by the Committee. The purpose of the general comment is to provide authoritative guidance to State Parties on the measures to be adopted to ensure full compliance with the rights under this article.

  • Read Women Enabled International's Submission to the CESCR Committee for its general discussion on just and favourable conditions of work: Caregiving and Women with Disabilities (Get the PDF) (Get the Word docx file



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Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq.,

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Women Enabled International, Inc.
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