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Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to hold fifty-eighth session from 6 to 24 June 2016

BACKGROUND RELEASE
 
Experts to Review Reports of France, Sweden, Honduras, Burkina Faso, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Angola and the United Kingdom  
 
GENEVA (2 June 2016) - The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will meet at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 6 to 24 June 2016 to examine measures taken by France, Sweden, Honduras, Burkina Faso, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Angola and the United Kingdom to comply with the standards of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

At the opening of the session, on Monday, 6 June, the Committee will hear an address from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights or his representative.  The Committee will adopt its agenda and discuss organizational matters and its methods of work, after which it will hold a meeting with non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions from countries whose reports will be reviewed during the session.  In the afternoon on 6 June, the Committee will begin with the review of the report of France.
 
During the session, on 23 June in the afternoon, the Committee will hold a joint meeting with the Human Rights Committee, in the context of the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights.  More information on the year-long campaign entitled “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always" is available at the following link:www.ohchr.org/2covenants
   
The country reports and other session documents before the Committee are accessible on the webpage of the session.   At the end of the session, the concluding observations of the Committee on each State party will also be accessible on this website.
 
France is presenting its fourth periodic report (E/C.12/FRA/4), and the Committee’s concluding observations on France’s third periodic report, considered in April 2008, can be read here: E/C.12/FRA/CO/3.
 
Sweden’s sixth periodic report (E/C.12/SWE/6) will be considered. The concluding observations on its fifth periodic report, which was presented in November 2008, are available here: E/C.12/SWE/CO/5.
 
Honduras is presenting its second periodic report (E/C.12/HND/2), while the Committee’s concluding observations on its initial report, which was considered in April 2001, can be found in this document: E/C.12/1/Add.57.
 
Burkina Faso is presenting its initial report to the Committee (E/C.12/BFA/1).
 
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is presenting its combined second to fourth periodic report (E/C.12/MKD/2-4), and the concluding observations by the Committee on the State party’s initial report, considered in November 2006, are available here: E/C.12/MKD/CO/1.
 
Angola is presenting its combined fourth to fifth periodic report (E/C.12/AGO/4-5).  The Committee’s concluding observations on its initial to third periodic report, presented in November 2008, can be read in this document:  E/C.12/AGO/CO/3.
 
The United Kingdom is presenting its sixth periodic report (E/C.12/GBR/6), while the concluding observations on its fifth periodic report, which was considered in May 2009, can be found here: E/C.12/GBR/CO/5.
 
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was adopted and opened  for signature, ratification and accession by the General Assembly in 1966.  It entered into force on 3 January 1976. 

The right to self-determination is universal, affirms Article 1 of the Covenant, also calling upon States to respect and to promote the realization of this right.  Article 2 states that States Parties should undertake to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.  Article 3 reaffirms the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all human rights and asks States to make that principle a reality.  Articles 4 and 5 provide safeguards against the destruction or undue limitation of any human right or fundamental freedom, and against misinterpretation of any provision of the Covenant as a means of justifying infringement of a right or freedom or its restriction to a greater extent than provided in the Covenant. They also prevent States from limiting rights already enjoyed within their territories on the grounds that such rights are not recognized, or recognized to a lesser extent, in the Covenant.

Articles 6 to 15 recognize the right to work; to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work; to form and join trade unions; to social security, including social insurance; to the widest possible protection and assistance for the family, mothers, children and younger persons; to an adequate standard of living; to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; to an education and to take part in cultural life.

The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is an international treaty establishing complaint and inquiry mechanisms.  It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 2008, and opened for signature on 24 September 2009.  The Optional Protocol entered into force on 5 May 2013 and has 45 signatories and 21 Parties, having been ratified by Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cabo Verde, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Gabon, Italy, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Montenegro, Niger, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain and Uruguay.

States Parties to the Covenant


The Covenant has been ratified or acceded to by 164 States: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, State of Palestine, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The Committee is composed of the following 18 Experts: Aslan Khuseinovich Abashidze (Russian Federation); Mohamed Ezzeldin Adel-Moneim (Egypt); Clement Atangana (Cameroon); Maria-Virginia Bras Gomes (Portugal); Shiqiu Chen (China); Chandrashekhar Dasgupta (India); Olivier de Schutter (Belgium); Zdzislaw Kedzia (Poland); Azzouz Kerdoun (Algeria); Mikel Mancisidor de la Fuente (Spain); Sergei Martynov (Belarus); Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay (Mauritius); Lydia Ravenberg (Suriname); Renato Zerbini Ribeiro Leao (Brazil); Waleed Sadi (Jordan); Nikolaas Jan Schrijver (Netherlands); Heisoo Shin (Republic of Korea); and Rodrigo Uprimny (Colombia).

Mr. Sadi is the Chairperson; the Vice-Chairpersons are Mr. Abashidze, Mr. Mancisidor de la Fuente and Mr. Ribeiro Leao.  Mr. Pillay is Rapporteur of the Committee. 
 
Programme of Work – Public Sessions
 
Monday, 6 June

10 a.m.         Opening of session, adoption of the agenda, submission of  Reports, organization of work, meeting with partners
  3 p.m.         Report of France (E/C.12/FRA/4)

Tuesday, 7 June

10 a.m.         Report of France (continued)
 3 p.m.          Report of Sweden (E/C.12/SWE/6)

Wednesday, 8 June
 
10 a.m.         Report of Sweden (continued)
 3 p.m.          Report of Honduras (E/C.12/HND/2)
 
Thursday, 9 June

10 a.m.         Report of Honduras (continued)
 3 p.m.          Report of Burkina Faso (E/C.12/BFA/1)

Friday, 10 June
 
10 a.m.         Report of Burkina Faso (continued)
 3 p.m.          Report of Burkina Faso (continued)

Monday, 13 June

10 a.m.         Meeting with partners
 3 p.m.          Report of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (E/C.12/MKD/2-4)

Tuesday, 14 June

10 a.m.         Report of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (continued)
 3 p.m.          Report of Angola (E/C.12/AGO/4-5)

Wednesday, 15 June

10 a.m.         Report of Angola (continued)
 3 p.m.          Report of the United Kingdom (E/C.12/GBR/6)
 
Thursday, 16 June
 
10 a.m.         Report of the United Kingdom (continued)
   
Thursday, 23 June

10 a.m.         Closed
3 p.m.         Joint meeting with Human Rights Committee on the fiftieth anniversary of the two International Covenants
 
Friday, 24 June

4 p.m.           Public closing of the session 
 
 
For media requests, please contact: Cecile Pouilly + 41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org
         
More on the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights:
http://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/cescr/pages/cescrindex.aspx

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