GENEVA (16 March 2021) — The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has published its findings on Finland and Latvia, the two countries it examined during its session held virtually from 15 February to 5 March 2021.
The findings contain positive aspects of how the respective States are implementing the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, highlight matters of concern and make recommendations.
During the dialogues, the Committee also asked the two States about measures taken to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, with respect to issues such as unemployment, poverty, access to healthcare and education. They also asked what steps had been introduced to protect people in the most vulnerable situations who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
The Committee urged States to facilitate universal and equitable access to COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccination including by supporting proposals for a temporary waiver for some intellectual property rights for vaccines.
Besides reviewing the above-mentioned countries, the Committee held a preparatory session for a future review of Brazil, Cambodia, China (including Hong Kong and Macao), Lithuania, Panama and Portugal.
The Committee will next meet from 27 September to 15 October 2021. The States due to be reviewed then will be announced shortly.
The findings on Finland and Latvia, officially known as concluding observations, can be found here. The Committee's new statement on universal affordable COVID-19 vaccination, international cooperation and intellectual property is also available online.
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The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights monitors States parties' adherence to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which to date has 171 States partiesand the Optional Protocol which has 26 States parties. The Committee is made up of 18 members who are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties.
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