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 the United Nations Economic and Social
Council (ECOSOC) in Part IV of the Covenant.
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”.
regard to individual complaints, on 10 December 2008, the General Assembly
unanimously adopted an Optional Protocol (GA
resolution A/RES/63/117) to the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights which provides the Committee competence to receive
and consider communications. The General Assembly took note of the adoption by
the Human Rights Council by its resolution 8/2 of 18 June 2008, of the Optional
Protocol . The Optional Protocol was opened for signature at a signing ceremony
in 2009. In addition to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights,
other committees with competence can consider individual communications
involving issues related to economic, social and cultural rights in the context
of its treaty.
Committee meets in Geneva and normally holds two sessions per
year, consisting of a three-week plenary and a one-week pre-sessional working
Committee also publishes its interpretation of the provisions of the Covenant,
known as general comments.