The central purposes of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights have many things in common as they work together to form the backbone of the International Bill of Rights. The two Covenants were created so that the general principals set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights could be inscribed in binding treaties. Nevertheless, an evaluation of both the form and various approaches in implementing their prospective concepts of human rights shows that some distinctions can be made between the two documents. Their particular qualities are perhaps why two separate Covenants were created.
[...] ICCPR In contrast to the “progressive” approach of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights requires States to immediately implement and comply with its provisions. States are under a legal and ethical obligation to take measures to abide by all of the rights of the ICCPR. Perhaps this is why the United States took reservations to so many of the provisions during its 1992 ratification process. These include Article 6's prohibition of the death penalty for those who commit crimes as juveniles and that the “self-executing” idea of the rights could not be guaranteed. [...]
[...] Similarities in Implementation What is perhaps most common implementation feature of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights is that their ideas and provisions must be adopted and executed by the member States. Each Covenant is only as influential as States allow them. In other words, their power is directly related to how much the parties follow their proposals. If States do not adhere to their principles, they will only have a minimal sort of influence. [...]
[...] Similarities in Content The similarities of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights can be found running throughout each document. Both the ICCPR and the ICESCR are identical in their opening. Article 1 states that all people have the right to self-determination and through that right they may freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Based upon an idea of mutual benefit, everyone has the ability to freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources and no one is to be deprived of subsistence. [...]
[...] Conclusion Together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, make up the encompassing “International Bill of Rights.” It seems clear that many States are reluctant to accept any sort of international supervision as it might then empower neutral institutions to evaluate and determine if they are complying with the obligations of the human rights covenants. However, member States still possess the ability to advocate the human rights and [...]
[...] However similar the central purposes of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights is to the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, it would be a mistake not to understand their differences. The ICCPR has the fundamental goal of promoting economic, social and cultural rights in order to work toward equality on the basis of race, sex, and social origin. It states that parties to the Covenant will work toward the rights set forth without engaging in any sort of discrimination. [...]
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