International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) (external link) was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966.

New Zealand ratified the ICESCR on 28 December 1978.

New Zealand has made and still maintains the following reservation to the ICESCR:
The Government of New Zealand reserves the right not [to] apply article 8 to the extent that existing legislative measures, enacted to ensure effective trade union representation and encourage orderly industrial relations, may not be fully compatible with that article.

On 5 September 2003, the Government of New Zealand withdrew the following reservation:
The Government of New Zealand reserves the right to postpone, in the economic circumstances foreseeable at the present time, the implementation of article 10 (2) as it relates to paid maternity leave or leave with adequate social security benefits.

Optional protocols

The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights was adopted by General Assembly resolution A/RES/63/117 on 10 December 2008. New Zealand has not ratified this Optional Protocol.

Monitoring

The ICESCR provides for:

  • a reporting procedure.

The Optional Protocol to the ICESCR provides for:

  • an individual complaints procedure
  • an optional inter-state complaints procedure (Article 10), and
  • an optional inquiry procedure (Article 11).

Responsibility

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for administering the ICESCR.

Read the latest reports relating to New Zealand, produced under the reporting procedure provided for by the International Covenant on Economic,  Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). You can also read reports from previous years (external link) .

Reporting procedure for the core human rights instruments of the United Nations

New Zealand's common core document: 'Human Rights Review 2010' [PDF, 4.7 MB]

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