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International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: position statement

This position statement sets out the action we've taken in devolved areas to implement the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).


Footnotes

1. In response to the UK periodic report, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights presented a List of Issues in November 2015: Treaty bodies Download (ohchr.org). In March 2016 the Scottish Government published a standalone position statement responding to the List of Issues in respect of devolved matters in Scotland: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: position statement - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

2. The Scottish Government produced a standalone position statement in March 2016 on the List of Issues published in November 2015 by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: International+Covenant+on+Economic%2C+Social+and+Cultural+Rights.pdf (www.gov.scot)

3. The First Optional Protocol means the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, the Second Optional Protocol means the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

4. Further information on the National Care Service Principles can be found via the link to the National Care Service Bill in paragraph 34: Stage 1 | Scottish Parliament Website.

5. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) Para 13: "The Committee urges the State party to ensure that the Covenant is given full legal effect in its domestic law, that the Covenant rights are made justiciable, and that effective remedies are available for victims of all violations of economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee reiterates its recommendation that, irrespective of the system through which international law is incorporated in the domestic legal order (monism or dualism), following ratification of an international instrument, the State party is under a legal obligation to comply with such an instrument and to give it full effect in its domestic legal order. In this respect, the Committee again draws the attention of the State party to its general comment no. 9 (1998) on the domestic application of the Covenant."

6. The First Optional Protocol means the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. The Second Optional Protocol means the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. There are some words or parts of these protocols which the Bill does not incorporate because they relate to reserved matters.

7. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) Para 12: "Bearing in mind that it is that State party which is responsible for the implementation of the Covenant in all its territories, the Committee urges the State party to ensure the equal enjoyment of the economic, social and cultural rights by all individuals and groups of individuals under its jurisdiction, and recommends that the State party adopt a national strategy for the implementation of the Covenant throughout the State party's territories."

8. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) Para 10: "C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Covenant"

9. For instance, the Scottish Parliament passed motions in [2017] and [2014] expressing support for the Human Rights Act and calling on the UK Government to avoid actions that weaken international human rights.

10. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) Para 16: "The Committee recommends that the State party take remedial steps to enforce existing legal prohibitions of discrimination and to enact, without delay, a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, guaranteeing protection against discrimination in the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, as stipulated in article 2, paragraph 2, of the Covenant. It also recommends that the State party consider making such comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation applicable to Northern Ireland."

11. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) General comment No. 20: "The Committee, while acknowledging the rate of employment in the State party, is yet concerned about the substantial number of persons unemployed, in particular the most disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups."

12. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) Para 27: "The Committee encourages the State party to ensure that asylum-seekers are not restricted in their access to the labour market while their claims for asylum are being processed. It also recommends that the State party review section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 on support and provision regulating essential services to rejected asylum-seekers, and undocumented migrants, including the availability of HIV/AIDS treatment, when necessary."

13. The Motherhood Penalty can be described as the systematic disadvantages that women encounter in their careers once becoming a mother.

14. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) Para 20: "The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its measures to reduce the substantial number of unemployed persons and to counteract the impact of the economic downturn on employment in order to implement fully the right to work, in particular with regard to the most disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups. It also calls upon the State party to reinforce its measures aimed at ensuring that persons with disabilities, including those with learning disabilities, have equal opportunities for productive and gainful employment, equal pay for work of equal value, and provide them with improved, expanded and equal opportunities to gain the necessary qualifications, in line with its general comment no. 5 (1994) on persons with disabilities." Para 21: "The Committee recommends that the State party take immediate and appropriate measures to reduce unemployment among ethnic minorities and provide them with better employment opportunities."

15. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) Para 22: "The Committee encourages the State party to ensure that the conditions of work of all migrant workers comply with the provisions of article 7 of the Covenant and calls upon the State party to take all necessary measures to investigate the activities of companies employing migrant workers and ensure that employers contravening the law in this regard are prosecuted and sanctioned."

16. See section A/76/170, 75(b), Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences: Note by the Secretary General: OHCHR | Reports to General Assembly - 76th Session

17. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) Para: "The Committee calls upon the State party, in line with its general comment no. 4 (1991) on the right to adequate housing, to intensify its efforts to ensure that everyone has access to housing and to review its policies and develop effective strategies, including a gender impact assessment, aimed at increasing the levels of affordable housing, including social housing. The Committee also recommends that the State party take into consideration the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 as best practice, especially its provision relating to the right to housing as an enforceable right."

18. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) Para 34: "The Committee recommends that the State party undertake: (a) training programmes for doctors and health-care professionals about the State party's Covenant obligations, as well as with regard to the prevention and treatment of dementia and Alzheimer's diseases; (b) awareness-raising campaigns about these diseases among the public at large."

19 Consideration of reports submitted by States parties in accordance with articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant : (un.org) Para 37: "The Committee recommends that the State party, or the devolved administration in Northern Ireland, adopt an Irish Language Act, with a view to preserving and promoting minority languages and cultural heritage, and invites the State party to provide detailed information on the progress made in its next periodic report."

Contact

Email: ceu@gov.scot

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