Economic and social rights

Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Covenant) was adopted in 1966. New Zeeland ratified (became bound) by the Covenant on 23 March 1976. The Covenant protects civil and political rights, including:

·       Right to Life

·       Privacy

·       Liberty and security

·       Freedom of movement

·       Freedom of religion

·       Freedom of expression

·       Freedom of association

·       Freedom from discrimination

·       Right to vote

The Committee on Civil and Political Rights is a group of independent experts that monitors State parties compliance with the Covenant. All State parties are obliged to submit reports to the Committee every five years on how the rights are being implemented the Covenant.

Six months prior to the Committee’s review of a State party it publishes a list of issues, which highlights the Committee’s major areas of concern and additional information the State party is strongly urged to provide prior to the review. After considering all the materials, the Committee conducts an interactive dialogue with representatives of the State party at the United Nations in Geneva. Following the dialogue, the Committee adopts concluding observations which include final remarks and recommendations.

Civil society members may provide input to the Committee at various points by submitting reports, making oral statements, and participating in briefings for Committee members. The Committee also encourages State parties to consult and incorporate information from civil society members in their national reports and follow-up procedures.

New Zealand’s next review will take place in 2023.

Previous reviews

2016 – Concluding observations (27 April 2016); the Human Rights Commission’s submission to the Committee can be found here.

2010 - Concluding observations (7 April 2010)

2002 – Concluding observations (7 August 2002)

1995 – Concluding observations (3 October 1995)

1989 – Concluding observations (23 September 1989)

All documents relating to these reviews can be found here.

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