International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 and entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49

The full text is available here:


Ensure the protection of civil and political rights.

A brief description is available from


Values & Claims

Freedom of discrimination for what concerns civil and political rights.


  • Reporting by State Parties (Art. 40)
  • Communications and arbitration on State Party's (non-) compliance (Art. 41-42)
  • Annual reporting by Human Rights Committee to the General Assembly of the United Nations, through the Economic and Social Council.
  • Covenant enactment, ratification and maintenance (Art. 48-53)

Compliance and Service Levels

Via the reports submitted by the States party to the covenant.

Competent Courts

See the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of the constitutions of the specialized agencies (Art. 46, Interpretation).


More states should ratify this optional protocol to the human rights treaties3, which then could be seen as a restriction to the policy space of the ratifying states. However in Par. 7 of the summary there is a call for greater policy space?