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The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) protects rights such as housing, health and education, those essential conditions needed to live a life of dignity and freedom.

Every five years or so the UK is examined by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) to see how well people in the UK are able to enjoy these rights and where the UK Government needs to improve its work to realise them.

The process for the seventh periodic review of the UK is beginning and Just Fair is getting involved. This page brings together more information on the upcoming review, Covenant and Committee background, and Just Fair’s work.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the next review of the UK by CESCR or would like any more information about the process or our work, get in touch with [email protected].

ICESCR briefing

What are Economic, Social and Cultural Rights? What is the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights? What is the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights? Find out in our briefing.

Review timeline

What does the ‘review’ process look like? Check out our timeline which shows the different steps, with approximate dates, of the review of the UK by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Report: Thrive not survive

Four students from the SOAS Human Rights Clinic undertook a research project analysing past recommendations CESCR had made to the UK, and recent relevant academic work.

Our work

In Autumn 2021 we published a blog on the first steps of the review process and the UK Government’s consultation in advance of sending their report to CESCR.

We made a submission to UK Government consultation in advance of their report to CESCR.

We gave evidence to the All Party Group on Ethnic Minorities at the Northern Ireland Assembly on the importance of the ICESCR Review process.

We’ve been working with civil society organisations across the UK to hold the government to account for delays to the review process, including:

  • We sent a joint letter on Human Rights Day 2021 to the responsible Minister, Lord Wolfson, about the significant delay to the UK sending in their report to CESCR.
  • We wrote about the response to our letter and how these further delays have caused the entire process timetable to slip back.

We are also interested more generally in how civil society, and particularly those with lived experience of rights violations, engage with CESCR. At the Annual Civil Society Organisation meeting with the Committee in March 2022, we proposed that the Committee undertake work to make their processes more accessible.