International Covenant on civil and political rights

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The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966. It is one of the core international human rights instruments and, along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, forms the International Bill of Human Rights.

The ICCPR recognizes and protects a wide range of civil and political rights. These rights include:

  1. Right to life: Everyone has the inherent right to life, and this right shall be protected by law.
  2. Right to liberty and security of person: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention, and individuals have the right to be free from torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
  3. Prohibition of slavery and forced labor: Slavery and the slave trade are prohibited in all forms, as well as forced or compulsory labor.
  4. Right to a fair trial: Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal.
  5. Freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and expression: Individuals have the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and expression, including the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media.
  6. Right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association: Individuals have the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions.
  7. Right to participate in public affairs: Every citizen has the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs, to vote and to be elected, and to have access to public service.
  8. Equality before the law: Everyone is equal before the law and is entitled to equal protection of the law without discrimination based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.

The ICCPR has been ratified by a large number of countries, and its provisions are legally binding on the states that have ratified it. States parties to the Covenant are required to incorporate its principles into their domestic legislation and ensure that individuals within their jurisdiction enjoy the rights enshrined in the ICCPR.

The ICCPR establishes a Human Rights Committee, composed of independent experts, to monitor the implementation of the Covenant by the states parties. Individuals who believe their rights under the ICCPR have been violated can submit complaints to the Human Rights Committee after exhausting domestic remedies.

It is important to note that the ICCPR recognizes that certain rights may be subject to restrictions under certain circumstances, such as to protect public safety, order, health, or morals. However, any limitations on these rights must be provided by law, necessary, and proportionate to achieve their intended purpose.

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