International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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    The International Covenant on Civil and
    Political Rights (ICCPR) is, together with
    the United Nations’ Universal Declaration
    on Human Rights (UDHR) and the
    International Covenant on Economic,
    Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), one
    of the key constituents of the International
    Bill of Rights. Unlike the UDHR,
    the two Covenants were each designed
    as legally binding treaties. The need for
    treaties, and indeed for treaties which
    enumerated two very different categories
    of rights, stemmed from the ideological
    cleavage which divided states after
    World War Two and which was associated
    with the cold war. The UDHR
    had the handicap of listing rights which
    were privileged by the ‘free world’, or
    those on the capitalist side of the ideological
    cleavage (see capitalism), along
    with rights which were privileged by
    those on the socialist and communist
    side of the ideological cleavage (see
    socialism; communism). The antagonism
    between these sides was such that those
    on the right did not consider economic,
    social and cultural rights to be rights as
    such, while those on the left felt that civil
    and political rights meant nothing if the
    subject of these rights had neither food
    nor shelter. The political way forward
    was the creation of two covenants, each
    a UN Treaty. They were drafted by the
    Human Rights Commission of the UN’s
    Economic and Social Council.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of International Relations and Global Politics
    EditorsMartin Griffiths
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
    Number of pages3
    ISBN (Print)9780415311601, 0-415-31160-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • International Covenant
    • Civil rights
    • political rights


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