Document Type


Publication Title

Hastings Law Journal

Publication Date



The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR or "the Covenant") sets forth an ambitious statement of rights which the parties accept as an affirmative obligation owed their people. By ratifying the Covenant, a government "commits itself to its best efforts to secure for its citizens the basic standards of material existence .... Along with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR or "the Civil Covenant"), it is globally recognized as the definitive statement of international human rights law. Although some commentators claim American origins for ICESCR, tracing it to the "freedom from want" described by President Franklin Roosevelt in his "Four Freedoms" speech, and it has been before the Senate since 1978, the United States is the only major industrialized democracy that has not yet ratified the Covenant.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.