On the 18 March 2014 the APPG on Equalities held a meeting in the House of Commons on Parliament’s role in the current review of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
The UK has ratified, and is therefore legally bound by ICESCR. The Covenant guarantees the human rights to health, education, housing, food, social security and employment. Every five years, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights reviews UK compliance with the Covenant, and issues a series of concluding observations and recommendations. The last UN review took place in 2009, and the next review is scheduled to take place over the next year, with the Government submitting the state report in June 2014.
The meeting was held in partnership with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Just Fair.
- The Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) gave an overview to the 2014 UK Government’s report.
- Sarah Veale CBE, Commissioner and Anna Henry (Equality and Human Rights Commission) gave an overview of the scope and milestones of the current ICESCR review and the role of Parliamentarians in treaty monitoring and reporting.
- Jonathan Butterworth (Just Fair) provided a case study on the realisation of the right to food in the UK.