The Extraterritorial Scope of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the work of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

A.P.M. Coomans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Over the years, the united nations committee on economic, social and cultural rights has indicated that the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights (icescr) may have an effect beyond the borders of states parties, meaning that states may be bound by their obligations under the treaty when acting extraterritorially. The present contribution aims at researching the use of the notion of the extraterritorial scope of the icescr in the documents adopted by the committee, such as general comments, statements and concluding observations. The article concludes that, although the committee did introduce some basic notions, it has never clarified at length, in-depth and systematically the notion of the extraterritorial scope of state parties’ obligations from a conceptual perspective. There is therefore a need for the committee to further develop the notion of the international scope and application of the icescr, for example, by holding a day of general discussion and adopting a key document on this topic which should contain concrete guidance to states parties. The present article provides examples of questions and issues that are relevant in order to gain a more coherent understanding of the extraterritorial scope of the icescr from a legal point of view.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-35
JournalHuman Rights Law Review
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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