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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The ICCPR entered into force on 23 March 1976. It is divided into six parts:

Part I = Right to self-determination

Part II = State obligation, undertakings and derogation
Part III = Civil and Political Rights
Part IV = Human Rights Committee
Part V = Interpretation
Part VI = Signature, Ratification, Accession

Parts one to three are summarized below. The discussion is divided into the article number, basic right involved, and
how such right can be achieved, manifested, exercised or restricted.


Article 1 (1) All people have the right to self- -by free determination of their political status

determination. -by freely pursuing their economic, social and

cultural development

Article 1 (2) All people, for their own ends, freely dispose -this is without prejudice to any obligations
of their natural wealth and resources. arising out of international economic

-in no case may a person be deprived of his/

her own means of subsistence

Article 1 (3) State Parties to the ICCPR shall promote the

realization of the right to self-determination,
and shall respect such right in conformity with
the UN Charter.


Article 2 (1) Each State Party to the ICCPR has the -the State Party has responsibility towards
undertaking to respect the rights set in the the rights of all individuals within its territory

ICCPR. -and without distinction of any kind, e.g.

race, color, sex, language, religion, political or
other opinion, national or social origin,
property, birth or other status.

Article 2 (2) The undertaking includes adopting laws and -the undertaking must be in accordance with
measures as may be necessary to give eect the States constitutional processes
to the rights recognized in the ICCPR.

Article 2 (3) Other undertakings include:

a) To ensure eective remedy to any person

whose rights are violated, notwithstanding
that the violation has been committed by a
person acting in an ocial capacity;

b) To ensure that the right being claimed

above is determined by competent judicial,
administrative or legislative authorities; and

c) To ensure that the competent authorities

shall enforce such remedies when granted.

Article 3 State Parties shall ensure the equal right of

men and women to the enjoyment of all civil
and political rights.
Article 4 (1) State Parties may take measures derogating Subject to the following conditions:

from their obligations under the ICCPR. -in time of public emergency which threatens
the life of the nation;

-the existence of such emergency is ocially


-the derogation must only be to the extent

strictly required by the exigencies of the

-provided that the measures to be used are

not inconsistent with the States other
obligations under international law; and

-the measures shall not involve discrimination

solely on the ground of race, color, sex,
language, religion or social origin.

Article 4 (2) Derogation is not allowed in Articles 6, 7, 8

(para. 1 and 2), 11, 15, 16 and 18.

Article 4 (3) Any derogation must be immediately reported Other details that must be reported:

to other State Parties through the UN -reasons for the derogation

Secretary General. -termination of such derogation

Article 5 (1) Nothing in the ICCPR may be interpreted as

implying for any State or any group to engage
in the destruction of any of the rights or go
beyond the limitation provided in the

Article 5 (2) No restriction or derogation shall be allowed

on the pretext that the ICCRP does not
recognize such rights or that it recognizes
them to a lesser extent.


Article 6 (1) Every human being has the inherent right to

life. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his

Article 6 (2) Sentence of death may be imposed only

subject to the following conditions:

1) in countries which have not abolished

death penalty;

2) for the most serious crimes;

3) in accordance with the law in force at the

time of the commission of the crime;

4) not contrary to the ICCPR; and

5) only carried out pursuant to a final

judgment rendered by a competent court.

Article 6 (3) When the deprivation of life constitutes

genocide, no derogation shall be allowed
from any obligation assumed under the
Convention on the Prevention and
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Article 6 (4) Anyone sentenced to death shall have the

right to seek pardon or commutation.
Amnesty, pardon or commutation of sentence
maybe granted in all cases.
Article 6 (5) No death sentence for persons below 18 y/o
or for pregnant women.

Article 6 (6) Nothing in Article 6 shall be invoked to delay

or prevent the abolition of death penalty. (see
Optional Protocol 2 to the ICCPR)

Article 7 No one shall be subjected to


-cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or


-medical or scientific experimentation without

the persons free consent

Article 8 (1) No one shall be held in slavery. Slavery and slave-trade in all their forms shall
be prohibited.

Article 8 (2) No one shall be held in servitude.

Article 8 (3) No one shall be required to perform forced or Forced or compulsory labor shall not include:

compulsory labor. -imprisonment with hard labor as part of the

punishment for a crime (as sentenced by a
competent court);

-any work or service not referred to above,

but normally required for a person who is
under detention in consequence of a lawful
order of court;

-any service of a military character;

-any service exacted in cases of emergency

or calamity threatening the life or well-being
of the community; and

-any work or service which forms part of

normal civil obligations.

Article 9 (1) Everyone has the right to liberty and security -no arbitrary arrest or detention

of person. -deprivation of liberty shall be based on such

grounds and in accordance with such
procedure as are established by law

Article 9 (2) Anyone arrested shall be informed, at the time

of arrest, of the reasons for arrest and
charges against him.

Article 9 (3) Anyone arrested shall be brought promptly

before a judge or other ocer authorized by
law to exercise judicial power, and shall be
entitled to trial.

Article 9 (4) Anyone arrested shall be entitled to take

proceedings before a court.

Article 9 (5) Anyone arrested due to an unlawful arrest or

detention shall be compensated.

Article 10 (1) Those deprived of liberty shall be treated with

humanity and dignity.
Article 10 (2) The accused shall be segregated from
convicted persons, save in exceptional
circumstances. They shall be treated
appropriately as unconvicted persons.

Accused juvenile persons shall be separated

from adults and must be brought speedily for

Article 10 (3) The penitentiary system shall be for

reformation and social rehabilitation.

Article 11 No one shall be imprisoned merely on the

ground that he failed to fulfill a contractual

Article 12 (1-4) Everyone lawfully within the territory of a Restrictions on this right

State shall, within that territory, have the right -shall be provided by law;

to liberty of movement and freedom to -are necessary to protect national security,

choose residence.
public order, public health, morals or the
rights of others;

Everyone shall be free to leave any country, -are consistent with the other rights
including his own. No one shall be arbitrarily recognized in the ICCPR
deprived of the right to enter his own country.

Article 13 An alien lawfully in the territory of a State

Party maybe expelled only in pursuant of a
decision reached in accordance with law.
Except for compelling reasons of national
security, he shall be allowed to submit the
reasons against his expulsion.

Article 14 (1-7) All persons shall be equal before the courts The right includes

and tribunals. -fair and public hearing by a competent,

independent and impartial tribunal
established by law

-press and public may be excluded for

reasons of morals, public order, etc.

-judgment, however, shall be made public

except where the interest of juvenile persons
is involved

-to be presumed innocent until proven guilty,


Article 15 (1-2) No one shall be held guilty of an oense

which, at the time of such commission, was
not a criminal oense. Nor a heavier penalty
shall be imposed than the one that was
applicable at the time when the oense was

Article 16 Everyone shall have the right to recognition

everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 17 (1-2) No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or

unlawful interference with his privacy, family,
home or correspondence, nor to unlawful
attacks on his honor and reputation.
Article 18 (1-4) Everyone shall have the right to freedom of -no one shall be subject to coercion that
thought, conscience and religion. would impair his freedom to have religion

-freedom to manifest religion or beliefs may

be subject only to such limitations as are
prescribed by law and are necessary to
protect public safety, order, health or morals
or the fundamental rights and freedoms of

-respect liberty of parents to ensure the

religious and moral education of their children

Article 19 (1-3) Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions Subject to certain restrictions:

without interference. -for the respect of the rights or reputations of


-for the protection of national security or

public order, public health or morals

Article 20 (1-2) Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited

by law. Any advocacy of national, racial or
religious hatred that constitutes incitement to
discrimination, hostility or violence shall be
prohibited by law.

Article 21 The right of peaceful assembly shall be Restrictions:

recognized. -in conformity with the law

-necessary in a democratic society in the

interests of national security or public safety,
public order and the protection of health or
morals, and rights of others

Article 22 (1-3) Everyone shall have the right to freedom of Restrictions:

association with others, including the right to -in conformity with the law

form and join trade unions for the protection -necessary in a democratic society in the
of his interests. interests of national security or public safety,
public order and the protection of health or
morals, and rights of others

-lawful restrictions may be placed on

members of the armed forces and police in
their exercise of this right

Article 23 (1-4) The right of men and women of marriageable Free and full consent of the intending
age to marry and to found a family shall be spouses is necessary.

Article 24 (1-3) Every child shall have, without any Right includes

discrimination as to race, color, sex, -immediate registration after birth

language, religion, national or social origin, -to acquire nationality

property or birth, the right to such measures
of protection as are required by his status as
a minor, on the part of his family, society and
the State.

Article 25 Right to take part in the conduct of public

aairs, directly or through freely chosen
representatives; to vote and to be elected; to
have access to public service in his country,
on general terms of equality.
Article 26 All persons are equal before the law and are
entitled without any discrimination to the
equal protection of the law.

Article 27 In those States in which ethnic, religious or

linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging
to such minorities shall not be denied the
right, in community with the other members
of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to
profess and practise their own religion, or to
use their own language.