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Government commitment to human rights

Federal Government presents State Party Report on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to the United Nations

The Federal Government today presented its Sixth State Party Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR Covenant) to the United Nations Committee. The Federal Cabinet passed a resolution adopting the Sixth State Party Report on the ESCR Covenant on 9 December 2016.

The report describes what Germany has done in recent years to implement the rights guaranteed in the Covenant. These include the right to work, the right to social security and the right to equal opportunities. The report covers the period from mid-2008 to the end of 2015, but also refers to more recent developments.

The State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Yasmin Fahimi, said on the report’s presentation:

The report shows how many areas we have made progress in. The introduction of the minimum wage protects low-wage workers in particular from wage dumping. The Federal Participation Act further promotes inclusion in our country by enabling people with disabilities to have greater self-determination and participation. We are helping to shape the digitisation of the working world so that workers continue to be secured in a changing labour market. The implementation of human rights nonetheless remains an ongoing process that faces us with a daily challenge.

The report was the first for which the United Nations recommendation was followed to involve the civil population in the reporting process.

Background information:

The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR Covenant) entered into force on 3 January 1976. Germany ratified it on 17 December 1973.

The pact guarantees various rights including the right of men and women to non-discrimination and equal treatment, the right to just and favourable conditions of work, the right to social security, the right to health and the right to education.

Germany is required to submit a report once every five years on the implementation of the rights guaranteed in the Covenant and to present the report to a United Nations committee.

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is the lead agency in compilation of the report; also involved were almost all Federal Ministries, the Federal Chancellery, the Federal Government Commissioners, the sixteen German Länder, the social partners, and non-governmental organisations.