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The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from January 3, 1976. It commits its parties to work toward the granting of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) to individuals, including labor rights and the right to health, the right to education, and the right to an adequate standard of living. As of July 2011, the Covenant had 160 parties. A further seven countries, including the United States, had signed but not yet ratified the Covenant.
The ICESCR is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), including the latter's first and second Optional Protocols.
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