The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) isets out the civil and political rights of individuals. The UK ratified ICCPR in 1976. As of 2018, 171 States have ratified the ICCPR. 

What are civil and political rights?

The rights set out in ICCPR include those relating to:

  • Political participation
  • Equality and non-discrimination
  • Private, home and family life
  • Freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
  • Right to a fair trial
  • Freedom of thought, religion and expression

Monitoring ICCPR

ICCPR is monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee which is made up of 18 international independent experts.  The UK was last examined by the Committee in 2015.  The UK Government submitted its State Party report to the Committee in December 2012 which laid out the steps they have taken to implement ICCPR and further civil and political rights for people in the UK since the country’s last examination.  

The Committee published its most recent set of Concluding Observations for the UK in July 2015.  They highlighted the following priorities in relation to children and young people’s rights:

  • Administration of juvenile justice and reducing the number of children in the justice system;
  • Raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility

Read the full list of Concluding Observations from the Committee here.