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50th anniversary of the European Social Charter


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter and encourage member states to ratify it, the Council of Europe is organising several events on 17 and 18 October in Strasbourg.

  • 17 October: Round Table at the ENA on “Human rights in the context of economic crisis”
  • 18 October, 9 to 9.55 a.m.(AGORA, room GO3): Presentation of the new communication tools on the European Social Charter
  • 18 October, 10 to 11.55 a.m. (AGORA, room GO3): Brainstorming session on the importance of opening channels for civil society complaints about violations of social rights, with Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, as keynote speaker
  • 18 October, 12 noon to 1 p.m. (AGORA, Atrium): ceremony, after which cocktails will be served


Among the new communication tools is a comic strip which will be published on 18 October.
This shows various things that happen to Adam, a 10-year-old European boy, his little sister and his friends. Young readers will learn about the right to education, vocational guidance, housing, family life, protection from poverty and social exclusion, and health care.




Interview with Régis Brillat,
the Head of the Department of the European Social Charter (fr)

Interview with Luis Jimena Quesada,
President of the European Committee of Social Rights (fr)


In this audio podcast Regis Brillat, the Executive Secretary of the European Social Charter, explains the Charter's past achievements and future challenges, after being launched half a century ago in Turin, Italy.


On the occasion of the 50th anniversary year of the Charter, Mr. Quesada has been asked to define the Charter, how it functions and to evaluate its impact over the last 50 years.

Interview with Colm O'Cinneide,
Vice President of the European Committee of Social Rights

Illustrated radio report


In this interview he addresses member countries of the Council of Europe who have ratified the Charter on the importance of respecting social rights in times of economic crisis.


This illustrated radio report explains the history of the European Social Charter and the continuing challenges it faces in addressing problems concerning social rights in Europe.


Explaining social rights to children - comic strip

The Department of the European Social Charter is publishing a comic strip aimed at children aged 7 to 10, “Tell me, what’s the European Social Charter?”. The book will come out in Strasbourg on 18 October 2011, the day of the 50th anniversary of the Charter.

The European Social Charter, which secures social and economic rights, is a necessary complement to the European Convention on Human Rights safeguarding civil and political rights Despite its fundamental role in ensuring quality of everyday life, the Charter is little known to the citizens.

The comic strip was produced in order to familiarise children with their social rights and responsibilities. Through the situations encountered by Adam, a 10 year old European, his little sister or pals, the girls and boys reading the strip will discover, for example, the right to education, to vocational guidance, to housing, to family life, to protection against poverty and social exclusion, or the right to receive treatment. They will also learn that the Charter prohibits discrimination and that states are obliged to uphold the rights guaranteed.

This book may constitute an appealing and active teaching aid for educational work in the primary schools of the Council of Europe member states.

Anniversary of ESC - conference

A joint conference entitled "The Council of Europe's Social Charter 50 years on: What next?" was held on 23 September 2011 in Paris in order to mark the 50th anniversary of the Charter:

  • Opening speech at the conference marking the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter: