The European Social Charter : Human rights in daily life

Social Charter

European Social Charter


Human rights in daily life


Since it was founded in 1949, the Council of Europe has established core rights, now shared by all its member countries, which have become mainstays of the European model. The European Social Charter is one of the major instruments in this process.

Adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996, the Charter is the natural counterpart to the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the civil and political rights of individuals. It guarantees social and economic rights to housing, health, education, employment, movement of persons, non-discrimination and legal protection. 43 of the 47 member countries have ratified one of the two versions of the European Social Charter.

The Charter was supplemented in 1995 with a Protocol prescribing a collective complaints procedure. This allows violations of the Charter to be referred to the European Committee of Social Rights.

The mission of the Committee is to rule on the conformity of the situation in States with the provisions of the European Social Charter, the 1988 Additional Protocol and the Revised European Social Charter.  In respect of national reports, the Committee adopts conclusions, in respect of collective complaints, it adopts decisions.

Council of Europe finds 155 violations of the European Social Charter in 2012

Strasbourg, 29.01.2013 – The Conclusions of the European Committee of Social Rights for 2012 are public. It is now possible to consult Conclusions 2012 and Conclusions XX-1 (2012) by State Party.

These conclusions contain the assessments of the European Committee of Social Rights on the implementation of the Charter with regard to employment, vocational training and equal opportunities.The Committee adopted a total of 622 conclusions in respect of 42 countries including 155 findings of violations of the Charter. (more...)

The European Social Charter celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011


The European Social Charter celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011

The Social Charter interviews

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,  Luis Jimena Quesada, has been asked to define the Charter, how it functions and to evaluate its impact over the last 50 years.

In this interview,  Colm O'Cinneide, 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.
 

Major events

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter and encourage member states to ratify it, the Council of Europe organised several events.

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 came out in Strasbourg on 18 October 2011, the day of the 50th anniversary of the Charter.

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.