How to make the best use of the Collective Complaints Procedures under the European Social Charter
The European Social Charter is a Council of Europe treaty adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996 which quarantees the human rights of daily life. It covers the right to movement and protection of individuals – securing the principle of non-discrimination on any ground – regarding housing, health, education, social security, protection against poverty and social exclusion, employment. Within these areas, there are also provisions that protect specific target groups such as children, women, disabled, elderly people and migrants.
The Charter is a human rights treaty, complement to the European Convention on Human Rights which refers to civil and political rights. Together, the two treaties cover more or less the whole spectrum of human rights. The Council of Europe is committed to the principle of indivisibility: social rights are human rights on equal footing with civil and political rights.
The Charter is one of the most widely ratified human rights treaties of the Council of Europe. The widespread support for social rights is assured by the fact that almost all of the 47 Council of Europe member States are parties to one of the main instruments, either the 1961 European Social Charter or the Revised European Social Charter of 1996. Only four states – Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland – have not ratified either of these treaties.
The European Committee of Social Rights monitors compliance with the Charter through ‘reports’ drawn up by States party and through ‘collective complaints’ lodged by NGOs and social partners. It’s a parallell protection system which complements the judicial protection provided under the European Convention on Human Rights. However, it should be noted that collective complaints may be lodged without domestic remedies having been exhausted and without the complainant organisation necessarily being a victim of the alleged violation.
French / English interpretation will be provided.
14.00-16.00 Session I PRESENTATIONS BY THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE AND DISCUSSION
- Regis Brillat, Executive Secretary of the European Committee of Social Rights, Council of Europe: “The collective complaints’ procedure: procedural aspects of the mechanism”
- Luis Jimena Quesada, President of the European Committee of Social Rights, Council of Europe: “Interpretation rules of the European Committee of Social Rights: substantial issues concerning the collective complaint procedure”
- Discussion with participants concerning the procedural and substantial issues of the collective complaints mechanism
16.00-17.00 Session II EXCHANGE OF VIEWS AND EXPERIENCES AMONG THE MEMBERS OF THE SOCIAL PLATFORM
Presentation by different INGOs on their experiences in lodging complaints and identification of possible INGOs that may lodge complaints in the future with respect to the specific provisions of the Charter
Registration deadline has expired but there is still seats left – please register to Annica Ryngbeck (Policy Officer) at Social Platform. Please state the following information in your registration:
- Name, Position, Organisation
- Please state whether your organisation is eligeble to apply and whether you can have the capacity to take on complaints in the future