The Commissioner's Human Rights Comments The Commissioner's Human Rights Comments
Human Rights Comment

No violence against children is acceptable, all violence is preventable

20/09/2016 Strasbourg
This was the main conclusion of the 2006 UN Global study on violence against children. In 2015, the UN Special Representative on Violence against Children published the results of a worldwide consultation of children, which highlighted that protection from violence was their second highest priority, right after education. Children have the right to a life free from violence States have an obligation, enshrined in international law, to protect children from violence. The United Nations...
Human Rights Comment

Human rights defenders’ work is vital for redress to victims of enforced disappearance

29/08/2016 Strasbourg
Last March I published an Issue Paper on Missing persons and victims of enforced disappearance in Europe, aiming to help Council of Europe member states improve their law and practice. Much remains to be done, considering that thousands of cases of missing persons and enforced disappearance remain unresolved in Europe, perpetuating the suffering of their loved ones, which is passed on from one generation to another. Addressing these questions is often dependent on governments’ political...
Human Rights Comment

Non-implementation of the Court’s judgments: our shared responsibility

23/08/2016 Strasbourg
In December last year, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH) published a report on the longer-term future of the system of the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”). There were two challenges which particularly struck me: firstly, prolonged non-implementation of a number of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and secondly, direct attacks on the Court’s authority. It is difficult to overstate the extraordinary contribution of the Court...
Human rights comment

Protect women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights

21/07/2016 Strasbourg
In these times of resurgent threats to women’s rights and gender equality, we must redouble our efforts to protect women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Among the international and European legal instruments that protect these rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) guarantees women’s rights to decide freely and responsibly about the number and spacing of their children and to have access to information, education and means...
Human Rights Comment

Torture survivors have the right to redress and rehabilitation

07/06/2016 Strasbourg
Torture and ill-treatment are practiced in at least 140 countries worldwide, according to data compiled by Amnesty International. Regrettably, those phenomena still occur in Europe, too. They are often – but not only – linked to armed conflicts. Moreover, people who have experienced torture elsewhere continue to arrive on the European continent. The thousands of human beings who have already been through the severe pain of torture also face a range of devastating long-term consequences. In...
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