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The European Social Charter


The European Social Charter is a Council of Europe treaty that guarantees fundamental social and economic rights as a counterpart to the European Convention on Human Rights, which refers to civil and political rights. It guarantees a broad range of everyday human rights related to employment, housing, health, education, social protection and welfare.

The Charter lays specific emphasis on the protection of vulnerable persons such as elderly people, children, people with disabilities and migrants. It requires that enjoyment of the abovementioned rights be guaranteed without discrimination.

No other legal instrument at pan-European level can provide such an extensive and complete protection of social rights as that provided by the Charter, which also serves as a point of reference in European Union law; most of the social rights in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights are based on the relevant articles of the Charter.

The Charter is therefore seen as the Social Constitution of Europe and represents an essential component of the continent’s human rights architecture.

The 7th edition of the Collected texts provides an updated account of all of the relevant instruments of the Charter, and the functioning of the various bodies which participate in the monitoring procedures.

More information about the European Social Charter

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Strengthened social rights needed to face frustration in Europe: Cyprus conference

24/02/2017 Nicosia, Cyprus

"Why are millions of Europeans willing to support nationalist, xenophobic and anti-democratic forces, sending shockwaves through our political systems,” asked Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, in her opening speech to a conference on social rights in Europe....

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Turin II events: publication of the official speeches and interventions

05/12/2016 Strasbourg, France

The official speeches and interventions of the Interparliamentary Conference on the European Social Charter and the Turin Forum on Social Rights in Europe, held in Turin on 17 and 18 March 2016, have been published. The book is a collection of different speeches delivered during the two events,...

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