Building a Europe for and with children

Treaty-based monitoring

The Framework Convention for the Protection of Minorities monitoring through reports, country visits and Committee of Ministers resolutions

Article 24 and Article 26 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of Minorities designate the Committee of Ministers and the Advisory Committee respectively to monitor compliance. States parties must issue a report on how they are implementing the convention one year after its entry into force. After this first report, they must issue a report every five years. The Advisory Committee adopts an opinion on the report and forwards it to the Committee of Ministers, which in turn adopts a resolution containing recommendations for the states concerned on the implementation of the Framework Convention. The resolutions are made public, and provide the opportunity for other states to comment and for national authorities and NGOs to follow up on implementation. The Advisory Committee may also carry out visits to individual countries, where it consults with both state and civil actors.

The Framework Convention sets out a wide-range principles to protect persons belonging to national minorities. Although the convention does not explicitly mention children, many of its articles which aim to protect all persons from all forms of violence, such as discrimination, ill treatment or abuse, including in education systems, are particularly relevant to children.

In its adopted opinions, the Advisory Committee has strongly condemned actions going against Articles 4, 6 and 12. For example, with regard to: 

Article 4 (non-discrimination) the committee has expressed concern at sub-standard housing conditions where Roma are often forced to live, and which represent a health-risk to children;

Article 6 (protection against threats or acts of hostility) the committee has condemned the trafficking of children from minorities that reportedly takes place in a number of countries;

Article 12 (equal access to education), the committee has expressed concern over ill-treatment and bullying to children belonging to minorities, especially Roma. It has also criticised unwarranted placement Roma children in schools for the mentally disabled or in separate classes where standards are inferior (See also D.H. and others vs the Czech Republic judgment of 13 November 2007 of the European Court of Human Rights, a landmark decision on the issue of separate schools for Roma). 
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The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (Greta) and the Committee of the Parties monitoring through an interactive report procedure

Articles 36 and 37 of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings establish Greta and the Committee of the Parties as the two monitoring bodies for this convention. Greta is composed of independent and highly qualified experts and the Committee of the Parties is composed of representatives in the Committee of Ministers of the parties to the convention and of representatives of parties non-members of the Council of Europe.

Article 38 of the convention establishes the procedure. Greta is responsible for monitoring implementation of the Convention by the parties. It will regularly publish reports evaluating the measure taken by the parties and those parties which do not fully respect the measures in the convention will be required to step up their action. The Committee of the Parties may also, on the basis of Greta's report and conclusions, make recommendations to a party concerning measure to be taken to follow up on Greta's conclusions.

The convention recognises that all forms of trafficking in human beings are a violation of human rights from which all states must protect its victims men, women and children. It applies to all forms of exploitation, whether sexual, forced labour or services. Protecting children is at the heart of this convention, which sets out specific measures to protect them, following the guiding principle of always acting  in "the best interests of the child". Some examples are:
training personnel to work with children, especially in identifying child victims; 
preventive measures to take into account the vulnerability of children;
child-friendly court proceedings;
protecting the private life and identity of child victims;
guaranteeing access to education of child victims
Learn more on Greta's website, and consult their first meeting report
"You're not for sale" (video on trafficking)
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Role of Council of Europe bodies in monitoring

Other independent human rights monitoring bodies
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