Building a Europe for and with children



This section is designed to provide an overview of the Organisation's instruments and knowledge base in the field of children’s rights.

The Council of Europe has an exceptionally broad base of standard-setting texts whose purpose is to promote and protect children’s rights, including protection from all forms of violence.

 The most important of these are conventions, which are legally binding instruments. Some of our most relevant conventions establish monitoring mechanisms which strongly influence the development of standards. Conventions that allow  individuals and/or legal entities to lodge complaints are of particular interest. For example:

The European Convention on  Human Rights has established the European Court of Human Rights. Individuals (including children) or legal entities which are victims of a violation of the rights and guarantees set out in the Convention may lodge applications with the Court.
The violation must have been committed by one of the 47 states bound by the Convention. The case law of the  European Court of Human Rights relates to individual cases, but gives an indication of the interpretation of standards set by the Convention and the remedies needed to avoid future violations.

The European Social Charter guarantees social and economic human rights. The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) is the body responsible for monitoring compliance of states parties to the European Social Charter. Under a protocol which came into force in 1998, complaints of violations of the Charter may be lodged with the ESCR. Certain organisations are entitled to lodge complaints with the committee, such as NGOs enjoying participatory status with the Council of Europe.

The Organisation's two statutory bodies, the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly have also adopted an impressive list of recommendations and resolutions on children's rights.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities has focused on two issues in particular: young people's participation and violence in the urban environment.
Although resolutions and recommendations are non-binding legal texts, they serve as significant guidelines for policy development in the member states.

There is also a vast array of information resources related to adopted texts, which includes background reports, explanatory memorandums, opinions, publications, programmes and projects. These serve to broaden understanding and raise awareness of the issues at hand, increase commitment, and assist member states in putting the provisions of adopted texts into practice.

Committee of Ministers
Conventions/treaties - where do they come from?  

Conventions on children's rights  - list and links



Parliamentary Assembly



The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

Case law - the European Court of Human Rights