Promoting the social, legal and economic protection of families

Social cohesion, democracy and human rights are first experienced and learnt in the family environment. They play an essential role in the individual’s emotional development and preparing children for life in society. The family is often called upon to support its vulnerable members such as elderly people and people with disabilities, becoming a provider of last-resort social protection in time of need.

The Council of Europe promotes the social, legal and economic protection of families. We pay special attention to vulnerable family members, gender equality and children's rights. The “best interests of the child” is the guiding principle behind all our family policies.

The News

Brainstorming meeting on children's rights and social services

On 10 and 11 September 2009, experts from different countries in Europe met in Strasbourg to discuss the issue of children's rights and social services.
This meeting allowed experts to analyse the situation in their respective countries and to identify indicators that can help them evaluate whether these services take into account the rights, opinions and needs of children.
Experts formulated recommendations as to the follow-up work of the Council of Europe in this field.
Link to the meeting report.
 

Council of Europe ministers call for family-friendly policy

European family ministers announced their intention to promote "family friendly societies and children's rights" at the 29th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Family Affairs, held on 16 and 17 June in Vienna. The theme of the conference, which was opened by Federal President of Austria Heinz Fischer and Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, was "Public policies supporting the wish to have children: societal, economic and personal factors".

In their Final communiqué, the ministers agreed on the importance of creating child and family-friendly environments, committed themselves to facilitate better reconciliation of work and family life and encouraged equal sharing of family responsibilities between women and men.
 

"Young people in care are a resource, not a vulnerable target group"

This was one of the key messages to emerge from the seminar "Children and young people in care - What do YOUth think?", organised jointly by the Council of Europe and SOS Children's Villages International in December 2008. The objective of the seminar was to listen to young people's views on how to put into practice existing standards on the rights of children in care.

Participants from 13 countries from Europe and Central Asia based their work on Council of Europe Recommendation (2005)5 on the rights of children living in residential institutions, the Quality4Children standards for out-of-home child care and, most importantly, on their own experience. They drew up a set of recommendations to help the Council of Europe develop further action to promote the rights of children and young people living in care.


 
 

Booklet




Children and young people in care - Discover your rights!

English, Bulgarian, French, Romanian, Russian
 

 

Brochure




Policy to support positive parenting


English, French, Estonian, German, Russian, Spanish