Justice and Human Dignity Directorate
The Justice and Human Dignity Directorate mission is to contribute to the effective protection of human rights in particular through the promotion of the independence and efficiency of justice, gender equality and children’s rights. The protection of human dignity and the fight against very serious violations of human rights are at the heart of its action against trafficking in human beings, violence against women and domestic violence and sexual exploitation and abuse of children. (more)


Justice and Legal Co-operation


Independence and efficiency of justice

Efficiency of justice
The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) is an innovative body entrusted with promoting and developing the tools and measures aimed at improving efficiency and quality of user-oriented judicial systems in the member States.

The Consultative Council of European Judges is an advisory body of the Council of Europe on issues related to the independence, impartiality and competence of judges. It is the first body within an international organisation to be composed exclusively of judges, and in this respect, it is unique in Europe.

Composed exclusively of prosecutors, the Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) is an advisory body of the Council of Europe. It gives advice on issues related to the status of prosecutors and the exercise of their duties, in particular to facilitate the implementation of Recommendation Rec(2000)19 on the role of public prosecution in the criminal justice system.

Legal co-operation

Public and private law development
The European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ) is an inter-governmental body which sets new standards – and regularly evaluates existing ones – in the field of public and private law. Its competence is defined by the priorities of the Council of Europe and the needs of member States; it has a well-known expertise notably in the area of family law and and nationality. Moreover, it works in the fields of administrative law, justice and rule of law.

To increase awareness of the Council of Europe’s standards in the fields of human rights and the rule of law the Justice and Legal Co-operation Department provides training to members of legal bodies and other professionals. They are thus able to make extensive use of those norms and case-law in their daily work at national and, where appropriate, at international level. The specific issues addressed are those that have been identified by the Council of Europe's various monitoring bodies as areas of concern in the country or group of countries in question.


Gender equality and human dignity


Trafficking in human beings
The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. GRETA’s reports and conclusions may give rise to recommendations for adoption by the Committee of the Parties to the Convention.

Children's rights
The programme “Building a Europe for and with children” aims at promoting child-friendly services and systems in the areas of justice, health and social services, eliminating all forms of violence against children including sexual violence, guaranteeing the rights of children in vulnerable situations, and promoting child participation. The programme website offers access to the monitoring mechanism of the Lanzarote Convention and to the Council of Europe "One in five" Campaign to stop sexual violence against children.

Equality between women and men
The Council of Europe’s work to promote real equality between women and men began in 1979. Since then, it has produced many achievements in areas such as violence against women, trafficking in human beings, gender mainstreaming, positive action, balanced participation in decision-making, men and gender equality, and national equality mechanisms.

Violence against women
and domestic violence

The Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is the most far-reaching international treaty to tackle all forms of violence against women and domestic violence. Its cornerstones are the prevention of violence, the protection of victims and the prosecution of perpetrators. The Convention requires 10 ratifications to enter into force and its implementation will be monitored by an independent group of experts (GREVIO).