Non-Governmental Organisations

AUTUMN SESSION

HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE
CONF/HR(2010)SYN4

Strasbourg, 20 November 2010

DRAFT SYNOPSIS
of the meeting held on Tuesday 5 October 2010

The Human Rights Committee

    1. adopted the meeting agenda

    2. adopted the synopsis of the meeting held on 21 June 2010 [CONF/HR(2010)SYN3]

    3. Media and human rights

    Offered a musical tribute (played by a group of Gypsy musicians) to journalists who had lost their lives while carrying out their professional duties.

    Heard the President of the INGO Conference present a report on the Ohrid Conference (13-14 September 2010), on the role of the media in intercultural and inter-religious dialogue:

    The Ohrid Conference was part of the Exchanges on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue which the Council of Europe had been holding for several years. The theme was: “The role of the media in fostering intercultural dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding: freedom of expression of the media and respect towards cultural and religious diversity”. (link to the list of participantslink to the programmelink to the elements de conclusion in French only)

    Heard a statement by the Committee Chair, who was the INGO Conference’s representative on the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) on three main points:
    - the current activities of the CDMC
    - the activities of the Committee of experts on “new media” (MC-S-NM)
    - the outcome of the work undertaken by the INGO Conference’s working group on digital media literacy, underlining the essential need to educate the public at large in the respectful use of the Internet and that this education ought to be an integral part of education for democratic citizenship and human rights. One way of doing this would be to hold a Forum of experts in digital media literacy and representatives of the Council of Europe and of the Parliamentary Assembly interested in this subject. The final aim would be to present guidelines or an action plan to the 47 member states.

    4. Human rights observance with regard to the Roma in Europe

    Heard Maria Ochoa-LLidó, Head of the Migration and Roma Department, present the work carried out more specifically by the Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers set up by the Committee of Ministers:
    - The participation of Roma and Travellers in policies concerning them had facilitated the preparation of various recommendations concerning the social rights of Roma (access to housing, employment, healthcare, etc.). The first recommendation, which dated back to 2000 and had been revised in 2008, concerned the access of Roma children to education;
    - a General Policy Recommendation to improve Roma representation and their participation in political affairs;
    - legal texts concerning Roma and Travellers had been translated into central and east European languages;
    - a high-level meeting would be held on 20 October 2010 and measures should be taken to improve the situation of Roma and Travellers;

    Unanimously adopted, the Declaration “Living Together as Equals in Dignity with Roma” [CONF/HR(2010)DEC2].

    5. Sects and human rights violations in Europe:

    Unanimously adopted the Recommendation “Sects and human rights violations” [CONF/HR(2010)REC1], prepared by the ad hoc working group.

    Decided to append a draft Resolution to the above Recommendation, for discussion at our next session, which will reflect our commitment as an NGO in this field.

    6. Migrations and Human Rights

    · Was informed by Maritchu Rall, International Association of Charities (AIC) and Marie-José Schmitt (European Action of the Disabled) that Article 19 of the European Social Charter concerning “the right of migrant workers and their families to protection and assistance” was to be examined by the European Committee on Social Rights. A questionnaire was available for NGOs which wished to comment on the application of this article in the different European countries.

    7. Religions and human rights

    · Was informed of the activities of the working group on ‘religions and human rights’ by François Becker (European Network Church on the Move - REEL).

    8. Other information:

Bosnia and Herzegovina

    · Heard a statement by Mr André Rollinger (The Society for Threatened Peoples International - GfbV) on the situation of non-compliance with certain human rights and democratic rules in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Reference was made to the meeting between the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a view to reforming the Constitution so that precise rules could be adopted which respected the fundamental rights of the citizens.

    · Requested that this item be included on the agenda of the meeting to be held in January 2011

    Oslo Forum
    · Was informed of the preparations being made for the Oslo Forum on he Universality of Human Rights (21-22 October 2010), by Edouard Jagodnik, chair of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education.

    Symposium on “Speech, writing and action”
    · Heard a report by Louis Bloch on the symposium held on 6 September 2010 by the Consultative Council of Jewish Organisations (CCJO).