Non-Governmental Organisations

INGO Conference of the Council of Europe

Working Group “European Social Charter”

January session: Meeting of the working group Thursday 26 from 1.30 pm to 2.30 at the Agora
(meeting point in front of the cafeteria).

Proposed working method: functioning according to work domains with one INGO as a pilot.
2 domains for the year 2012:

    - Monitoring of the Charter : opinion on national reports
    - Collective complaints

1. Monitoring of the Charter
The monitoring is based on national reports following a calendar fixed by the Committee of Ministers. In the current reference period (2007-2010) the articles relating to employment, training and equal opportunities are reported on (group 1: art. 1, 9, 10, 15, 18, 20, 24, 25).

Method: We should have one INGO pilot for each article or group of articles.
Tasks of this pilot:

      · Consulting the site of the Charter and making a copy of the states’ answers concerning the article
      · Mailing them to the INGOs of the WG and other interested INGOs for communication to their national members so as to collect precise data and comments
      · Collecting the comments and sending them to the responsible of the WG.

Timeframe: As the national reports come in from October to end of January, we will have to make an intermediary report end of February and the final report end of April 2012.

Distribution of the articles:

    - Article 1 (the right to work) except paragraph4, article 18 (the right to engage in a gainful occupation in the territory of other Parties) .These 2 articles are about labour law and are raising the question of employment versus unemployment.

Pilot: INGO?

    - Article 1 paragraph 4 ( vocational guidance, training and rehabilitation), article 9 (the right to vocational guidance), article 10 (the right to vocational training)

In the present context the scrutiny of the implementation of these 3 articles should especially bear on acquiring or updating vocational skills as presently required for having access to employment or keeping employment.
Pilot: INGO ?

    - Article 15 the rights of people with disabilities ( education, employment, social life).

Pilot: INGO  AEH

    - Article 20: the right to equal opportunities and equal treatment in matters of employment and occupation without discrimination on the grounds of sex. Among many questions, one point disserves acute scrutiny: the professional reintegration of mothers who left employment for raising their children; other points to check: employment conditions and remuneration, career development and promotion.

Pilot: INGO?

    - Articles 24 and 25 on termination of employment.

Pilot: INGO?

Note: we are not obliged to give an opinion for all these articles. It may be better to concentrate our efforts on just some articles and gather accurate information from the national NGOs on these articles.

Please register right now for participating in the study of one of the groups of articles and also for piloting a group. According to your answers we will decide in January which of the articles will be given priority.
Please register with M.J.Schmitt:

2. Collective complaints
Note: a memento explaining the procedure for submitting a collective complaint will be available and presented in January 2012.

    - Preparation of a recommendation to the Committee of Ministers demanding to encourage the States to ratify the Additional protocol to the Social Charter providing for a system of collective complaints

    - By the end of February: prepare a document directed to the States on: « The contribution of NGOs to the implementation of the Charter » This document could be sent to the State permanent representatives as well as to national NGOs for easing their contacts with their governments.
    A project to be discussed in January

Other work to be prepared: Hearing of the INGO Conference by the Governmental Committee of the Charter.
This hearing is lasting a short hour each year during which the Conference is invited to provide the representatives of the governments with additional information (grass roots information) on the articles on which they have to give their opinion as to the conclusions made by the European Committee of Social Rights (reference period 2005-2009).
This hearing will be in May 2012 and concerns the following articles (group 4):

- article 7 The right of children and young persons to protection
- article 8
The right of employed women to protection of maternity
- article 16 The right of the family to social, legal and economic protection
- article 17
The right of children and young persons to social, legal and economic protection
- article 19
The right of migrant workers and their families to protection and assistance
Note: this article concerns only workers lawfully within the territory of a state.
- article 27 The right of workers with family responsibilities to equal opportunities and equal treatment
- article 31
The right to housing.

The European Committee of Social Rights’ conclusions on these reports will be published before the end of 2011.

Question : Do you have information on particular difficulties arising in some States as to one or several of the above mentioned articles, ongoing complaints, studies or others ?
We will decide at our meeting in January how to prepare this hearing.