Non-Governmental Organisations

WINTER SESSION
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE
CONF/HR(2011)SYN1

Strasbourg 8 June 2011

DRAFT SYNOPSIS
OF THE 25 JANUARY 2011 MEETING

FOR THE ATTENTION OF MEMBERS OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE

The Human Rights Committee

1. Adopted the agenda of the meeting [CONF/HR(2011)OJ1].

2. Adopted the synopsis of the meeting of 5 October [CONF/HR(2010)SYN4].

1st part: text proposed for adoption

3. Reform of the European Court of Human Rights

    § Item on the progress of the Reform of the Court

Heard Giuseppe Guarneri, representative of the Conference of INGOs with the Committee of Experts on the Reform of the Court, producing the following main findings:

    - there had been a large increase in the number of individual applications, with almost 143 000 applications pending;
    - the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights as laid down in the Treaty of Lisbon was also greatly increasing the Court’s workload;
    - at the High-Level Conference on the Future of the Court which had taken place in Interlaken (Switzerland) on 18 and 19 February 2010, the member States had put forward practical proposals to cope with the huge backlog of applications;

The Committee of Experts on the Reform of the Court had addressed two questions:

    - filtering ill-founded applications. Filtering meant dealing only with admissible applications. Non-admissible applications accounted for 90% of all the applications received by the Court and 65% of the applications pending. Repetitive applications accounted for 50% of all cases.
    - the mode of election of candidate judges at the national level: the Committee of Ministers had adopted a Resolution in November 2010 on the establishment of an Advisory Panel of Experts on Candidates for Election as Judge to the European Court of Human Rights [CM/Res(2010)26].

    § Draft recommendation to reject the proposal to require applicants to the Court to pay legal costs [CONF/PLE(2011)REC2]

Heard Johannes Heiler, Amnesty International, and Gabriel Nissim, Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Conference of INGOs, on the draft Recommendation “The Reform of the European Court of Human Rights: no to legal costs for applicants”, which would be submitted to the Conference of INGOs on 27 January 2011.

The draft Recommendation was unanimously adopted by the committee, after discussion and amendments.

2nd part: our main lines of work for 2011

4. First Trade Show “European Youth and Human Rights” – Presentation and programme, participation by the Committee and INGOs

Brigitte Kahn, Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Conference of INGOs

Presented the organisation of the 1st European Trade Show to be held in Strasbourg from 19 to 21 March 2011, which 1 500 young people from 11 European countries were expected to attend. On this occasion, the first Human Rights Garden would be inaugurated in the presence of Council of Europe and Strasbourg City representatives.

5. Education for democratic citizenship and human rights education

    § Presentation of the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education adopted under Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)7 of the Committee of Ministers on 11 May 2010

Alain Mouchoux, representative of the Conference of INGOs with the Ad hoc Advisory Group on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (ECDDH), invited the NGOs to refer to this important text in order to progress in the field of education for democratic citizenship. At the Forum on the Universality of Human Rights held in Oslo on 21 and 22 October 2010, it had been noted that many European countries lacked programmes of education for democratic citizenship. Our INGOs should be lobbying the relevant authorities on this subject.

    § Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Right Education in the digital media field: information on progress made in this project

Gabriel Nissim, representative of the Conference of INGOs with the Steering Committee on the Media and New Information Services (CDMC):

Pointed out that education for democratic citizenship should take account of the digital space occupied by Internet and the social networks. It was important to implement education for democratic citizenship and human rights in the field of the media in general and the digital media and social networks in particular.

Informed the meeting that the General Directorate of Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport was planning a Symposium in December 2011, with specialists in education for democratic citizenship and human rights, specialists in media and digital media education, civil servants, members of the Council of Europe and various other experts, with a view to laying down basic guidelines on such education in the information society. A platform would possibly be set up and a document prepared for the 47 member States.

6. Religions and human rights: information on progress in the project

François Becker, the leader of the working group responsible for this issue

Recalled a number of points:

    - the working group was halfway through the drafting of a report;
    - a version of the report tailored to addressees would be circulated;
    - a working meeting would be held next April.

7. Migration and human rights: a new working group

Gabriel Nissim, Chair

Pointed out that the European Union was responsible for this area, which consequently marginalised the Council of Europe – it was up to the INGOs to address the subject;

Stressed that this year was the 50th anniversary of the Social Charter: www.charte.sociale.org

Rapporteur: Maritchu Rall
International Association of Charities (AIC)