Strasbourg, 15 July 2012


1. Annelise Oeschger, Chair of the Committee, opened the meeting and underlined the importance of coming together even though many exchanges took place between the sessions and the committee’s newsletter kept everyone up to date.

The committee:

2. Adopted the meeting agenda.

3. Adopted the synopsis of the meeting held on 26 January 2012 [CONF/HR(2012) SYN1].

4. Heard statements by Annelise Oeschger and Giuseppe Guarneri, representative of the Conference of INGOs on the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH), concerning the reform of the European Court of Human Rights, in particular the Brighton Declaration and follow-up to it, the key points here being:

6. Heard a statement by Nigel Warner, ILGA, on recent developments concerning discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity (cf Recommendation of 27 January 2012). Given the attacks on freedom of expression in various countries (Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine), a follow-up recommendation would have to be drafted.

Adopted unanimously less seven abstentions the principle of the recommendation “Attacks on the right to freedom of expression of LGBT people and those who advocate for their rights”, to be submitted to the Conference of INGOs on 27 June.

7. Heard François Becker, working group co-ordinator, present a progress report on the report on Human Rights and Religions, giving details of the main results of the group’s work and indicating that the draft final report would be submitted to the committee in January 2013.

8. Heard a statement by Sophia Koukoulis-Spiliotopoulos, attorney and member of the board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, on the subject of “Women and men, equal holders of human rights”, with the following key points:

9. Heard a statement by civil society representatives from Belarus on the preparation of the parliamentary elections and the current situation in Belarus, where very many people were being held in prison on political grounds, where civil society found it very difficult to organise and function normally, where lawyers defending civil society activists were coming under great pressure and where civil society activists were prevented from leaving the country.

10. Cyril Ritchie, Conference of INGOs Rapporteur on Belarus, drew attention to the resolution adopted on 27 January 2012 and said that a fresh resolution concerning civil society in Belarus would be presented to the Conference of INGOs on 27 June for adoption.

11. With regard to representation of the Conference of INGOs on the Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI), an update would be published in the committee’s next newsletter.

12. Heard a statement by Gérard Greneron, Vice-Chair of the committee and representative on the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), on his first CDPC meeting and the preparation of the Conference of Ministers of Justice to be held in Vienna from 19 to 21 September 2012. In particular, he:

13. Heard Marie-José Schmitt, treasurer of the INGO-Service Association, issue a reminder of the need to contribute to INGO-Service, given the importance of the issues addressed and the action to be taken. It was a financial tool which served the INGOs’ joint action.

14. Activities of the committee’s working groups

15. Enter! – A Council of Europe project on access to social rights for all young people: information on the website

16. Other business