Information on the working groups of the Human Rights Committee

The working groups provide a space where INGOs can share their expertise, work on common proposals and positions and make them heard in the unique setting offered by the quadrilogue - between the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the INGO Conference - in the Council of Europe.

The Standing Committee approved the following working groups for the Human Rights Committee:

I. The European Social Charter
Person in charge: Marie-José Schmitt, European Action for the Disabled (AEH) and Vice-chair of the Human Rights Committee.

For the winter session of the Conference of INGOs the working group is preparing an initiative for the ratification of the Additional Protocol on Collective Complaints by further states, 14 having ratified it to date.

More information on the Group

II. Human Rights Defenders
Persons in charge: the International Network Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM), Human Rights House Network (HRHN) and Gérard Greneron, Vice-chair of the Human Rights Committee.

The areas of work:

- improve the protection of HR work through existing and possibly new mechanisms;
- promote a positive perception of HR work, in the public opinion as well as within public authorities, and act against stigmatization of human rights defenders;
- work on specific cases, both negative and positive.

More information on the Group

The work plan will follow.

III. Violence against the Elderly and Human Rights
Person in charge: Alain Koskas, International Federation of Associations of the Elderly (FIAPA).

This theme will be taken up also by the Council of Europe Human Rights Policy and Development Department. The work plan will follow.

More information on the Group

IV. Extreme Poverty and Human Rights
Persons in charge: Jean-Gabriel Prieur, International Movement ATD Fourth World, Maritchu Rall, International Association of Charities (AIC), working in relation with projects within the UN and the EU.

Message from the event organised by the Conference of INGOs to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October 2014 in Turin to participants in the high-level conference on the European Social Charter

More information on the Group

New: date of the next meeting, Tuesday 21 April 2015, 10h30-13h00
Palais de l’Europe, room 2

V. Lanzarote
Persons in charge : Anna Rurka, European Committee for Home-Based Priority Action for the Child and the Family and INGO Conference representative for family and childhood and Gérard Greneron, European Council of Police Trade Unions and Vice-chair of the Human Rights Committee.

With a view to contributing to the Council of Europe Strategy on the rights of the Child 2012-2015, the Conference of INGOs has chosen to focus on the One in Five Campaign and the Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as the Lanzarote Convention.

More information on the Group

VI. Preventing and combating violence against women, domestic violence and trafficking in human beings
Person in charge: Betty Doornenbal, Gender Equality Expert of the INGO Conference

More information on the Group

Activities report for 2014

VII. Abolition of torture in Europe
Persons in charge: Michel Aguilar, European Buddhist Union (EBU) and Sylvie Bukhari de Pontual, International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT).

Concurrently with the adoption of the Recommendation on “Changes in the situation with regard to torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the Council of Europe member states on 24 January 2013, the Conference of INGOs decided to establish a working group to follow up this text.

More information on the group

VIII. Human Rights, Co-development and Migrations

Persons in charge:
Hugo CASTELLI-EYRE – European Network Church on the Move (EN-RE)
Marie-Christine DAVY – International Association of Charities (AIC)

Work basis

Coinciding with the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of a Declaration on the UN the Guiding Principles on business and human rights on 16 April 2014, implementing the United Nations « Protect, Respect and Remedy » framework, the working group proposes to:

- raise awareness and involve NGOs in actions targeting respect for human dignity and promoting relevant human rights in relation to the exploitation of the natural resources in Africa, Latin America and Asia by extractive industry companies so that such activity contributes to the development of these countries instead of driving their inhabitants to emigration.

- Make known and support the positive examples that favour human rights and report all situations which violate human dignity, human rights and co-development.

- Prepare a recommendation for the INGO Conference

More information on the group

These working groups are open to all INGOs working on the issues - thank you for contacting the persons in charge.

For the Human Rights Committee:

Michel Aguilar, Chair
Gérard Greneron, Vice-chair
Iamvi Totsi, Vice-chair
Maritchu Rall, Rapporteur