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Defender of disadvantaged population of “untouchables” in India receives Raoul Wallenberg Prize

Raoul Wallenberg Prize 17 January 2022 Strasbourg

Vincent Raj Arokiasamy, founder of the organisation “Evidence” in India, has been awarded the Council of Europe’s Raoul Wallenberg Prize for his outstanding determination and persistence in bringing meaningful change to the lives of the Dalits, historically known as “untouchables”. “Vincent Raj...

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Secretary General: liquidation of International Memorial marks a dark day for civil society in the Russian Federation

Secretary General 28 December 2021 Strasbourg

The liquidation of International Memorial is devastating news for civil society in the Russian Federation. The existence and development of civil society organisations is an essential pillar of any European democracy. However, the Russian Federation appears to be moving further away from our...

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Croatia: More needed to prevent corruption and promote integrity in government and police, say anti-corruption experts

Group of States against Corruption 22 December 2021 Strasbourg

In a new compliance report the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) assesses measures taken by the Croatian authorities to implement recommendations issued in the Fifth Round Evaluation Report on Croatia, which was adopted in early December 2019 and made public in March...

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Poland: Further measures needed to implement the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages 17 December 2021 Strasbourg

Since having entered into force in Poland in 2009, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages applies to the following languages: Armenian, Belarusian, Czech, German, Karaim, Kashub, Lemko, Lithuanian, Romani, Russian, Slovak, Tatar, Ukrainian and Yiddish. In a new report the...

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New Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees

Special Representative on migration and refugees 17 December 2021 Strasbourg

On the occasion of International Migrants Day (18 December), the Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has announced the appointment of Leyla Kayacik as her new Special Representative on migration and refugees. The announcement comes at a time when migration-related challenges are prominent...

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Cyprus: Progress on Armenian and Cypriot Maronite Arabic languages, but room for improvement, say minority languages experts

Committee of Experts for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages 16 December 2021 Strasbourg

State authorities in Cyprus continue to support minority language speakers by funding existing cultural institutions and establishing new sports facilities where their languages can be used, according to a new report by the Committee of Experts for the European Charter for Regional or Minority...

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2021 North-South Prize awarded to the COVAX Mechanism and Zarifa Ghafari

North-South Centre 15 December 2021 Lisbon

On its meeting on 19 November, the Executive Committee of the North-South Centre endorsed the decision of the North-South Prize Jury to award the 2021 North-South Prize of the Council of Europe to The COVAX Mechanism and Ms. Zarifa Gafhari. The Covax Mechanism is selected in recognition to the...

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Tunisia launches new initiative to better detect and help victims of human trafficking

Council of Europe 15 DECEMBER 2021 Tunisia

The “National Referral Mechanism” (NRM), the first framework of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for identifying and referring potential victims of human trafficking, has been launched with the support of the European Union and the Council of Europe. Based on a human rights...

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Venice Commission publishes opinions in fourth and final plenary session of 2021

Venice Commission 14 December 2021 Venice

In their final plenary session of the year, again held in a hybrid format because of Covid, the constitutional experts of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission have adopted, among other texts, opinions on Albania, Cyprus, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The as-adopted opinions...

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Hungary: LGBTQI amendments incompatible with international human rights standards says Venice Commission

Venice Commission 14 December 2021 Strasbourg

The constitutional law experts of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission have published an Opinion on the compatibility with international human rights standards of Act LXXIX, as enacted by the Hungarian Parliament in June 2021. The Opinion focuses on amendments to Hungarian legislation...

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AI in judicial systems: new action plan on digitalisation for a better justice

Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ) 13 December 2021 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe’s European Commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ) has adopted an action plan on digitalisation for a better justice for 2022-2025, aiming at reconciling the efficiency of new technologies and the respect of fundamental rights. This action plan sets the major...

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“Crime and Criminal Justice -The Role of Restorative Justice in Europe”: Justice Ministers’ conference in Venice

Council of Europe 13 December 2021 Strasbourg

“Crime and Criminal Justice -The Role of Restorative Justice in Europe” is the theme of the Conference of the Ministers of Justice organised by the Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers in Venice on 13-14 December at the Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista. Restorative Justice...

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Claire Bazy Malaurie elected as new Venice Commission President

Venice Commission 10 December 2021 Strasbourg

Claire Bazy Malaurie, member of the Constitutional Council of France since 2010, has been elected President of the Venice Commission, succeeding Gianni Buquicchio, who has been President since 2009. Her two-year term begins today, 10 December, and she will be eligible for re-election in 2023. She...

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Human Rights Day 2021: Now more than ever, we must stand up for human rights

Secretary general 9 December 2021 Strasbourg

The Secretary General of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, has made the following statement ahead of Human Rights Day on 10 December: “When faced with difficult challenges, it can be tempting for states to consider relaxing human rights protections. In fact, the opposite...

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GRECO President: “Covid-19 related corruption risks remain high; governments should respond quickly but lawfully to the pandemic”

Council of Europe 9 DECEMBER 2021 Strasbourg

To mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, commemorated every year on 9 December, the President of the Group of States against Corruption of the Council of Europe (GRECO), Marin Mrčela, issued the following statement: “As governments face successive waves of the Covid-19 pandemic and still...

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“Free to Create, Create to be Free” – digital exhibition on artistic freedom

Council of Europe 8 December 2021 Strasbourg

In today’s world, freedom of expression is facing growing pressure – and so is the freedom of artistic expression. The COVID-19 crisis has severely affected artists and the cultural and creative sector, having rendered, at the same time, ever more visible the importance of arts and culture that...

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Secretary General asks Poland how it intends to ensure effective implementation of ECHR

Secretary General 7 December 2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Polish Foreign Minister, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has today taken a step of formally asking Poland to explain how, in the context of the recent judgment from the country’s Constitutional Court, it ensures the effective implementation of its...

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How two key Council of Europe conventions can tackle online violence against women

Council of Europe 7 December 2021 Strasbourg

As digital technologies have a reproducing and amplifying effect on existing gender inequalities, recent Covid-related restrictions and lockdowns have seen an increase in cybercriminal activities, as people stay online longer. As a result, women and girls are facing multiple risks of online and...

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Committee of Ministers: Informal exchange of views with representatives of civil society on “Addressing hate crime within a human rights framework”

Committee of Ministers 7 December 2021 Strasbourg

At an informal meeting on 6 December 2021, delegations from the Council of Europe’s 47 member States held an exchange of views with representatives of international civil society organisations active in the area of combatting hate crime. They discussed the challenges of data gathering, reporting,...

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2020 North-South Prize Award Ceremony: focus on right to life and climate change

North-South Centre 7 December 2021 Strasbourg

The 2020 North-South Prize of the Council of Europe (Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, Lisbon, 9 December, 12 pm) will be awarded to the International Commission against the Death Penalty (ICDP), represented by its President, Judge Navanethem Pillay, in recognition of its contribution to the...

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