Human Rights at local and regional levels
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe has always been convinced that local and regional good governance entails a full compliance with fundamental freedoms and human rights. Local governments, with a political leadership accountable to citizens, are key players in guaranteeing human rights. The Congress has adopted several reports and has been collecting data and good practice examples of human rights applications at local and regional levels of government.
The aim is to:
- promote awareness among elected representatives of their responsibilities in dealing with human rights issues that affect people’s everyday lives at the local level ;
- encourage the national, as well as local, authorities to be trained in the field of human rights ;
- disseminate reliable information among citizens about their rights.
The Congress has developed a series "Human rights handbook for local and regional authorities" to provide a practical tool for local and regional elected representatives, but also for the staff of territorial administrations. The aim is to highlight the practical implementation of human rights at local and regional levels and to facilitate the exchange of experience between local and regional elected representatives.Each handbook presents examples of initiatives implemented by communities and provides contact details for each of them.
Fight against discrimination
Human Rights Handbook - Vol.1
The first volume focuses on the right to non-discrimination across three categories requiring special attention: refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and internally displaced persons (IDPs); Roma and Travellers; LGBTI+ persons.
Human Rights Handbook - Vol.2
The second volume focuses on social rights. It features issues with regards to health, education, work, housing, social security, protection, inclusion and integration, with a particular focus on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Environment and sustainable development
Human Rights Handbook - Vol.3
A third volume will be published in October 2022 and will focus on rights related to the environment and sustainability, as a safe and healthy environment is a precondition for the enjoyment of any type of rights.
- Congress resolution to endorse the Principles on the Protection and Promotion of the Ombudsman Institution (“The Venice Principles”)
- Promoting human rights at local and regional level
- Revised Charter of European Political Parties for a Non-Racist Society
- Best practices of implementation of human rights at local and regional level in member states of the Council of Europe and other countries
- Developing indicators to raise awareness of human rights at local and regional level
- Congress Human Rights Action Plan 2016-2017
- Andrew Boff: "In fair, inclusive and diverse communities there is no place for hatred and discrimination against LGBTI people"
- "Local and regional authorities are indispensable for achieving this common ideal of a Europe of human rights", says Harald Bergmann on the occasion of Human Rights Day
- Congress to strengthen public ethics and human rights delivery at local level in Moldova
Congress Reference Texts
The Congress has adopted several recommendations and resolutions relating to human rights at local and regional levels. These texts aim to raise awareness among local and regional authorities to respect, protect, implement and promote human rights. The topics of the reports are:
- The role of local and regional authorities in the implementation of human rights;
- The development of indicators for human rights awareness at local and regional levels;
- Good practices for the implementation of human rights at local and regional levels in Council of Europe member States and other States.
The publication “Thematic Activities” presents the Congress’s reference texts in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Agenda 2030. Indeed, local and regional authorities contribute a significant share to the efforts of national governments to fulfil the SDGs and can build on the reports, recommendations and handbooks made available by the Congress.
The thematic activities on which the work of the Congress is based include human rights at local and regional levels, gender equality, children's rights and inclusive societies (rights of refugees and migrants, Roma and travellers, LGBTI+ persons).