At a glance

According to its terms of reference, the task of the European Committee for Social Cohesion, Human Dignity and Equality (CDDECS) is to oversee and coordinate the inter-governmental work of the Council of Europe (CoE) in the fields of social cohesion, human dignity, equality and anti-discrimination, and to advice the Committee of Ministers (CM) on all questions within these areas.

The aim of this work is to:

  • secure full enjoyment of and access to all human rights, including social and economic rights, by all members of society;
  • reduce the vulnerability of people; and
  • strengthen the fabric of sustainable democratic societies.

These are to be achieved by contributing to the promotion of solidarity and the protection of human dignity, equality and equal opportunities for all, and the prevention and combatting of violence and discrimination on any grounds. The CDDECS will, based on the relevant CoE strategies and transversal perspectives, enhance implementation of the related standards and policies in the member states, and co-operate with other structures and bodies as appropriate.


The main Council of Europe conventions that are relevant for the performance of the CDDECS’ tasks are:

  • European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (CETS No. 148),
  • Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (CETS No. 157),
  • Revised European Social Charter (CETS No. 163),
  • Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197),
  • Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS No. 201), and
  • Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CETS No. 210).
“Council of Europe and the role of National Human Rights Institutions, Equality Bodies and Ombudsman offices in promoting equality and social inclusion”

Council of Europe Conference organised in cooperation with the Human Rights Centre (Finnish NHRI)

10-11 December 2015

Venue: Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland

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Sámi - The People, Their Culture and Languages and the Council of Europe

The Seminar “Sámi - The People, Their Culture and Languages and the Council of Europe” was held in Inari, Finland on 27 – 29 November, 2014. It was organised by the Council of Europe and the Sámi Parliament in Finland. The aims and expected outcomes of the event were to provide insight into the specific identities, traditions, cultures and languages of the Sámi and to increase understanding of the common challenges faced by Sámi in Finland, Norway and Sweden in the fields of equality, effective participation in public life, and preservation of languages and cultures, reflecting also the perspective of youth, women and diverse groups within the minority.

It was also aimed to enable the sharing of experiences, creative solutions and good practices and to serve as a pilot exercise for the relevant Council of Europe “kin-monitoring mechanisms” to enhance synergies. It was the first thematic event of the European Committee for Social Cohesion, Human Dignity and Equality (CDDECS) of the Council of Europe with the objective to further increase the importance of the Council of Europe as a pan-European actor in the fields of human rights, democracy and rule of law.

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