The Directorate of Equal Rights and Dignity fights discrimination in all its forms, protects and promotes children’s rights, and combats sexual exploitation and abuse of children. The Directorate also seeks to enhance integrity of sport, notably through its unique Conventions.


The Directorate of Anti-discrimination implements the activities under its responsibility in the Programme and Budget.

Organisation chart of the Directorate of Equal Rights and Dignity

Anti-discrimination Department

  • Our European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) monitors racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, intolerance and racial discrimination and advises governments.
  • Our conventions, monitored by independent experts, protect the rights of people belonging to national minorities and promote the use of Europe’s regional and minority languages in public life.
  • Our programmes to support inclusion and fight discrimination tackle hate speech and ensure the human rights of all Europeans are respected, including the LGBT community and other vulnerable groups.
  • Our “Intercultural Cities” network supports local authorities in managing and benefiting from cultural diversity to build inclusive communities.

 More about the Antidiscrimination Department activities


  • Our sports conventions tackling doping, match-fixing and safety at sports events combat serious threats to human rights and the integrity of sport. They are leading international legal references.

 More about the sport sector of the Council of Europe

Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS)

  • EPAS aims to promote the development of any sport whose benefits are wide-reaching ;
  • EPAS develops policies and standards, monitors them and helps with capacity-building and the exchange of good practices..

 More about the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS)

Roma and Travellers 

  • Our projects help protect Roma from violence and discrimination and give Roma and traveller women access to justice.
  • Our training for Roma mediators promotes Roma inclusion.
  • We were the first international organisation to give Roma youth a political voice.
  • The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture highlights Roma culture.

 More about Roma and Travellers sector

Children Rights

  • Children’s rights are promoted and protected across the Council of Europe. Priorities include: children’s rights in the digital world, the protection of child migrants, the promotion of child-friendly justice and the elimination of all forms of violence against children.
  • Our ‘Lanzarote Convention’ requires states to criminalise and prevent sexual violence against children and protect victims. Support for this work is also fostered through our European Day against the Sexual Abuse of Children on 18 November.

 More about Council of Europe Strategy for Children's rights