The European Social Charter is a Council of Europe treaty that guarantees fundamental social and economic rights as a counterpart to the European Convention on Human Rights, which refers to civil and political rights. It guarantees a broad range of everyday human rights related to employment, housing, health, education, social protection and welfare.

The Charter lays specific emphasis on the protection of vulnerable persons such as elderly people, children, people with disabilities and migrants. It requires that enjoyment of the abovementioned rights be guaranteed without discrimination.

No other legal instrument at pan-European level can provide such an extensive and complete protection of social rights as that provided by the Charter, which also serves as a point of reference in European Union law; most of the social rights in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights are based on the relevant articles of the Charter.

The Charter is therefore seen as the Social Constitution of Europe and represents an essential component of the continent’s human rights architecture.

The 7th edition of the Collected texts provides an updated account of all of the relevant instruments of the Charter, and the functioning of the various bodies which participate in the monitoring procedures.


60th Anniversary Events 60th Anniversary Events

Join the celebration of the European Social Charter’s 60th anniversary

18/10/2021 Strasbourg, France

The European Social Charter celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2021. It was opened for signature in Turin on 18 October 1961. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the opening for signature of the revised European Social Charter. On this occasion, the Council of Europe will hold a...

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Criteria relating to equal pay and equal opportunities for women in employment

17/11/2020 Strasbourg, France

The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) has established criteria for equal pay and equal opportunities for women in employment. The ECSR emphasises the need to recognise the right to equal pay in national legislation, the right to an adequate and effective remedy in case of alleged wage...

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Department of the European Social Charter

Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law
Council of Europe
1, quai Jacoutot
F – 67075 Strasbourg Cedex

Tél. +33 (0)3 90 21 55 23


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 DG Human Rights and Rule of Law