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

60 years on bringing the European Social Charter into changed times

6 October 2021 Rome, Italy

The University of Roma Tre (Department of Law, Roma Tre International Centre for Research "Diritto e Globalizzazione") together with the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre, and with the support of the Department of the European Social Charter of the Council of Europe, are organising...

Read More

focus focus

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...

Read More

our playlist - watch and share our playlist - watch and share
Social Charter video Social Charter video


Available in [ALB] [ARM] [AZE] [BOS] [FR] [GER] [HU] [IT] [POL] [RO] [RU] [SPA] [TUR] [UKR]

Resources resources

 DG Human Rights and Rule of Law