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.


ECSR Election of members ECSR Election of members

European Committee of Social Rights: election of members for 2023-2028

17/06/2022 Strasbourg, France

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, at the 1437th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies on 15 June 2022, adopted the procedure (CM/Del/Dec(2022)1437/4.3E) for filling the five seats on the European Committee of Social Rights falling vacant on 31 December 2022, with the terms for...

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ECSR Conclusions 2021 ECSR Conclusions 2021

ECSR Conclusions 2021

Several problems relating to health and social protection still persist in Europe

23/03/2022 Strasbourg, France

The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) today published its conclusions 2021 in respect of 33 States* on the articles of the Charter relating to the thematic group “Health, social security and social protection”. Germany and Iceland submitted their reports too late and therefore the...

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Department of Social Rights

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