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.



New ECSR member to be elected

29/08/2023 Strasbourg, France

Following the resignation with effect from 1 July 2023 of Monika ŠIMŮNKOVÁ (from the Czech Republic), the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe took a decision on the election procedure of a new member of the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR). The deadline for the nomination of...

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DIGEST of the ECSR case law

Updated Digest of the case law of the European Committee of Social Rights

13/12/2022 Strasbourg

The European Committee of Social Rights and the Department of Social Rights of the Council of Europe are launching today an updated version of the Digest of the case-law of the European Committee of social Rights on the European Social Charter. The Charter is a living human rights instrument that...

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European Social Charter

Right to Health

Safety at work

Rights of Older Persons

Right to education

Child Poverty


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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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