Council of Europe contribution to the European Pillar of Social Rights
European Commission consultation on reinforcing Social Europe and the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights
A Council of Europe contribution prepared by the Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law
Social rights are human rights
As such, they are universal, indivisible and interconnected or interrelated. The delivery of social rights — and, in consequence, the realisation of Social Europe — is not only an international human rights requirement but also a condition for social and democratic sustainability.
Without neglecting other rights, particular attention should be paid to gateway rights (rights that are sine qua non) for the exercise or enjoyment of other social rights as well as civil and political rights. From this perspective, absolute priority must be given to the eradication of poverty, starting with child poverty.
Closely related to this objective is the eradication of homelessness and ensuring the right to housing of an adequate standard. These are absolute enablers - or, their absence, an absolute disabler - for the enjoyment of other rights.
Similarly, inequalities must be overcome, including through ensuring equal opportunities for all and closing the gender pay gap as a matter of urgency.