28 October 2021 marked the 10th Anniversary of the opening for signature in Moscow of the MEDICRIME Convention. An online event was organised on 2 December 2021 to celebrate this milestone.
The MEDICRIME Convention’s achievements were examined, as well as the challenges and added value for the Parties and member States in fighting the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health. It was an occasion to look at the current issues at stake and the steps ahead.
About 1200 cybercrime experts from some 120 countries – including from public sector but also international and private sector organisations, civil society organisations and academia – participated in the Octopus Conference on Cybercrime from 16 to 18 November 2021.
Octopus 2021 was the 13th edition of this conference. The bottom line of all the previous ones had been a call to “cooperate”. The one for Octopus 2021 is the same but includes a supplement: cooperate, the tools are there!
The Council of Europe’s International Co-operation Group on Drugs and Addictions (Pompidou Group) marked its 50th anniversary in Paris (Pompidou Centre) on 28 October 2021 at an event that looked back over its history and successes, while also highlighting the importance of placing human rights at the heart of drug policies.
The celebration of the 50th anniversary of Pompidou Group brought together over 100 high-level representatives of member States, Permanent Correspondents of the Group, and representatives of partner Organisations.
The European Social Charter is a Council of Europe human rights treaty. For 60 years, the Charter has been protecting the social and economic rights of citizens across Europe. It was open for signature on 18 October 1961 in Turin, Italy.
In these years, the Charter has been revised and new rights have been included to take into account the challenges facing our modern societies. But the Charter has remained at the heart of the Council of Europe’s statutory goals: human rights, rule of law and democracy, which cannot be realised without the respect for social rights.
This year’s World Day is dedicated to women. Although women represent a small percentage of global death sentences, gender-based discrimination continues to impact women at all levels of the criminal justice system. In some countries, women are sentenced to death at higher rates than men for offences linked to sexual morality, such as adultery. Moreover, mitigating circumstances related to gender-based violence and abuse are rarely taken into consideration during the criminal process.
Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society issues met to agree on action required to address the radical changes in the media and information environment brought on by massive digitalisation, with dramatic effects for the exercise of freedom of expression and substantial impact on other human rights and freedoms.
The German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, in cooperation with Amnesty International, the Omega Research Foundationand the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) held a high-level online Webinar concerning the implementation of the Recommendation CM/Rec(2021)2 to member States on measures against the trade in goods used for the death penalty, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 31 March 2021.
The Webinar was jointly organised by the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media division and the Council of Europe, as part of German Presidency of the Committee of Ministers.
The event focused on the human rights standards related to freedom of expression and media freedom which should guide States’ responses to the pandemic.
The German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, in cooperation with the Steering Committee for Human Rights, held a high-level online workshop on the topic “Environment, Human Rights and Business: a framework for addressing environmental protection challenges”.
The workshop stimulated a dialogue on possible actions by the Council of Europe, including possibilities for standard-setting work and higher engagement with private business actors, to support an enhanced understanding and full protection of human rights and the environment by businesses.
The objective of the webinar was to share national experiences of public debate during the COVID-19 pandemic and to consider what have we learned. It reflected on the utility of public debate for better preparedness regarding future public health crises. Key questions addressed were:
What role has public debate played in COVID19 and what have we learned (i.e. what worked well, what worked less well)?
Preparedness for future public health crises – how does/should public debate feature in addressing future health challenges?
Acting against crime and preventing crime are some of the ways in which States protect the rule of law. Such action and prevention should always be pursued while respecting fundamental human rights.
The 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justiceexplored a vast range of aspects arising out of crime prevention and the consequences of crime, including economic crime. The UN Congress, and the context in which it is placed, confirmed the relevance and added value of the Council of Europe in this field.
Follow #COEwomen series and meet the chairwomen of Council of Europe's committees whose work focuses on social rights, penological cooperation, human rights and biomedicine, judges, data protection, media and information society, and anti-money laundering.
This year, 28 January is a very special day, not only for the Council of Europe, but for the entire global Data Protection community, and above all, for each and every individual protected by this essential right.
This year, 28 January is the 40th Anniversary of Convention 108, which was open for signature on 28 January 1981. It is also the 15th edition of Data Protection Day.
Artificial intelligence now dominates people’s everyday lives around the world and impacts every area of society. The Council of Europe plays a key role in setting internationally binding standards for safeguarding human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the age of artificial intelligence. Its Ad hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) has already done important preparatory work in this regard.