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Human rights are more important than ever in times of crisis

On the Front Line against Human Rights Violations

“The virus is destroying many lives and much else of what is very dear to us. We should not let it destroy our core values and free societies,”

Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić

At the end of March Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić warned that Covid-19 restrictions had to be balanced with human rights.  We’ve put together a coronavirus toolkit to guide governments as they make difficult decisions, and opened up our human rights training programme for free with the launch of a five hour course.

As governments scramble to protect their populations many of the rights we take for granted are being taken away. In many countries, we’re not allowed to meet - even to visit relatives - our children are not allowed in school and our privacy is open to challenge by authorities trying to control the virus. Yet throughout Europe communities gain strength by coming together.

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News about Covid-19 News about Covid-19

Council experts welcome online learning during pandemic


Experts from the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages have welcomed the speed with which countries have adapted online courses to give access to learning for all ages and urged them to go even further to support learners. They are calling for countries to develop comprehensive...

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Eradicating prison overcrowding: CPT urges intensifying temporary measures introduced to prevent COVID-19

Council of Europe's Anti-Torture Committee 9 July 2020 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe's Anti-Torture Committee (CPT) has called upon the 47 member States of the Council of Europe to seize the opportunity of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in prisons to put an end to prison overcrowding through the emergency measures which have been put in place...

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How should judges respond to Covid-19 challenges and what lessons should they learn?

Consultative Council of European judges (CCJE) 30 June 2020 Strasbourg

According to the Council of Europe’s Consultative Council of European judges (CCJE), the main challenge posed by the pandemic has been to ensure that the public health emergency is not used as a pretext for human rights infringements and that new legal measures are applied with strict respect for...

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