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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.

Learn more on how we protect people

News about Covid-19

How well are young people prepared to understand pandemics and natural disasters?

Council of Europe 2 March 2023 Strasbourg

Pandemics have always had a considerable impact on human history. Each time, they remind humans of their fragility and how limited their knowledge is. Despite their impact, these events receive little attention in the teaching of history. With the Covid-19 pandemic, and more recently the...

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War in Ukraine, Covid-19 and climate change key challenges for national minorities


National minorities in Europe faced multiple threats during the past two years, says a new report from the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine caused a humanitarian catastrophe, including for national...

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Adverse impact of Covid-19 on vulnerable groups, racism in policing, intimidation of LGBTI people: main trends in ECRI's annual report

Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) 2 June 2022 Strasbourg

The continuing Covid-19 pandemic that has further marginalised vulnerable groups, the ongoing problem of racism in police forces and the rise of anti-LGBTI public discourse were the main trends in 2021, said the Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) in its annual...

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How is your health protected under the European Convention on Human Rights?
See some examples how the ECHR promotes access to proper health care, the safeguarding of people with mental health issues, and lots more.