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Member States held an informal exchange of views with representatives of civil society organisations on their role in electoral processes during the Covid 19 crisis

Committee of Ministers 14 April 2021 Strasbourg

At an informal meeting on 13 April 2021, delegations from the Council of Europe’s 47 member States held an informal exchange of views with civil society representatives operating in the area of electoral assistance. The aim was to find out more about civil society’s work on the ground during the...

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Vaccine passports: Council of Europe issues guidance to governments to safeguard human rights

Secretary General 14 April 2021 Strasbourg

In a document aimed at governments across Europe, Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić highlights the relevant human rights standards for addressing the issue of “vaccine passports”. The Information Document was sent to all 47 Council of Europe member on 31 March. The document underlines the...

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Angela Merkel to address PACE spring session

Parliamentary Assembly 13 April 2021 Strasbourg

On the occasion of the German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth will participate in the spring session of PACE (19-22 April 2021) which will take place in a hybrid format. The President of the European...

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GREVIO report reveals trends in stopping violence against women

Council of Europe 12 April 2021 Strasbourg

Trends and best practices in efforts to stop violence against women are outlined in a new report based on 17 countries in Europe, covering its work from June 2019 to December 2020. It has been published by GREVIO, the Council of Europe’s independent expert group responsible for monitoring...

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Combatting racism and hate speech at sports events

Council of Europe 12 April 2021 Strasbourg

Sports events are too often marred by incidents of racism, homophobia, sexism and other manifestations of hate speech. On some occasions the incidents also degenerate into physical violence, involving many supporters and occasionally result in the interruption of the event. The risk of such...

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Covid-19 is worsening human trafficking – states should take action, warn Council of Europe experts

Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) 9 April 2021 Strasbourg

The Covid-19 pandemic is having a worrying impact on human trafficking across Europe and states should do more to prevent it, according to the latest annual report from the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA). “The effects of the pandemic...

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Europe’s imprisonment rate continues to fall: Council of Europe’s annual penal statistics

Council of Europe 8 April 2021 Strasbourg

The overall European imprisonment rate - the number of persons in prison per 100,000 inhabitants - fell again slightly in 2020, consolidating a trend that started in 2013, according to the Council of Europe’s Annual Penal Statistics on Prison Populations for 2020 (see also the Key findings). On...

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Reform of mental health services: an urgent need and a human rights imperative

Commissioner for Human Rights 7 April 2021 Strasbourg

“Already in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) was warning that substantial investment in mental health services was necessary to avert a mental health crisis. The evidence for the devastating impact of the pandemic on mental health is now...

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International Roma Day: Remembering history to ensure a brighter future

Secretary General 7 April 2021 Strasbourg

Statement by Council of Europe Secretary General

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Links between terrorism and transnational organised crime: Committee of Ministers adopts guidelines

Committee of Ministers 1 April 2021 Strasbourg

The Committee of Ministers has adopted guidelines which provide member States with practical advice to help relevant national authorities to better prevent and fight terrorism, and to enhance their understanding of the links between organised crime groups and terrorist organisations who are...

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Legal aid in civil and administrative law: new guidelines

Committee of Ministers 1 April 2021 Strasbourg

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted a set of guidelines for the 47 member States to help them improve the functioning of national systems of legal aid in the fields of civil and administrative law. The Committee of Ministers stresses the importance of establishing an...

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Committee of Ministers adopts Recommendation to strengthen national human rights institutions

Committee of Ministers 31 March 2021 Strasbourg

The Committee of Ministers has adopted a Recommendation to its member States on the development and strengthening of effective, pluralist and independent national human rights institutions (NHRIs). Such institutions are among the pillars of respect for human rights, the rule of law and democracy....

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Implementing ECHR judgments: Progress in 2020 despite COVID, but further efforts needed

Committee of Ministers 31 March 2021 Strasbourg

States across Europe are continuing to make progress on implementing judgments from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest annual report from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. However, further efforts are needed to tackle...

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What measures should be taken against the trade in goods used for torture or execution?

Committee of Ministers 30 March 2021 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers has adopted a Recommendation inviting member States to take measures against the trade in goods used for the death penalty, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Committee is deeply concerned by the fact that...

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Commissioner: High time for Hungary to restore journalistic and media freedoms

Commissioner for Human Rights 30 March 2021 Strasbourg

“The combined effects of a politically controlled media regulatory authority and distortionary state intervention in the media market have eroded media pluralism and freedom of expression in Hungary”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, in a new Memorandum....

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Human Rights Commissioner: Portugal should act more resolutely to tackle racism

Commissioner for Human Rights 24 March 2021 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, has called on the Portuguese authorities to address more resolutely the increasing level of racism in the country, as well as to take additional steps to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence. The...

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European Committee of Social Rights: 2020 Conclusions on employment, training and equal opportunities

European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) 24 March 2021 Strasbourg

The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) has published its Conclusions 2020 on the provisions of the European Social Charter relating to employment, training and equal opportunities: the right to work (Article 1); the right to vocational guidance (Article 9); the right to vocational...

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Venice Commission publishes opinions on 10 countries

Venice Commission 23 March 2021 Venice

The Council of Europe’s Venice Commission is publishing 13 opinions this week, which were adopted during its plenary session this past Friday and Saturday, on Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Spain, Russia, Ukraine. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan were also on the agenda. Held...

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Leendert Verbeek elected as the President of the Congress

Congress 23 March 2021 Strasbourg

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Council of Europe has elected, during its 40th Session, Leendert Verbeek (Netherlands, SOC/G/PD) as its new President, for a mandate of 2 years and a half. He is the King’s Commissioner for the Province of Flevoland and he was previously the Chair...

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Spanish authorities should amend the Criminal Code to strengthen existing safeguards of the right to freedom of expression

Commissioner for Human Rights 22 March 2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Justice of Spain, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović invites the Spanish authorities to amend in a comprehensive manner the Criminal Code to strengthen existing safeguards of the right to freedom of...

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