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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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Council of Europe leaders react to Turkey’s announced withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

Council of Europe 21 March 2021 Strasbourg

The German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas, Chair of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, and the President of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, Rik Daems, joined their voices to the Secretary General of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović...

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Secretary General responds to Turkey‘s announced withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

Secretary General 20 March 2021 Strasbourg

Statement by Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić

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Secretary General tells PACE, “During Covid we have been present where people need us.”

Secretary General 19 March 2021 Strasbourg

Speaking to members of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić emphasised that since the start of the health crisis in Europe, the Council of Europe has not only advised but also provided material support to its member States. “We have...

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GRECO urges Turkey to ensure full judicial independence, integrity standards for MPs and transparency of party funding

Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) 18 March 2021 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) has published two reports on Turkey’s implementation of its recommendations on preventing corruption in respect of MPs, judges and prosecutors (GRECO’s 4th Evaluation Round) and on incriminations and the transparency of party...

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Cypriot authorities should investigate allegations of pushbacks and ill-treatment of migrants

Commissioner for Human Rights 18 March 2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior of Cyprus the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović urges the Cypriot authorities to ensure that independent and effective investigations are carried out into allegations of pushbacks and of ill-treatment of arriving...

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