The European Social Charter celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2021. It was opened for signature in Turin on 18 October 1961. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the opening for signature of the revised European Social Charter. On this occasion, the Council of Europe will hold a high-level panel in Strasbourg, in the morning of 18 October 2021.
The European Social Charter is a binding international treaty that protects everyday human rights. The Charter is also frequently referred to as the Social Constitution of Europe. The European Social Charter, together with the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects civil and political rights, are the two fundamental constituent parts of the human rights protection architecture in Europe.
The Charter has made a significant contribution to Europe’s social progress, and to the objective of leaving no one behind. It has done so in terms of working conditions, social protection, public health, equality between women and men, children’s rights, etc. The Charter has guided action in member states and also inspired the European Union and contributed to the development of international human rights law in other parts of the world.
However, progress has been uneven and slipping back has been experienced for example as regards increasing inequalities or the erosion of labour and trade union rights. The recent financial and health crises have also revealed important weaknesses in the protection of fundamental social rights.
At present, different Council of Europe entities are exploring ways to strengthen the efficacy of the Charter and its mechanisms with a view to improving the implementation of social rights in Europe.
The event will offer an opportunity to hear the views of high-level officials from the Council of Europe, the European Union and the United Nations about the future of the European Social Charter. A panel of top level human and social rights experts and practitioners are expected to hold a lively debate during a panel discussion after the opening addresses.
Date: 18 October 2021
Place: Room 2, Palais de l'Europe, Council of Europe
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Visit the picture galery from 18 October 2021 and from 18 October 1961 on the creation of the commemorative plaque of the signing of the European Social Charter in Turin, Italy
Explore the dedicated to the 60th anniversary web page