Council of Europe websites
The Committee of Ministers is the Council of Europe’s statutory decision-making body. Its role and functions are broadly defined in Chapter IV of the Statute. It is made up of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of member States. The Committee meets at ministerial level once a year and at Deputies' level (Permanent Representatives to the Council of Europe) weekly. The conduct of meetings is governed by the Statute and Rules of Procedure. The Ministers’ Deputies are assisted by a Bureau, rapporteur groups, thematic coordinators and ad hoc working parties
The Assembly brings together 324 men and women from the parliaments of the Council of Europe's 47 member states. Though it contains many voices, reflecting political opinion across the continent, its mission is to uphold the shared values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law that are the "common heritage" of the peoples of Europe.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is an institution of the Council of Europe, responsible for strengthening local and regional democracy in its 47 member states and assessing the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. As the voice of Europe’s municipalities and regions, it works to foster consultation and political dialogue between national governments and local and regional authorities, through cooperation with the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. [Congress Dosta! Prize for Municipalities] [Summit of Mayors on Roma]
The European Court of Human Rights is an international court set up in 1959. It rules on individual or State applications alleging violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. [Factsheet – Roma and Travellers]
The Commissioner for Human Rights is an independent institution within the Council of Europe, mandated to promote the awareness of and respect for human rights in Council of Europe member states. The Commissioner's work focuses on encouraging reform measures to achieve tangible improvement in the area of human rights promotion and protection.
The Council of Europe’s work benefits extensively from contacts and co-operation with the dynamic elements of society, as represented by NGOs. One of the main challenges currently facing the Organisation is to strengthen NGOs and civil society and to develop participatory democracy on a pan-European basis.
The European Social Charter, adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996, guarantees social and economic human rights of all individuals in their daily lives. The Rights guaranteed by the Charter are housing, health, education, employment, legal and social protection, free movement of persons and non-discrimination.
ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as “race”, national/ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination); it prepares reports and issues recommendations to member states.
The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities is one of the most comprehensive treaties designed to protect the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.It was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 10 November 1994 and entered into force on 1 February 1998. Non-member States may also be invited by the Committee of Ministers to become Party to this Convention.
The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is the European convention for the protection and promotion of languages used by traditional minorities. Together with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities it constitutes the Council of Europe's commitment to the protection of national minorities. [European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages - Romani version]
The Council of Europe's activities to promote linguistic diversity and language learning in the field of education are carried out within the framework of the European Cultural Convention. The Language Policy Division implements intergovernmental medium-term programmes with a special emphasis on policy development.
The Council of Europe protects and promotes the human rights of everyone, including children. Based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the European Convention on Human Rights and other legal standards, the Council of Europe promotes and protects the rights of 150 million children in Europe.
Gender equality remains a priority area for the successive Chairmanships of the Committee of Ministers and member States continue to engage in activities related to all five objectives of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy. This is reflected in numerous legislative and policy initiatives to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence in line with the Istanbul Convention; to address the negative impacts of gender stereotypes in both the education system and the media; to improve women’s access to justice through access to legal aid and training of the judiciary; to achieve balanced participation in political and public decision-making; and to ensure gender mainstreaming in all other policies at the national level.
The Council of Europe standards and mechanisms seek to promote and ensure respect for the human rights of every individual. These include equal rights and dignity of all human beings, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons.
The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 3 May 2005, following a series of other initiatives by the Council of Europe in the field of combating trafficking in human beings.
The Roma Youth Action Plan is a response of the Council of Europe to challenges faced by Roma young people in Europe, particularly in relation to their empowerment, participation in policy decision-making processes and structures at European level, and multiple realities of discrimination.
The No Hate Speech Movement is a youth campaign led by the Council of Europe Youth Department seeking to mobilise young people to combat hate speech and promote human rights online. Launched in 2013, it was rolled out at the national and local levels through national campaigns in 45 countries. The movement will remain active beyond 2017 through the work of various national campaigns, online activists and partners.
This Europe-wide anti-discrimination campaign is being run in conjunction with media professionals throughout Europe. Aimed at the general public and media professionals, the key focus of the campaign will be on various aspects of discrimination arising out of racist attitudes and prejudices, in particular those with an Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and anti-Gypsy background.
Within the European Commission, an Inter-Service Group, bringing together 14 different departments and chaired by the Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities DG, coordinates the different policies and programmes tackling Roma issues, including the legal framework for equal treatment and non-discrimination, forums for policy cooperation and provision of financial resources.
The Agency provides the relevant institutions and authorities of the Community and its Member States when implementing Community law with information, assistance and expertise on fundamental rights in order to support them when they take measures or formulate courses of action within their respective spheres of competence to fully respect fundamental rights.
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is one of the world’s principal regional human rights bodies. Based in Warsaw, Poland, ODIHR is active throughout Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and North America. The Office promotes democratic elections, respect for human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, and the rule of law. Established in 1991, ODIHR employs nearly 150 staff from 30 countries. The Office’s activities are funded through a core budget, which is approved annually by participating States, as well as through voluntary contributions. The OSCE Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues works with national and local governments, civil society and international organizations to promote equal opportunities for, and the protection of the human rights of all Roma and Sinti.
The Roma Initiatives Office works with Roma advocates, organizations, and communities to achieve Roma rights at European, national, and local levels. It works to achieve equal opportunities, combat segregation, and challenge all forms of discrimination faced by Roma. In addition, it facilitates dialogue, exchange, and collaboration across the Open Society Foundations to coordinate efforts, increase knowledge, and enhance the impact of Roma-related grant making and advocacy.
The European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) conducts practice and policy-oriented research, provides information and documentation, and offers advisory services concerning minority-majority relations in Europe. It serves European governments and regional intergovernmental organizations as well as non-dominant groups throughout. The Centre co-operates with the academic community, the media and the general public through the timely provision of information and analysis.
The Roma Education Fund (REF) was created in the framework of the Decade of Roma Inclusion in 2005. Its mission and ultimate goal is to close the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma. In order to achieve this goal, the organization supports policies and programs which ensure quality education for Roma, including the desegregation of education systems.
World Bank – Roma Inclusion
The Bank aims to be an objective information broker. It aims to conduct and support integrative and constructive analysis, in order to identify the economic and social issues that affect the Roma, and to unravel how these issues are interlinked. It also shares innovative approaches, both from within and from outside the region, which could help address these issues. Through this analytical work, the bank also leverages and informs the involvement of other donors.
Legislationline.org provides direct access to international norms and standards relating to specific human dimension issues (see list of topics on left-hand column) as well as to domestic legislation and other documents of relevance to these issues. These data and other information available from the site are intended for lawmakers across the OSCE region.
The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture e.V. (ERIAC) is a joint initiative of the Council of Europe, the Open Society Foundations, and the Roma Leaders’ initiative – the Alliance for the European Roma Institute. ERIAC exists to increase the self-esteem of Roma and to decrease negative prejudice of the majority population towards the Roma by means of arts, culture, history, and media.
The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), which has a partnership agreement with the Council of Europe and a special status with this institution, is Europe's largest and most inclusive Roma and Traveller organisation. It brings together Europe's main international Roma-NGOs and more than 1,500 national Roma and Traveller organisations from most of the Council of Europe member states.
The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) is a Roma-led international public interest law organisation working to combat anti-Romani racism and human rights abuse of Roma through strategic litigation, research and policy development, advocacy and human rights education.
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is an international advocacy organisation that promotes political and public discussion on Roma issues by providing factual and in-depth information on a range of policy issues to European Union institutions, Roma civil organisations, governmental authorities and intergovernmental bodies.
ERGO Network is a young and dynamic organisation established in 2008 by a small group of NGOs who shared the observation that everyday realities of Roma communities were hardly taken into account in policy development and implementation. Founded on the philosophy of active citizenship, shared responsibility and grassroots empowerment, ERGO Network members aim to convince policy makers that positive change for Roma is possible when antigypsyism is recognized and tackled as the root cause for inequality and when Roma can take part in civic life as equal stakeholders.
IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.
Within the framework of the general political guidelines set by the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), the RCC works to develop and maintain a political climate of dialogue, reconciliation, tolerance and openness towards cooperation, with a view to enabling the implementation of regional programmes aimed at economic and social development to the benefit of the people in the region.
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential.
UNDP is uniquely placed to help implement the Goals through our work in some 170 countries and territories. Their strategic plan focuses on key areas including poverty alleviation, democratic governance and peacebuilding, climate change and disaster risk, and economic inequality. UNDP provides support to governments to integrate the SDGs into their national development plans and policies. This work is already underway, as we support many countries in accelerating progress already achieved under the Millennium Development Goals.
UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’S mission and activities.
As the principal United Nations office mandated to promote and protect human rights for all, OHCHR leads global human rights efforts speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide. We provide a forum for identifying, highlighting and developing responses to today's human rights challenges, and act as the principal focal point of human rights research, education, public information, and advocacy activities in the United Nations system.
UNHCR strive to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to eventually return home, integrate or resettle. During times of displacement, UNHCR provide critical emergency assistance in the form of clean water, sanitation and healthcare, as well as shelter, blankets, household goods and sometimes food. They also arrange transport and assistance packages for people who return home, and income-generating projects for those who resettle.
The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance unites governments and experts to strengthen, advance and promote Holocaust education, research and remembrance and to uphold the commitments to the 2000 Stockholm Declaration.
The EEA Grants and Norway Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reducing economic and social disparities and to strengthening bilateral relations with 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics.
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally. They are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.
Building on CEU's longstanding reputation in enhancing higher education, research, and professional opportunities for Roma, CEU’s Roma Access Programs (RAP) is transformed into the Romani Studies Program (RSP) as of August 1, 2017. RSP is a new academic unit at CEU, encompassing the Roma Graduate Preparation Program (RGPP) and Roma in European Societies (RES) initiative.
EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities. Members are the elected local and municipal governments of major European cities. The objective is to reinforce the important role that local governments should play in a multilevel governance structure. They aim to shape the opinions of Brussels stakeholders and ultimately shift the focus of EU legislation in a way which allows city governments to tackle strategic challenges at local level.
Eurodiaconia is a European network of churches and Christian NGOs providing social and healthcare services and advocating social justice. Diakonia is Greek for service and in the biblical sense, this means service for and with people in need.
The European Network on Statelessness (ENS) is a network of non-governmental organisations, academic initiatives, and individual experts committed to address statelessness in Europe.
The Operational Platform for Roma Equality ("the OPRE Platform") was launched in Strasbourg on 30 January 2015 as a follow-up to the joint conference between the Council of Europe (COE), the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET) and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) which took place in Vienna on 9 October 2013. On that occasion, through the adoption of a joint declaration, these four partners reiterated their commitment to work together to strengthen rights protection in Europe and decided to establish closer co-operation between national bodies and international bodies working on human rights' protection by setting up four joint thematic platforms for collaboration on pressing topics: a) asylum & migration, b) Roma equality, c) hate crime, d) social & economic rights.
Equinet, brings together 46 organizations from 34 European countries, which are empowered to counteract discrimination as national equality bodies across a range of grounds including age, disability, gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, and sexual orientation. Equinet promotes equality in Europe through supporting and enabling the work of national equality bodies. It supports equality bodies to be independent and effective as valuable catalysts for more equal societies.
ENNHRI brings together 42 NHRIs across wider Europe. ENNHRI’s goal is to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights across the European region. It carries this out through assisting in the establishment and accreditation of NHRIs; coordinating exchange of information and best practice between members; facilitating capacity building and training; engaging with regional mechanisms; and intervening on legal and policy developments at a European level.
Working with 194 Member States, across six regions, and from more than 150 offices, WHO staff are united in a shared commitment to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere. WHO strive to combat diseases – communicable diseases like influenza and HIV, and non-communicable diseases like cancer and heart disease.
The Sovereign Order of Malta is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. A lay religious order of the Catholic Church since 1113 and a subject of international law, the Sovereign Order of Malta has diplomatic relations with over 100 states and the European Union, and permanent observer status at the United Nations. It is neutral, impartial and apolitical. It is especially involved in helping people living in the midst of armed conflicts and natural disasters by providing medical assistance, caring for refugees, and distributing medicines and basic equipment for survival.
The Salvation Army is an integral part of the Christian Church, although distinctive in government and practice. The Army’s doctrine follows the mainstream of Christian belief and its articles of faith emphasise God’s saving purposes. Its objects are ‘the advancement of the Christian religion… of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.’