European Social Charter

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Not to be confused with Social Chapter in EU law.
Members of the 1961 Charter in light green; members of the Revised Charter in dark green; non-member states of the Council of Europe in grey

The European Social Charter is a Council of Europe treaty which was adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996. The Revised Charter came into force in 1999 and is gradually replacing the initial 1961 treaty. The Charter sets out human rights and freedoms and establishes a supervisory mechanism guaranteeing their respect by the States parties.

The Charter is established in a manner to supply European Convention on Human Rights that is in principle for civil and political rights. The Charter also guarantees positive rights and freedoms which concern all individuals in their daily existence. The basic rights set out in the Charter are as follows: housing,[1] health,[2] education, labour rights, full employment,[3] reduction of working hours[4] equal pay for equal work,[5] parental leave,[6] social security,[7] social and legal protection from poverty and social exclusion,[8] free movement of persons and non-discrimination, also the rights of migrant workers[9] and that of the persons with disabilities.[10]

States Parties to the Charter must submit annual reports on a part of the provisions of the Charter (be it the 1961 Charter or the 1996 Revised Charter), showing how they implement them in law and in practice. The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) is the body responsible for monitoring compliance in the States party to the Charter.

The ECSR is composed of 15 independent members who are elected by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers for a period of six years, renewable once.

Under the 1995 Additional Protocol providing for a system of Collective Complaints which came into force in 1998, complaints of violations of the Charter may be lodged with the ECSR.

Certain organisations are entitled to lodge complaints with the ECSR (a special list of NGOs has been established, made up of NGOs enjoying participatory status with the Council of Europe). The ECSR examines the complaint and, if the formal requirements have been met, declares it admissible.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ European Social Charter, Part II, Article 31
  2. ^ European Social Charter, Part II, Article 11
  3. ^ European Social Charter, Part II, Article 1
  4. ^ European Social Charter, Part II, Article 2
  5. ^ European Social Charter, Part II, Article 4
  6. ^ European Social Charter, Part II, Article 8
  7. ^ European Social Charter, Part II, Article 12
  8. ^ European Social Charter, Part II, Article 30
  9. ^ European Social Charter, Article 19
  10. ^ European Social Charter, Article 15

External links[edit]