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The European Social Charter

Council of Europe; Council of Europe International Human Rights Instruments and Resources Conventions/Treaties Council of Europe 1961 Convention/treaty human rights

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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 Social Charter is a complement to the European Convention on Human Rights which primarily focuses on civil and political rights.

The basic rights set out in the Charter are as follows: housing, health, education, labour rights, employment, parental leave, social and legal protection, from poverty and social exclusion free movement of persons and non-discrimination, and also the rights of migrant workers and of the persons with disabilities.

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.

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.


European Social Charter
English, 108 kB doc
European Social Charter Francais
French, 357.3 kB pdf
European Social Charter Espanol
Spanish, 371.9 kB pdf