Human Rights Statement by Council of Europe

Council of Europe has issued a statement for December 10 Human Rights Day. Referring to the achievements gained in terms of human rights, the statement has also directed self-criticism at the European Court of Human Rights.

Ahead of December 10 Human Rights Day, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejcinovic Buric and President of its Parliamentary Assembly Liliane Maury Pasquier have issued a joint statement.

Entitled "Human Rights Convention", the statement has emphasized the delays and changes in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

The Council has released the following statement:

'Judgements have changed people's lives for the better'

"Following in the footsteps of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights was opened for signature on 4 November 1950.

"The Convention has spread across the continent over the last 70 years, now protecting the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of more than 830 million people across 47 countries.

"Thanks to the Convention, overseen by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, Europe has the strongest system of international human rights protection anywhere in the world. This is something we can all be proud of.

"More than 20,000 judgments from the Court, implemented by the Council of Europe member states, have changed ordinary people's lives for the better, in many different ways, across the whole continent.

"The Convention has also brought about many positive changes when applied domestically by national authorities, as well as helping to raise human rights standards around the world.

'There is still so much work to be done'

"However, we must never take these achievements for granted or they may disappear. The fight for our rights is ongoing and there is still much work to be done.

"In 2019, a 10-year reform process came to an end. The backlog of pending cases at the Court has been more than halved and significant improvements have been made to the execution of judgments.

"Nevertheless, some 60,000 applications are still waiting to be assessed and more than 5,000 judgments have yet to be fully implemented.

"These numbers remain too high and require coordinated efforts between the Council of Europe, the Court and the member states to make sure that justice is done and that systemic problems are tackled to avoid repeated violations.

"We also need to work towards making sure that the Convention effectively protects people in every corner of the continent, including unresolved conflict zones, and in all circumstances.

"The European Union's accession to the Convention, re-launched in 2019, will be a very welcome step forward in this respect, opening a new chapter in the Convention's long and distinguished history."

Source: English Bianet