Council of Europe

  • Anglais Journalism at risk


    Is journalism under threat? Censorship, political pressure, intimidation, job insecurity and attacks on the protection of journalists' sources - how can these threats be tackled?Journalism at Risk is a new book from the Council of Europe, in which ten experts from different backgrounds examine the role of journalism in democratic societies.

    Is journalism under threat? The image of journalists, as helmeted war correspondents protected by bullet-proof vests and armed only with cameras and microphones, springs to mind. Physical threats are only the most visible dangers, however. Journalists and journalism itself are facing other threats such as censorship, political and economic pressure, intimidation, job insecurity and attacks on the protection of journalists' sources. Social media and digital photography mean that anyone can now publish information, which is also upsetting the ethics of journalism.

    How can these threats be tackled? What is the role of the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and national governments in protecting journalists and freedom of expression?

    In this book, 10 experts from different backgrounds analyse the situation from various angles. At a time when high-quality, independent journalism is more necessary than ever - and yet when the profession is facing many different challenges - they explore the issues surrounding the role of journalism in democratic societies.

  • "Respect for human rights lies at the heart of what it means to be European" (Martyn Bond)

    The right to life, prohibition of torture, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression, the right to marriage... Did you know that these rights and many others are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights?

    The author of this book illustrates each of these rights in a simple and clear way, using specific examples. He also sets the action of the European Court of Human Rights in the wider context ofCouncil of Europe activities pursuing the same ideals.

    Martyn Bond is a journalist who has reported from London, Brussels, Strasbourg and Berlin. He is also a former European civil servant. Over the past half century he has witnessed and reported on many of the events that have shocked or amused, delighted or disturbed European readers, listeners and viewers. He firmly believes that respect for human rights lies at the heart of what it means to be European.

  • Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7 on the protection of whistleblowers encourages member states of the Council of Europe to have in place a normative, institutional and judicial framework that protects the rights and interests of individuals who, in the context of their workbased relationship, report or disclose information on threats or harm to the public interest.

    A series of principles is set out in the appendix to the recommendation to guide member states when introducing legislation and regulations or, where required, making amendments.

  • How can the study of religions and non-religious world views contribute to intercultural education in schools in Europe? An important recommendation from the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (Recommendation CM/Rec(2008)12 on the dimension of religions and non-religious convictions within intercultural education) aimed to explain the nature and objectives of this form of education.

    Signposts goes much further by providing advice to policy makers, schools (including teachers, senior managers and governors) and teacher trainers on tackling issues arising from the recommendation. Taking careful account of feedback from education officials, teachers and teacher trainers in Council of Europe member states, Signposts gives advice, for example, on clarifying the terms used in this form of education; developing competences for teaching and learning, and working with different didactical approaches; creating "safe space" for moderated student-to-student dialogue in the classroom; helping students to analyse media representations of religions; discussing non-religious world views alongside religious perspectives; handling human rights issues relating to religion and belief; and linking schools (including schools of different types) to one another and to wider communities and organisations. Signposts is not a curriculum or a policy statement. It aims to give policy makers, schools and teacher trainers in the Council of Europe member states, as well as others who wish to use it, the tools to work through the issues arising from interpretation of the recommendation to meet the needs of individual countries.

    Signposts results from the work of an international panel of experts convened jointly by the Council of Europe and the European Wergeland Centre, and is written on the group's behalf by Professor Robert Jackson.

  • Freedom of expression and defamation: where do we draw the line?

    Freedom of expression is a fundamental freedom, one of the cornerstones of democracy in Europe, enshrined in various key texts, including the European Convention on Human Rights. But the boundaries between freedom to criticise and damaging a person's honour or reputation are not always very clear. By defining public insults and defamation, the law can set limits on freedom of expression, which is neither absolute nor boundless. But how far can it go?

    This study examines the details of the European Court of Human Right's case law on defamation. It explores a range of substantive and procedural issues that the Court has considered, and clarifies the concept of defamation, positioning it in relation to freedom of expression and public debate. It explains how overly protective defamation laws can have a chilling effect on freedom of expression and public debate, and discusses the proportionality of defamation laws and their application.

  • Elections are a pre-condition for democratic governance since it is through them that the citizens of a country choose freely, and on the basis of the law, the persons that can legitimately govern in their name and in their interest.

    The right to free elections, as enshrined in the Article 3 of the Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, is a "fundamental principle in a truly democratic political regime". It comprises a series of safeguards and procedures that ensure respect for active and passive electoral rights and the conduct of genuine free and fair elections. Civil society has a distinct role to play since it observes the electoral process and contributes to the development of national electoral procedures through advice and recommendations.

    The Council of Europe handbook Reporting on elections aims to help observers become more efficient and to produce more effective reports, specifically focusing on the reporting of core team members. At the same time, it also covers the reporting of long- and short-term observers. It deals mainly with final election reports and reports/statements on preliminary findings, while also providing insight into interim reports and ideas for ad hoc reports and press releases, in addition to tips on how to follow up on recommendations.

  • Freedom of expression is one of the basic conditions for the progress of society. Without safeguards for the safety of journalists there can be no free media.

    Journalists are under threat in Europe. Different forms of violence against journalists have increased significantly over the last decade: from physical attacks, to intimidation and harassment, targeted surveillance and cyberbullying, we now see a range of tactics deployed to silence critical voices and free speech. Together with impunity for the perpetrators of unwarranted interference on journalists, these are among the most serious challenges facing media freedom today. Self-censorship is hardly surprising in such circumstances.

    This study, conducted among almost 1 000 journalists and other news providers in the 47 Council of Europe member states and Belarus, sheds new light on how these issues impact on journalists' behaviour. The results of the study provide quantitative evidence on such unwarranted interference, fear and how this relates to consequent self-censorship. These striking results confirm the urgent need for member states to fully implement Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4 on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, and represent an essential and reliable tool for strategic planning in this field to guarantee freedom of expression.

  • Understanding and experiencing the diversity of languages and cultures is both an aim of and a resource for quality education
    Plurilingual and intercultural education is a response to the needs and requirements of quality education, covering the acquisition of competences, knowledge and attitudes, diversity of learning experiences, and construction of individual and collective cultural identities. Its aim is to make teaching more effective and increase the contribution it makes both to school success for the most vulnerable learners and to social cohesion.

    This guide is intended to facilitate improved implementation of the values and principles of plurilingual and intercultural education in the teaching of all languages - foreign, regional or minority, classical and language(s) of schooling.

  • What is it like to be young in a Europe faced with conflict and austerity?

    Volume 3 of the series Perspectives on youth focuses on "healthy Europe", not just in the narrow sense, but in the broader sense of what it is like to be young in a Europe faced with conflict and austerity, and what it feels like to be young as transitions become ever more challenging. The assumption when planning this issue was that health in this broader sense remains a controversial area within youth policy, where the points of departure of policy makers, on the one hand, and young people themselves on the other are often dramatically different; in fact, young people tend to interpret the dominating discourse as limiting, patronising, maybe even offensive.

    The question of health brings the old tensions between protection and participation as well as agency and structure to the forefront. Not all questions are addressed in detail but many are touched upon. It is, intentionally, an eclectic mix of contributions, to provide a diversity of argumentation and to promote reflection and debate. As has been the intention of Perspectives on youth throughout, we have sought to solicit and elicit the views of academics, policy makers and practitioners, presenting theoretical, empirical and hypothetical assertions and analysis.

    Perspectives on youth is published by the partnership between the European Union and the Council of Europe in the field of youth in co-operation with, and with support from, four countries: Belgium, Finland, France and Germany. Its purpose is to keep the dialogue on key problems of child and youth policies on a solid foundation in terms of content, expertise and politics. The series aims to act as a forum for information, discussion, reflection and dialogue on European developments and trends in the field of youth policy, youth research and youth work while promoting a policy and youth work practice that is based on knowledge and participatory principles.

    The editorial team of this volume is composed of 12 members representing the supporting countries, the Pool of European Youth Researchers (PEYR), the co-ordinator of the youth policy reviews of the Council of Europe, the EU-Council of Europe youth partnership and the co-ordinator of the editorial team.

  • What positive impact has the European Convention on Human Rights had upon states parties to the Convention?

    The examples presented in this publication show that the effects of the Convention and its case law extend to all areas of life. They include, but are not limited to, individuals' access to justice, the prohibition of discrimination, property rights, family law issues such as custody rights, the prevention and punishment of acts of torture, the protection of victims of domestic violence, the privacy of individuals in their correspondence and sexual relations, and the protection of religious freedoms and freedoms of expression and association.

    This publication contains selected examples from all 47 states parties to the Convention that illustrate how the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms has been strengthened at the domestic level thanks to the Convention and the Strasbourg Court's case law.

  • The public administration is above all for us, the protection of our rights and the pursuit of the public good.

    This handbook will be of interest to all those concerned with the proper functioning of public administration: individuals who apply for public services and action and the public officials who process their applications; lawyers, judges and ombudspersons involved in the review of the public administration's activities; and policy makers and legislators concerned with public administration reform.

    It sets out and explains the substantive and procedural principles of administrative law concerning relations between individuals and public authorities, with commentary backed up by references to the Council of Europe legal instruments (conventions, recommendations and resolutions) from which each principle is drawn and to the relevant case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Supporting children and young people to participate safely, effectively, critically and responsibly in a world filled with social media and digital technologies is a priority for educators the world over.

    Most young people in Europe today were born and have grown up in the digital era. Education authorities have the duty to ensure that these digital citizens are fully aware of the norms of appropriate behaviour when using constantly evolving technology and participating in digital life.

    Despite worldwide efforts to address such issues, there is a clear need for education authorities to take the lead on digital citizenship education and integrate it into school curricula. In 2016, the Education Department of the Council of Europe began work to develop new policy orientations and strategies to help educators face these new challenges and to empower young people by helping them to acquire the competences they need to participate actively and responsibly in digital society.

    This volume, the first in a Digital Citizenship Education series, reviews the existing academic and policy literature on digital citizenship education, highlighting definitions, actors and stakeholders, competence frameworks, practices, emerging trends and challenges. The inclusion of a wide selection of sources is intended to ensure sufficient coverage of what is an emergent topic that has yet to gain a strong foothold in either education or academic literature, but has received wider policy attention.

  • An analysis of good practices, research findings, lessons learned and resources identified across Europe in the area of digital citizenship: empowerment of children through education

    Most young people in Europe today were born and have grown up in the digital era. Education authorities have the duty to ensure that these digital citizens are fully aware of the norms of appropriate behaviour when using constantly evolving technology and participating in digital life.

    Despite worldwide efforts to address such issues, there is a clear need for education authorities to take the lead on digital citizenship education and integrate it into school curricula. In 2016, the Education Department of the Council of Europe began work to develop new policy orientations and strategies to help educators face these new challenges and to empower young people by helping them to acquire the competences they need to participate actively and responsibly in digital society.

    This second volume in the Digital Citizenship Education series contains the results of a multi-stakeholder consultation to identify good practices regarding digital citizenship education and the gaps and challenges to be met in formal and informal learning contexts. It examines the role the development of digital citizenship competence plays in education, considers the types of online resources and contemporary information technologies used in educational settings, and details the administrative and legal responsibilities for school leaders, teachers, students and parents.

  • Delays in implementing the Court's judgments, lack of political will in certain states parties, attempts to discredit the Court...

    In ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights, the signatory states accept the Court's jurisdiction and authority and "undertake to abide by the final judgment of the Court in any case to which they are parties" (Article 46 of the Convention).

    While certain member states have made real progress in implementing the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, some others face serious structural and political problems forming real "pockets of resistance" that delay or prevent the execution of judgments. The Committee of Ministers is still supervising the execution of some 10 000 judgments, although they are not all at the same stage of implementation.

    This publication highlights the difficulties in implementing certain judgments encountered in the 10 countries which have the highest number of non-implemented judgments against them (Italy, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Moldova and Poland). It also analyses judgments whose execution raises complex political issues.

  • Could policies aimed at preventing radicalisation in Europe end up undermining the very social cohesion they aim to preserve?
    Since the mid-2000s, a growing number of European governments have broadened the scope of counter-terrorism, making it an issue that needs to be tackled by society as a whole. This report considers the effects of such policies in the education sector through a review of the existing literature on the subject. It begins by considering the issues facing educators and students and their families, and goes on to show how counter-radicalisation policies make contradictory demands on educators, asking them to build social cohesion and resilience while at the same time requiring them to employ a logic of suspicion in spotting potential radicals.

    The report suggests that this contradictory mission challenges key principles of 1. human rights and fundamental freedoms; 2. education for democratic citizenship, human rights education, competences for democratic culture and the objectives of building inclusive societies; and 3. the key objectives of counter-terrorism itself.

    The author therefore presents three main areas of reflexion, followed by recommendations for further research and action by the Council of Europe.

  • What does the concept of the best interests of the child mean in practice? How should it be interpreted and applied? This publication sheds lights on different aspects of this concept.

    The concept of the best interests of child, as stated in Article 3.1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, has caused many controversies and debates amongst policy makers, experts and practitioners. Although central to a child's full enjoyment of his or her rights, the meaning of the concept in practice and how it should be interpreted and applied, is still part of today's debate. The Belgian Authorities and the Council of Europe organised on 9 and 10 December 2014 a conference on "The best interests of the child - A dialogue between theory and practice" to provide an opportunity for actors involved in decisions that have an impact on children's lives to share knowledge and enhance the understanding of the concept of the child's best interest.

    Featuring in this publication are the 21 different viewpoints presented during the conference on the concept of the best interests of the child. They are divided into four chapters namely those presenting general reflections of the concept; assessing, determining and monitoring best interests; using the concept in different environments; and understanding the concept in family affairs.

    All viewpoints agree on the fact that there is no comprehensive definition of the concept, and that its vagueness has resulted in practical difficulties for those trying to apply it. Some suggest that the best interest should therefore only be used when necessary, appropriate and feasible for advancing children's rights, whereas others see the flexibility of the concept as its strong point. Through their different interpretations and analysis, this publication offers a solid contribution to the overall understanding of the concept of the best interests of child, necessary to improving and safeguarding children's rights overall.

  • Landscape dimensions


    As a key element of individual and social well-being and quality of life, landscape plays an important part in human fulfilment and in reinforcement of European identity.

    Adopted under the auspices of the Council of Europe, the European Landscape Convention aims to promote the protection, management and planning of landscapes, and to organise international co-operation in this field. It applies to the entire territory of the contracting parties and covers natural, rural, urban and peri-urban areas. It concerns landscapes considered outstanding, as well as everyday or degraded areas. Certain "dimensions" of the landscape are presented in this publication, which addresses key issues for its future, including democracy, education, economy, leisure and advertising. Landscape management processes - and even the term "landscape" itself - are also analysed. This book forms part of a process of reflection on the major themes concerning the living environment.

  • We can!


    Combating hate speech offline and online: a new tool to help young people and educators to confront, dismantle and replace hateful narratives.

    Online hate speech has become a major form of human rights abuse, with serious, sometimes tragic consequences, both online and offline. Hate speech cannot be allowed to proliferate without being challenged and exposed in its nature: prejudicial views on social groups combined with fake news which feed phobias and fears, seem attractive as narratives. Narratives give a meaning to information presented because they connect with what people believe, or want to believe in.Their widespread presence online accredits their claims for legitimacy.

    But narratives are rarely the truth and never the whole truth. When they are used to oppress people, as in hate speech, the fundamentals of a pluralistic and democratic society are undermined, and the lives and dignity of people are at risk.

    Counter narratives are thus needed to discredit and deconstruct the narratives on which hate speech is based. Alternative narratives are also needed to reinforce positive values and perspectives which support human rights and democratic citizenship, such as solidarity, respect for diversity, freedom and equality. Young people need to occupy online public space with positive narratives based on hope and love.

    This manual presents communicative and educational approaches and tools for youth and other human rights activists to develop their own counter and alternative narratives to hate speech. It is designed for working with young people from the age of 13, and is based on the principles of human rights education and youth participation.

    Anyone can take action against speech. By providing insights into hate speech and human rights, and a methodology for producing counter narratives, We Can makes that action easier, more effective and positive.

    The Council of Europe launched the No Hate Speech Movement campaign to mobilise young people for human rights online and to combat hate speech. Education plays a central role in the campaign. This manual complements Bookmarks - A manual for combating hate speech online through human rights education, also published by the Council of Europe.

  • Managing controversy


    A tool for school leaders and senior managers for handling controversy and teaching controversial issues in schools.
    Controversy and controversial issues are at the centre of our democratic societies. This means that learning how to deal with such issues must also be at the heart of an effective education for democratic citizenship and human rights education (EDC/HRE).

    The publication aims to help strengthen the managing of controversial issues at whole-school level. This will benefit young people and also help contribute to more effective Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (EDC/HRE), and the protection and strengthening of our democratic societies.

  • Promoting young people's access to social rights as a means for their inclusion and participation in society!

    In and around many cities, social and economic imbalances have led to the development of disadvantaged neighbourhoods, where diversity is also accompanied by poverty and often marginalisation or exclusion. This is sometimes combined with different forms and levels of de facto social segregation, discrimination and violence.

    At times of economic and social crisis, feelings of powerlessness and anxiety about the future risk deepening local tensions and underlying conflicts. Young people are often at the centre of these tensions because they are more vulnerable and insecure, and because they are more directly affected by uncertainties regarding the development of their autonomy, as well as participation in society and contribution to its development.

    The Council of Europe has challenged itself to respond to these situations by adopting recommendations for its member states that encourage and support them in finding adequate policy responses to situations of exclusion, discrimination and violence affecting young people in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. In early 2015, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a policy recommendation with proposals for policy measures to member states in order to promote access to social rights for young people.

    Proposals concern:
    - the provision of accessible, affordable public services;
    - overcoming segregation;
    - promoting the participation of young people;
    - combating discrimination;
    - recognition of youth work and non-formal education;
    - promoting gender-sensitive approaches to the elaboration of youth policies.

    This publication is an accompaniment to this recommendation, and aims to bring its content closer to policy makers, youth work practitioners, youth organisations and youth workers, and provide step-by-step information and guidance on the implementation of the recommendation. The publication also offers advice and examples of actions to take and policies to develop so that the social rights of young people are taken seriously by all the actors concerned by social inclusion and social cohesion.

  • The Education Pack "all different - all equal" was originally produced in 1995 as an educational resource for the European youth campaign against racism, antisemitism, xenophobia and intolerance.
    It is easy to say "I have no prejudices", "I'm not racist, so it has nothing to do with me", "I didn't invite those refugees". It is hard to say "I may not be to blame for what happened in the past but I want to take responsibility for making sure it doesn't continue in the future". Soon after its publication, the Education Pack became a reference work for those involved in intercultural education and training with young people across Europe and beyond. Translated into many languages, it remains today one of the most successful and most sought after publications of the Council of Europe.The usefulness of the pack stems from the variety and creativity of the methodologies proposed. More than twenty years after the "all different - all equal" campaign, the role plays, simulation exercices, case studies and cooperative group work that it proposes remain an inspiration to many youth workers, trainers, teachers and other people actively involved in intercultural education. European societies continue to suffer from a growth of racist hostility and intolerance towards minorities and foreigners; the necessity for intercultural youth work remains undiminished and the relevance of this pack remains unquestionable.Little bit has been changed in this new edition of the pack, apart from an updating of references. Most changes are visible and usable only in the online version, which offers relevant links with other resources for human rights education which continue the legacy of the campaign: equality in dignity and rights, respect for broader appreciation of diversity.
    The Education Pack "all different - all equal" is an incredible source of information and inspiration for all of those willing to get involved in intercultural education.

  • Being online, well-being online, and rights online: information, tools and good practice

    Digital citizenship competences define how we act and interact online. They comprise the values, attitudes, skills and knowledge and critical understanding necessary to responsibly navigate the constantly evolving digital world, and to shape technology to meet our own needs rather than to be shaped by it. The Digital citizenship education handbook offers information, tools and good practice to support the development of these competences in keeping with the Council of Europe's vocation to empower and protect children, enabling them to live together as equals in today's culturally diverse democratic societies, both on- and offline.

    The Digital citizenship education handbook is intended for teachers and parents, education decision makers and platform providers alike. It describes in depth the multiple dimensions that make up each of 10 digital citizenship domains, and includes a fact sheet on each domain providing ideas, good practice and further references to support educators in building the competences that will stand children in good stead when they are confronted with the challenges of tomorrow's digital world. The Digital citizenship education handbook is consistent with the Council of Europe's Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture and compatible for use with the Internet literacy handbook.

  • An indispensable practical guide for any potential applicant and any legal professional

    This book, which is a practical guide aimed at both professional lawyers and potential applicants, clearly and comprehensively describes and analyses the main stages in the processing of an application before the organs of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    Detailed descriptions are provided of the Convention system, the Rules of the European Court of Human Rights and the procedures which the Court has developed to expedite and optimise case processing.

    Crafted by two specialists on the Convention, Linos-Alexandre Sicilianos, the current President of the European Court of Human Rights, and Maria-Andriani Kostopoulou, a lawyer at the Greek Court of Cassation, the book does not merely explain how to prepare and lodge an application, in particular as regards the formal requirements and admissibility criteria; it also presents a detailed assessment of a case by the various formations of the Court, covering all stages right through to the conclusion of proceedings. Finally, having analysed the judicial stage, the book goes on to describe the procedure for supervision of the execution of judgments before the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

  • A practical tool for legal professionals who wish to strengthen their skills in applying the European Convention on Human Rights and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights in their daily work

    This is the second and expanded edition of a handbook intended to assist judges, lawyers and prosecutors in taking account of the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights and its Protocols ("the European Convention") - and more particularly of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights - when interpreting and applying codes of criminal procedure and comparable or related legislation. It does so by providing extracts from key rulings of the European Court and the former European Commission of Human Rights that have determined applications complaining about one or more violations of the European Convention in the course of the investigation, prosecution and trial of alleged offences, as well as in the course of appellate and various other proceedings linked to the criminal process.