Press release - 383(2009)


“The response to the economic crisis should lead to more equality” says Commissioner Hammarberg

Strasbourg, 11.05.2009 - “A serious attempt to address the enormous gaps between the wealthy and the destitute is long overdue” commented the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, today in his latest Viewpoint

The Commissioner points out inequalities and injustices which afflict European societies and calls for better protection of vulnerable groups. “Measures against the economic crisis should not only focus on restoring the banking system and encouraging investment and more spending” he says. “There is also an urgent need to protect the marginalised and restore social justice.”

Analysing key instruments to address injustices, such as Protocol 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for a general prohibition against discrimination, the Commissioner affirms that “social justice cannot be established only through the traditional human rights instruments, even if updated and modernised. The huge gaps between the haves and have-nots is a major political and ideological challenge the resolution of which will affect profoundly many aspects of our society.”

Published fortnightly in English, French and Russian, Viewpoints can be used without prior consent, provided that the text is not modified and the original source is indicated in the following way: “Also available at the Commissioner’s website at”.

Press contacts in the Commissioner’s Office:

Stefano Montanari, +33 3 88 41 35 38;


Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Communication Unit
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 35 38
Fax:+33 (0)3 90 21 50 53