Press release - 620(2009)


“Serious implementation of human rights standards requires defined benchmarking indicators” says Commissioner Hammarberg

Strasbourg, 17.08.2009 - “Closing the implementation gap between the rights proclaimed in human rights treaties and the reality in member states requires a systematic approach and meaningful indicators” said Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in his latest Viewpoint published today.

Highlighting models and categories of indicators adopted by international organisations such as the Council of Europe, the European Union and the United Nations, the Commissioner stresses that “indicators make human rights planning and implementation processes more efficient and transparent. They make it easier to hold governments accountable for the realisation of human rights and also help highlight success through accurate criteria.”

“Disaggregated data based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and age, are crucial. However, collection can be a complex task, therefore some data should be collected on a voluntary basis and coupled with proper safeguards to respect the privacy of the persons involved.”

Finally, the Commissioner underlines that “the use of human rights indicators at the local level has great potential. Information on human rights violations or on progress achieved in municipalities and regions is highly relevant for decision-making both at the local and national level.”

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