Statutory report 2003 / Last updated 15 January 2004

    4. Human Rights

    Human Rights - in general
    European Convention on Human Rights/European Court of Human Rights
    European Social Charter
    European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
    Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
    Human Rights Commissioner
    Equality
    European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

    Human Rights - in general

    CDDH (Steering Committee for Human Rights)

    Group of Specialists on human rights and the fight against terrorism

    Reflection Group on the Reinforcement of the Human Rights Protection Mechanism

    Human Rights Prize

    Human Rights Co-operation and Awareness Activities

    Ad hoc Committee on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CAHTEH)

    At their 851st meeting on 9 September (item 3.2a) the Deputies took note that the reply by the Chair to Written Question No. 427, on property rights of displaced persons in Cyprus by Mr Jurgens, would be contained in Document CM/AS(2003)Quest 427 final.

    At their 850th meeting on 3 September (item 3.1a, b and c) the Deputies took note of the Chairman's replies to Written Questions No. 426 on the “Continued detention of six members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly belonging to the DEP Party” and No. 428 on the “Execution of the European Court's judgments by Turkey” by Mr Jurgens: they noted that the replies would be contained in documents CM/AS(2003)Quest 426 and 428 final respectively.

    At the 849th meeting on 16th July (item 4.2), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1572 (2002) on the right to association for members of the professional staff of the armed forces

    On 26 March (833rd meeting), the Deputies adopted replies to the following Written Questions:

    - No. 367 by Mr Van der Maelen: "Homosexual Rights in Romania" (item 3.1a)
    - No. 406 by Mr Hordies: "Humanitarian Crisis in Turkey" (item 3.1e)
    - No. 407 by Mr Bindig: "Presidential Pardon Commission of the Russian Federation" (item 3.1f)

    They also took note of the Chairman's replies to Written Questions:

    - No. 415 by Lord Russell-Johnston: "Extradition of Sholam Weiss" (item 3.2b)
    - No. 416 by Lord Russell-Johnston: "Prevention of Torture" (item 3.2c)
    - No. 424 by Mr Jurgens: "Human Rights of conscripts" (item 3.2e)

    On 9 January (823/3.1b) they adopted a reply to Written Question No. 417 by Lord Russell-Johnston to the Chair of the Committee of Ministers on “Conscientious objection in Greece and Finland”.

    * * *

    CDDH
    (Steering Committee for Human Rights)

    At their 850th meeting on 3 September (item 4.3a) the Deputies took note of the CDDH's opinion on the feasibility of a European programme of education on human rights (Appendix II to CM(2003)96), and invited their Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H) to proceed to an exchange of views on this question, to explore with the Secretary General possible financing arrangements and report back at one of their forthcoming meetings. They also took note of the final report of the CDDH on its contribution to the “monitoring” exercise of the Committee of Ministers on the issue of the functioning of the judicial system (Appendix III to CM(2003)96).

    The Deputies noted a Finnish proposal to hold a symposium on the reform of the Court and requested the Secretariat in consultation with the CDDH to examine the timing and modalities of wide involvement of civil society and external legal experts.

    Finally, they took note of the abridged report of the 55th meeting of the CDDH as a whole.

    At the same meeting (item 4.3b), The Deputies adopted Decision No. CM/858/03092003 giving ad hoc terms of reference to the CDDH with a view to evaluating, in the light of Recommendation Rec(2002)2 on access to official documents, the existing national legislations in this field and, on this basis, to examining the advisability of elaborating a draft legally binding instrument on access to official documents.

    On 15 January (824/4.1) the Deputies agreed to hold an exchange of views on human rights questions relating to the United Nations on 27 February in Strasbourg with the participation of experts from capitals. They decided to include on the agenda a general discussion on developments and main results of the 57th Session of the General Assembly, specific thematic questions and national situations and co-operation between the Council of Europe and the United Nations in the human rights field. Representatives from states with observer status with the Council of Europe were invited.

    On 22 January 2003 (825/4.4) the Deputies adopted a reply to Assembly Recommendation 1547 (2002) on expulsion procedures in conformity with respect for safety and dignity.

    Group of Specialists on human rights and the fight against terrorism

    Reflection Group on the Reinforcement of the Human Rights Protection Mechanism

    Human Rights Prize

    Human Rights Co-operation and Awareness Activities

    Ad hoc Committee on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

    At their 860th meeting on 12 November (item 4.1), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 1st meeting of the Ad hoc Committee on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CAHTEH) as it appears in document CM(2003)126. They took note of the comments made by the CAHTEH on Recommendation 1610 (2003) of the Parliamentary Assembly on migration connected with trafficking in women and prostitution and on Recommendation 1611 (2003) of the Parliamentary Assembly on trafficking in organs in Europe (Appendix I of CM(2003)126). The Deputies also took note of the CAHTEH's comments in response to a request from the Deputies (CM/Del/Dec(2003)850/2.1a) on the feasibility, for the Secretariat, of sending to the states who so request, a group of independent experts to be responsible for studying in the field the action to be taken to combat the trafficking of human beings.

    (http://www.coe.int/t/e/next_dgII/awareness/)

    European Convention on Human Rights/European Court of Human Rights

    Convention
    Court
    Election of Judges
    Supervising the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights
    Other activities relating to the control of execution of the judgements of the Court
    Former Article 32 of the Convention

    Convention

    Abolition of the death penalty in all member states of the Council of Europe

    The Deputies took note of the ratification byTurkey of Protocol No. 6 on 12 November 2003, bringing the number of member states in which it is in force to 43 of the 45 member states.

    Protocol No. 13, providing for the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances has gained an ever-increasing number of ratifications since its entry into force on 1 July 2003. Slovenia ratified the Protocol on 4 December 2003.

    The Deputies took note of the ratification by Armenia on 29 September of Protocol No. 6.

    At their 839th meeting (7 May 2003) (item 4.3), the Deputies took note of the information provided by the delegations of Armenia and the Russian Federation on the developments in their countries with a view to achieving the objective of abolishing the death penalty in all member states of the Council of Europe. They reiterated their call to these member states to accelerate the process towards abolition of the death penalty allowing a speedy ratification of Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights, whilst respecting strictly the moratoria on executions in the meantime.

    They further took note with satisfaction of Turkey's signature of Protocol No. 6 on 15 January 2003 and of the announcement that ratification would follow shortly and welcomed the fact that Protocol No. 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights would enter into force on 1 July 2003 and in this context:

    i. encouraged the member states which have not yet signed Protocol No. 13 to envisage doing so as soon as possible;

    ii. invited the signatory states of Protocol No. 13 to proceed to its early ratification.

    On 26 March (833/4.4), the Deputies adopted the reply to Assembly Recommendation 1576 (2002) on the implementation of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights by Turkey.

    Court

    (http://www.echr.coe.int)

    At their 842nd meeting (5 June 2003) (item 1.6), on the basis of the 112th Session Communiqué, the discussions held and the decisions taken by the Ministers on that occasion and also taking account of the Conclusions of the Chair, the Deputies, further to the Declaration “Guaranteeing the long-term effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights” adopted by the Ministers:

    a. adopted Decision No. CM/855/05062003 assigning ad hoc terms of reference to the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH), as it appears at Appendix 2 to the present volume of decisions;

    b. instructed the Chairman of CL-CEDH to follow, in close contact with the CDDH, the Court and the Parliamentary Assembly, progress accomplished in the implementation of the above decision and to report back whenever necessary or useful;

    c. agreed to consider any possible financial implications of the reform at a later stage.

    On 15 January (824/3.1) the Deputies took note of the Chairman's reply to Written Question No. 413 by Mr Kevin McNamara on “Reform of the procedures and membership of the European Court of Human Rights” as contained in CM/AS(2003)Quest413 final.

    Election of Judges

    At their 852nd meeting on 17 September (item 4.2) the Deputies took note of the list of candidates for the election of judges of the European Court of Human Rights, presented in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and agreed to transmit the list to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly.

    On 26 February (829/4.2) the Deputies took note of lists of candidates for the election of judges of the European Court of Human Rights presented in respect of Armenia and Azerbaijan and agreed to transmit them to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly.

    On 5 February (826/4.2) the Deputies took note of the list of candidates for the election of a judge of the European Court of Human Rights presented in respect of Sweden and agreed to transmit it to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly.

    Supervising the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights

    The full texts of these resolutions are available on the following internet sites:
    http://www.echr.coe.int/Hudoc.htm

    http://cm.coe.int/site2/ref/dynamic/resolutions_hr.asp

    As a general rule, following the adoption of the new Rules for the application of Article 46, § 2, of the Convention (notably Rule 5), information concerning the state of progress of the adoption of the execution measures required is since June 2001 rendered public in the document called “annotated agenda and order of business” which is published some ten days after each “Human Rights” meeting and made available on the committee of Ministers' website.

    Other activities relating to the control of execution of the judgements of the Court

    Former Article 32 of the Convention

    European Social Charter

    At their 861st meeting on 19 November (item 4.2) the Deputies took note of the information provided by the Delegations in a "Tour de table" on the signature and ratification of the European Social Charter, of its Protocols and of the Revised European Social Charter.

    Activities of the supervisory bodies
    ECSR
    (European Committee of Social Rights)
    T-SG
    Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter
    Examination of national reports
    Collective complaints

    Activities of the supervisory bodies

    On 13 February 2003 (828/4.3), the Deputies decided to refer the draft recommendations with regard to Ireland (cycle XVI-1) back to the Governmental Committee for further consideration in the light of the latest information received.

    ECSR
    (European Committee of Social Rights)

    T-SG
    Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter

    Examination of national reports

    On 22 January 2003 (825/4.2), in the context of the examination of the Conclusions XVI-1, the Deputies took not that the Greek Parliament had adopted legislation ensuring equality of access to police training establishments and noted that this made it unnecessary to adopt a recommendation on this subject.

    Collective complaints

    At their 853rd meeting on 24 September (item 4.1) in conformity with Article 9 of the Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter providing for a system of collective complaints, the Deputies, in their composition restricted to the Representatives of the Contracting Parties to the European Social Charter or to the Revised European Social Charter in the Committee of Ministers, adopted Resolution ResChS(2003)1 concerning Collective Complaint No. 12/2002 from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise against Sweden.

    European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

    For visits, publications and other activities of the CPT please consult the website: http://www.cpt.coe.int/en/whatsnew.htm or the CPT database: http://hudoc.cpt.coe.int

    At their 866th meeting on 17 December (item 4.1) the Deputies elected Mr Zbigniew HOŁDA as member of the CPT in respect of Poland for a term of office which would expire on 19 December 2007. They adopted accordingly Resolution ResCPT(2003)7.

    At their 855th meeting on 9 October (item 4.1b) the Deputies took note of the 13th General Report on the activities of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), for the period 1 January 2002 to 31 July 2003 as it appears in document CM(2003)90.

    At their 851st meeting on 9 September (item 4.1), the Deputies re-elected Mr Petros Michaelides in respect of Cyprus, and Mr Florin Alexandru Stanescu in respect of Romania, as members of the CPT, for a term office that will expire on 19 December 2007.

    At their 844th meeting (19 June 2003) (item 4.1) the Deputies elected Mrs Veronica Pimenoff as member of the CPT in respect of Finland for a term of office which will expire on 19 December 2007.

    At their 835th meeting (8 April 2003) (item 4.2), the Deputies elected Mrs Ann-Marie Orler as member of the CPT in respect of Sweden for a term of office which will expire on 19 December 2005.

    On 26 March (833/4.1), the Deputies elected Mrs Isolde KIEBER member of the CPT in respect of Liechtenstein for a mandate expiring on 19 December 2005.

    On 19 March (832/4.3) the Deputies re-elected Mr Mario BENEDETTINI member of the CPT in respect of San Marino for a mandate expiring on 19 December 2007

    On 13 February (828/4.2) the Deputies re-elected Mr Aleš Butala as member of the CPT in respect of Slovenia for a term of office which will expire on 19 December 2005.

    * * *

    Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

    At their 865th meeting on 10 December (item 4.1) the Deputies adopted Resolutions ResCMN(2003)11 on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Lithuania, ResCMN(2003)12 on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Sweden and ResCMN(2003)13 on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Switzerland.

    At their 850th meeting on 3 September (item 4.2) the Deputies, recalling the decision taken at their 832nd meeting in March 2003 concerning authorisation of the Advisory Committee to commence monitoring without state reports, and taking note of the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina had failed to supply its state report 24 months after the expiry of the time-limit laid down by Article 25, paragraph 1 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, decided to authorise the Advisory Committee to commence monitoring in respect of this state.

    At the 849th meeting on 16th July (item 4.1) the Deputies declared Mr Vigen Kocharian in respect of Armenia, Ms Arzu Yolchuyeva in respect of Azerbaijan and Mr Alan Phillips in respect of the United Kingdom elected to the list of experts eligible to serve on the Advisory Committee, and consequently adopted Resolution CMN(2003)10.

    At the 848th meeting on 10 July (item 4.2), The Deputies adopted Resolution ResCMN(2003)9 on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by the Russian Federation, prepared by the Advisory Committee.

    At the 839th meeting (7 May 2003) (item 4.2), the Deputies declared Mr Mathias KRAFFT elected to the list of experts eligible to serve on the Advisory Committee in respect of Switzerland and appointed him as an ordinary member of the Advisory Committee for a term expiring on 31 May 2006.

    At the 838th meeting (30 April) (item 4.1), the Deputies declared elected to the list of experts eligible to serve on the Advisory Committee:

    Mrs Mirjana DOMINI, in respect of Croatia;
    Mr Demetrios STYLIANIDES, in respect of Cyprus;
    Mrs Marju LAURISTIN, in respect of Estonia;
    Mr Sergio BARTOLE, in respect of Italy;
    Mrs Bohumila FERENČUHOVÁ, in respect of Slovakia.

    At their 835th meeting (8 April 2003) (item 4.1) the Deputies adopted Resolution ResCMN(2003)6 on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Norway.

    At the same meeting (item 4.3), they also took note of the Advisory Committee's intention, as from the second reporting cycle and for subsequent cycles, to seek where appropriate information from international organisations, ombudsmen and national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as from representatives of civil society and non-governmental organisations. They authorised the Advisory Committee to hold meetings with non-governmental bodies and independent institutions in the context of visits conducted by the Advisory Committee to the State Parties concerned as from the second reporting cycle and for subsequent cycles. They furthermore authorised the Advisory Committee, during the second reporting cycle to hold meetings outside the context of the country-visit to the State Party concerned with non-governmental bodies and independent institutions with prior notification of the state, in order to ensure that the Advisory Committee is provided with a balanced range of opinion. Such meetings should in principle be held in Strasbourg on the occasion of meetings of the Advisory Committee and have to be organised within the existing budgetary resources.

    On 19 March (832/4.2) the Deputies adopted a procedure to deal with the monitoring of contracting states which fail to satisfy the obligation to submit a state report.

    On 5 February (826/4.3) the Deputies adopted Resolution ResCMN(2003)5 on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Ukraine.

    On 15 January (824/4.2) the Deputies approved the draft outline for state report under the second monitoring cycle of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

    At the same meeting (824/4.4) the Deputies, having proceeded to election in conformity with Rules 8-9 of Resolution (97) 10, declared elected to the list of experts eligible to serve on the Advisory Committee: Mr Gunnar Jansson in respect of Finland. They consequently adopted Resolution ResCMN(2003)1.

    They also adopted (824/4.6) Resolutions on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Armenia (ResCMN(2003)2), by Germany (ResCMN(2003)3) and by Moldova (ResCMN(2003)4).

    Human Rights Commissioner

    At the 845th meeting on 2 July (item 4.2) the Deputies took note of the annual report of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, as it appears in document BCommDH(2003)13.

    Equality

    (http://www.humanrights.coe.int/equality/Default.htm)

    On 28 may (840/4.2), the Deputies adopted a reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1582 (2002) on domestic violence against women.

    At the same meeting (840/4.3), the Deputies took note of the Report by the Secretary General on the 5th European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men (Skopje, 22-23 January 2003) and agreed to take account of the Declaration on “Gender Equality: a core issue in changing societies” and Programme of action, and the Resolution on “the roles of women and men in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and post-conflict democratic processes: a gender perspective” in the future work of the Council of Europe in the area of equality.

    On 30 April 2003 (838/4.3), the Deputies adopted a reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1555 (2002) on the image of women in the media.

    On that date (838/4.4), the Deputies also adopted draft terms of reference for an interdisciplinary committee to prepare a draft convention on action against trafficking in human beings. When preparing this Convention, the Committee shall:

    - put a special focus on the human rights of the victims of trafficking and design a comprehensive framework for the protection and assistance of victims and witnesses, also taking gender equality aspects into consideration, as well as on the effective prevention, investigation, prosecution and on international co-operation;

    - define a monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance of States Parties with the provisions of the Convention;

    - take into account the standards of the Council of Europe in the fields of human rights, criminal law and judicial co-operation which are specific to this offence, in particular on the basis of existing legal instruments dealing with trafficking in human beings and those dealing with other serious forms of crime which are related to it;

    - take into account the existing universal and regional international legal instruments dealing with trafficking in human beings; in particular the Committee should take the Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against transnational organised crime as the basis of its work, with a view to improving the protection afforded by it and to developing the standards contained therein. Moreover, it should abstain from altering the Protocol's definition of “trafficking in human beings” and should, if possible, integrate it as such among the provisions of the future European Convention.

    On 12 March (831/4.1b) the Deputies adopted a Recommendation to member states on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making. At the same time, the Deputies adopted terms of reference for a group of specialists on the role of women and men in intercultural and interreligious dialogue for the prevention of conflict, for peace building and for democratisation.

    On 26-27 February 2003 (829/10.4), the Deputies adopted a reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1523 (2001) on domestic slavery.

    European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

    At their 866th meeting on 17 December (item 4.2), the Deputies took note of the names and curricula vitae of the persons designated by Switzerland as member and deputy member of ECRI for a term of office of five years, starting on 1 January 2004.

    At their 850th meeting on 3 September (item 4.4), the Deputies transmitted ECRI's country-by-country report on San Marino to the government in question. It also took note of the abridged report of the 31st meeting as a whole.

    At the 843rd meeting (11 June) (item 4.1), in the framework of the Renewal of the composition of ECRI in accordance with the provisions of its new Statute, the Deputies took note of the name and curriculum vitae of the person designated by San Marino to serve as member of ECRI for a term of office of 5 years, as contained in document DGII(2002)009 Addendum IV.

    At their 839th meeting (7 May 2003) (item 4.1ac, 4.1b), the Deputies held an exchange of views with the Chair and the Vice-Chairs of ECRI and took note of the Annual report on ECRI's activities covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2002 adopted at the 30th plenary meeting as it appears in document CM(2003)53 Addendum I.

    At the same meeting, they transmitted ECRI's country-by-country reports on Armenia, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Spain to the governments in question and took note of the abridged report of ECRI's 30th meeting, as it appears in document CM(2003)53, as a whole.

    On 13 February (828/4.1) the Deputies examined the abridged report of the 29th meeting of ECRI (Strasbourg, 10-13 December 2002) and (1) transmitted ECRI's country-by-country reports on Andorra, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Moldova and Sweden to the governments in question; (2) transmitted ECRI's general policy Recommendation No. 7 on national legislation to combat racism and racial discrimination to governments of member states and authorised the publication of this text; and (3) took note of the abridged report of the 29th meeting as a whole.

    At the same meeting (828/4.4), the Deputies pursued the examination of a curriculum vitae in the context of the renewal of the composition of ECRI in accordance with the provisions of its new Statute.

    On 18 December (822/4.4) and 22 January 2003 (825/4.3) the Deputies took note of the list of nominations for ECRI transmitted by the Secretary General (document DGII(2002)009rev. and Addendum) and noted that the European Commission will continue to be invited to participate in ECRI's work.



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