European & International News

Council of Europe: Europe in biggest human rights crisis since Cold War

[Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 23 April 2014] "Europe faces the deepest democratic crises since the Cold War", says Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe in the first-ever comprehensive report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe.

"Human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe now face a crisis unprecedented since the end of the Cold War. Serious violations – including corruption, immunity from prosecution, impunity, human trafficking, racism, hate speech and discrimination – are on the rise throughout the continent. People’s rights are also threatened by the impact of the economic crisis and growing inequalities. The Council of Europe and its member States must act urgently to stop this erosion of fundamental rights".

Based on the findings of the Organisation’s monitoring bodies, the report identifies the most serious challenges to democracy - discrimination against ethnic minorities in 39 states, conditions of detention in 30 states and corruption in 26 states – and proposes concrete measures to address them.

When it comes to women’s rights, the report identifies three challenges (chapter C):

  • Widespread violence against women
  • Barriers to women’s access to justice
  • Gender stereotyping–a serious obstacle to gender equality

and makes the following recommendations:

  • Ratify the council of Europe convention on Preventing and combating violence against Women and domestic violence (Istanbul convention)
  • Apply zero tolerance to violence against women and domestic violence
  • Ensure women’s equal access to justice
  • Promote positive, non-stereotyped images of women and men

You can read the report in English and in French.

Latest video

EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

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