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It’s a general statement that our society is based on a production and exchange mechanism whose operation escapes the citizens as it does escape in part to the States. The Council of Europe is then a crucial regulator of the consequences suffered directly by the population and, therefore, its Conference of INGOs committed to safeguarding all human rights and especially to fighting against poverty.
In 2012, together with the other pillars of the Council of Europe( the Parliamentary Assembly, the Committee of Ministers and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities) we have adopted a common Declaration in which we committed ourselves to fight against growing poverty and social exclusion.
In 2013, persons living in poverty joined us on 17th October and with their testimony they opened our eyes on practical undertakings for coping with the violations of their human rights.
In 2014, in Turin, the Conference of INGOs, in its message to the High Level Conference on the European Social Charter noted that “legal instruments for fighting against poverty already exist at European level as well as in the laws of almost every State”. It stressed in this message its expectations on full respect by the States of all human rights, that is to say all civil and political rights as well as all social and economic rights.
In 2015, the eradication of the poverty experienced by children was at the heart of the debates on 17th October, casting a special light on a series of actions going on in different countries.
In 2016, the Conference of the INGOs invites in particular organisations from Greece and Poland for an exchange on youth poverty. As M. Thorbjon Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe underlined repeatedly, young people are presently those who suffer the most from unemployment and its consequences.
How could we leave on the roadside a whole generation – and maybe two generations – of young people between 15 and 30? For them, the effects of the crisis seem to be long lasting: unemployment, precarious work, few resources, no access to housing.
How could the States forget their obligations to undertake the necessary measures for ensuring all persons, and especially youth, the effective exercise of the right to education, vocational training, work and housing, as listed in the European Social Charter?
During the meeting on 17th October 2016 the sharing of views between members of the Committee of Social Rights, representatives of the States, social workers, organisations of the civil society and youth who will tell their difficulties will bear on the possible multiplying effect of the various alternative solidarity projects that have been implemented here and there.