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Strasbourg, 16 September 2019

“Sexism: See it. Name it. Stop it” - Council of Europe takes action

https://go.coe.int/gMSgI

 

In March 2019, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers adopted a newRecommendation on Preventing and Combating Sexism. Not only does this text contain the first ever internationally agreed definition of sexism, but it also proposes a set of concrete measures to combat this wide-spread phenomenon.

 

Sexism is present in all areas of life. From catcalls on the street, to women being ignored during work meetings, to boys being bombarded with aggressive role-models in video games. It is also there when comments are made about politicians on the length of their skirts rather than their latest parliamentary report. When sexist behaviour accumulates, it can lead to an acceptance of discrimination and even violence.

 

Secretary-General Thorbjørn Jagland said that “No-one should be discriminated against because of their sex. This is a basic principle which we are still far from respecting in practice. Through efforts to prevent and combat sexist behaviour, the Council of Europe wants to help ensure a level playing field for women and men, boys and girls.” 

 

Sexism is harmful and lies at the root of gender inequality. It produces feelings of worthlessness, self-censorship, changes in behaviour, and a deterioration in health. Sexism affects women and girls disproportionately. Some groups of women, such as politicians, journalists, women’s human rights defenders, or young women, may be particularly vulnerable to acts of sexism. But it can also affect men and boys, when they don’t conform to stereotyped gender roles. Moreover, the impact of sexism can be worse for some women and men due to ethnicity, age, disability, social origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or other factors.

 

To address these issues and encourage the full implementation of the Recommendation, the Council of Europe has just launched video and action pageunder the hashtag #stopsexism and the slogan “Sexism: See it. Name it. Stop it.” The aim is to help the wider public identify acts of sexism and take a stand against them.

 

Find out more about the work of the Council of Europe to prevent and combat sexism.

Contact

Panos Kakaviatos, Spokesperson/Media officer, tel. + 33 3 90 21 50 27

Dear friends and members of Pax Romana,

Please find below a consultation on children's rights launched by the President of the Conference of INGOs at the Council of Europe.

I invite all of you who are active in the field of children's rights to respond directly to this consultation and inform me about it.

Thank you. With kind regards,

Philippe GROLLEAU

+33 6 07 79 11 34
Permanent Delegate of Pax Romana
to the Council of Europe

 

Dear INGO representatives and members, dear colleagues, 

On 13-14 November 2019, the Council of Europe will hold, under the French Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, the Children Rights Conference to mark the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) and will undertake the Mid-Term Evaluation of the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021). 
In this link, you will find details on the event and the draft programme.

In preparation of the Conference of INGOs’ contribution to this conference, we invite you to fill in the following questionnaire :

https://forms.gle/gbRYShqMYQRTTBSR6

The information will be processed anonymously and results will be presented in aggregate. We aim to provide an overview of the perception of INGOs and NGOs active in childrens’ rights on the progress of Council of Europe Member States’ implementation of the 6 years strategy for the Rights of the Child and the upcoming challenges the children rights’ field is currently facing.

The estimated time for filling in the questionnaire is of 35 minutes. We would greatly appreciate your input by Monday, September 30th 2019. Please forward this to your members, collaborators or partners active in advancing children rights, noting that we are looking to gather input from NGOs active at local, national or international level. For additional information, questions or clarifications regarding this consultation, please contact Cristina Rigman, delegated to represent the INGO Conference during this conference, at 


We are grateful for your contribution and support,
With kind regards, 
Anna Rurka
President of Conference of INGOs

 

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Message from the President of the INGOs Conference of the Council of Europe

Dear NGO representative,

In 2008 the Conference of INGOs created the Expert Council on NGO Lawin order to contribute to the enabling legal environment for NGOs. Our Expert Council carries out thematic and country studies on specific aspects of NGO legislation and legal opinions on specific piece of legislation.  

Considering its mandate, the Expert Council is currently preparing a thematic study on the impact on NGO activities, particularly humanitarian efforts targeting refugees and other migrants, of changing criminal law approaches or provisions in Council of Europe Member States. The aim is to cover as many national contexts as possible, including those which are already known as threatening NGOs helping migrants. 

Obviously, the results of the study will depend on the available data. That’s why we solicit your help, asking you to answer the enclosed questionnaire (in English) related to the relevant legislation and practice in the field of migration. We know that NGOs are at the forefront when it comes to respond to the human rights challenges of asylum and migration in Europe.

We really count on your help. Thank you in advance for kindly sending your responses by email to  before 2 September 2019.

As always, you will be informed about the progress and final results of the study.

Yours sincerely,

Anna RURKA

President of the Conference of INGOs

Enclosed: Questionnaire on State Practice

Marija Pejcinovic Buric (Croatia)

The Assembly today elected Marija Pejcinovic Buric (Croatia) Secretary General of the Council of Europe for a five-year term beginning on 18 September 2019. 

In the first round of the election Marija Pejcinovic Buric obtained 159 votes, an absolute majority, and Didier Reynders (Belgium) 105 votes. There were 264 votes cast.

Ms Pejcinovic Buric is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia.

PACE ratifies Russian delegation’s credentials

 

PACE has voted to ratify the credentials of the Russian delegation after they were challenged on substantial grounds on the second day of its plenary session in Strasbourg, declaring that it remained “committed to dialogue as a means of reaching lasting solutions”.

However, in return the Assembly called on Russia to fulfil a series of recent Assembly recommendations, citing among other things the release of Ukrainian sailors, co-operation on bringing to justice those responsible for downing Flight MH17, and taking measures to end violations of the rights of LGBTI people, especially in Chechnya.

In a resolution based on a report by Sir Roger Gale (United Kingdom, EC), the parliamentarians pointed out that the Assembly was a place where “political dialogue on the Russian Federation’s obligations under the Statute of the Council of Europe can take place with the participation of all those concerned” and where the Russian delegation could be “kept accountable” on the basis of the Organisation’s values and principles.

The Assembly said it expected its “clear offer of dialogue” to be reciprocal and to lead to concrete results. It resolved to debate a report on the honouring of obligations and commitments by Russia no later than the April 2020 part-session.

Vote on Resolution, Web page of the session, Adopted resolution

 

Russian delegation’s credentials challenged

The credentials of the new Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), presented this morning on the second day of the summer plenary session in Strasbourg, have been challenged on both substantive and procedural grounds.

Nino Goguadze (Georgia, EC), making the challenge on substantial grounds, cited Russia’s “persistent failure to honour obligations and commitments”. She was supported by at least thirty members of the Assembly present in the Chamber, belonging to at least five national delegations.

Volodymyr Ariev (Ukraine, EPP/CD), making the challenge on procedural grounds, cited irregularities in the composition of the delegation. He was supported by at least ten members of the Assembly present in the Chamber, belonging to at least five national delegations.

The challenges were referred without debate to the relevant committees for report to the Assembly, which will consider the question tomorrow at 3.30 pm, the opening of the afternoon sitting.

The members of the Russian delegation are entitled to sit provisionally with the same rights as other members until the Assembly has reached a decision but may not vote on their own credentials.

"We must preserve the pan-European dimension of the Council of Europe"

PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY SESSIONSTRASBOURG24 JUNE 2019

“As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe, we can measure the progress made since 1949 and the fact that this organisation is more essential than ever to promote our common values and foster economic and social progress on our continent,” said Amélie de Montchalin, French Secretary of State in charge of European Affairs, representing the French Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, addressing the Assembly today.

Ms de Montchalin praised the “close dialogue” between the Assembly and the Committee of Ministers, a co-operation which “will enable the Council of Europe to continue to give life to the hope of progress born in 1949” and “to overcome the current crisis”. In this context, she stressed the importance of making the new joint procedure operational, which will make it possible to “react in a more effective, clear and coordinated manner when a member State fails to fulfill its statutory obligations". A window of opportunity is “open, and we must seize it, collectively, in order to preserve the pan-European dimension of the Council of Europe,” she said.

In her address, Ms de Montchalin also mentioned the main developments within the Committee of Ministers since its previous session on 17 May in Helsinki, and announced a number of events organised in the framework of the French Presidency with regards to its priorities, namely: preserving and consolidating the European system of human rights protection – recalling that the system of the European Convention on Human Rights was an unparalleled asset in the world – promoting equality and living together , and respond to new challenges in the field of human rights and the rule of law, particularly in the field of digital technology and artificial intelligence.

"PACE affirms its members’ rights ‘to vote, to speak and to be represented in the Assembly and its bodies"

PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY SESSIONSTRASBOURG25 JUNE 2019

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has decided that its members’ “rights to vote, to speak and to be represented in the Assembly and its bodies shall not be suspended or withdrawn in the context of a challenge to or reconsideration of credentials”.

In a resolution based on a report by Petra de Sutter (Belgium, SOC), the Assembly said this clarification of its Rules was to “ensure that member States’ right and obligation to be represented and to participate in both statutory bodies of the Council of Europe is respected”.

Citing the “exceptional context” of a recent decision by the Committee of Ministers, the Assembly also decided, in a derogation from its Rules of Procedure, to invite the parliaments of Council of Europe member States “which are not represented by a delegation to the Assembly” to present their credentials at the June 2019 part-session. Normally, credentials can only be presented at the opening of the ordinary session in January.

Read full article: PACE affirms its members’ rights ‘to vote, to speak and to be represented in the Assembly and its bodies’

"We must shoulder our responsibilities to defend the common interests of all Europeans"

PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY SESSIONSTRASBOURG24 JUNE 2019

 

“The part-session which we are starting today is taking place in extraordinary circumstances. Our Organisation is going through a crisis which has serious implications for the European human rights protection system and for the stability and sustainability of our own institutions,” the PACE President stressed at the opening of the session.

“We must therefore find a way to move forward. We all have the same objective: to defend the common interests of 830 million Europeans who expect to be able to enjoy – without any exclusion whatsoever – the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights. Let us always keep this in mind,” Liliane Maury Pasquier said.

“In taking our decisions today, we must all remember the origins of the crisis we are experiencing because there are incontrovertible facts which the Assembly can neither ignore nor accept. We are therefore going to continue to defend with conviction and determination our positions and the principles of international law that are so important to us. At the same time, we must also shoulder our institutional and political responsibilities,” she stressed.

Read full article: 'We must shoulder our responsibilities to defend the common interests of all Europeans'