CIVIL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
European Social Charter (revised)
Covention No. 163; Strasbourg
The European Social Charter (revised) of 1996 embodies in one instrument all rights guaranteed by the Charter of 1961, its additional Protocol of 1988 (ETS No. 128) and adds new rights and amendments adopted by the Parties. It is gradually replacing the initial 1961 treaty.
The European Social Charter (revised) guaranteed fundamental social and economic rights of all individuals in their daily lives. It takes account of the evolution which has occurred in Europe since the Charter was adopted in 1961, and includes the following:
New rights : right to protection against poverty and social exclusion; right to housing; right to protection in cases of termination of employment; right to protection against sexual harassment in the workplace and other forms of harassment; rights of workers with family responsibilities to equal opportunities and equal treatment; rights of workers’ representatives in undertakings;
Amendments : reinforcement of principle of non-discrimination; improvement of gender equality in all fields covered by the treaty; better protection of maternity and social protection of mothers; better social, legal and economic protection of employed children; better protection of handicapped people.
The Convention aims to protect the best interests of children. It provides a number of procedural measures to allow the children to exercise their rights. It sets up a Standing Committee which shall keep under review problems relating to this Convention.
Children should be allowed to exercise their rights (for example, the right to be informed and the right to express their views) either themselves or through other persons or bodies.
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