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European Social Cohesion Platform
European Social Cohesion Platform Newsletter January - February 2018
European Social Cohesion Platform
The third meeting of the European Social Cohesion Platform will take place on 3-4 May in Strasbourg.
We would like to recall - as stressed during the previous plenary meeting - the importance of disseminating this Newsletter in order to successfully fulfil its purpose.
European Committee of Social Rights - Conclusions 2017
On 24 January the European Committee of Social Rights published its Conclusions
2017 in respect of 33 States on the articles of the European Social Charter relating to the thematic group “Health, social security and social protection” showing 175 situations of non-conformity and 228 situations of conformity with the provisions of the Charter. In 83 cases the Committee was unable to assess the situation due to lack of information and postponed its conclusion. The Committee thus concluded that, in many countries, poverty level in Europe is far too high and the measures taken to remedy this fundamental problem are insufficient. In particular, in many States the social security benefits (notably in respect of unemployment and old age) are well below the poverty level, even when taking into account social assistance, which remains too low.
New programme of activities of the Education sector of the Council of Europe for 2018-2019
At its 8th plenary session (Strasbourg, December 2017) the Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE) launched the implementation of the new
programme of activities of the Education sector of the Council of Europe for 2018-2019.
The programme focuses on developing a culture of democracy in educational settings that are democratic and that favour participation and critical thinking, while at the same time value diversity and dialogue in a safe learning environment. The objective of the programme is that policy makers and education actors take concrete measures to prepare students and learners for life as active citizens. It is organised around three main clusters of activities related to:
• the development of competences for life in democracy,
• the fostering of inclusive approaches in education, and
• the development of Ethics, Transparency and integrity in and through education.
In 2018-2019, the Programme will give greater prominence to education for refugees and migrants, and to ensuring that learning environments remain positive.
The Education Programme will provide a regional contribution to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 4 (on quality education).
Protecting people in situations of vulnerability
The European Committee on Legal Cooperation (CDCJ), whose field of competence is public and private law is currently concerned by the following issues:
- Administrative detention of migrants:
the CDCJ continues its codifying exercise of existing international standards relating to the conditions of administrative detention of migrants.
- Legal aid:  following its review of the operation of member states’ legal aid schemes, CDCJ is assessing the feasibility of developing policy guidance to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of legal aid schemes.
- An assessment of measures taken by member states allowing individuals to draw up continuing powers of attorney and advance directives for incapacity will be published in 2018.
Recent Developments in the Court's Case-law ( 11 January - 6 February 2018)
J.R. and Others v. Greece (22696/16), judgment of 25.1.2018 - Conditions of detention in asylum hotspot facilities established under the EU-Turkey
Statement: no violation. Detention for 30 days in asylum hotspot facilities established under the EU-Turkey Statement: no violation.
The Court found that the applicants, three afghan nationals, had been deprived of their liberty for their first month in the centre, until 21 April 2016 when it became a semi-open centre. The one-month period of detention, whose aim had been to guarantee the possibility of removing the applicants under the EU-Turkey Declaration, was not arbitrary and could not be regarded as “unlawful” within the meaning of Article 5 § 1 (f). However, the applicants had not been appropriately informed about the reasons for their arrest or the remedies available in order to challenge that detention (article 5 § 2 - violation). As to the conditions of detention in the centre, the Court noted the emergency situation facing the Greek authorities after significant numbers of migrants had arrived and the ensuing material difficulties. It observed that several NGOs had visited the centre and had partly confirmed the applicants’ allegations, but found that the conditions were not severe enough for their detention to be characterised as inhuman or degrading treatment had not been reached.
Enver Şahin v. Turkey, judgment of 30.1.2018 - Violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the Convention, read in conjunction with Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 (right to education) : Failure to conduct concrete individual assessment of disabled student’s needs regarding access to university premises.
The Court found that the Government had not demonstrated that the national authorities  had reacted with the requisite diligence in order to ensure that the applicant could continue to enjoy his right to education on an equal footing with other students. A proposal by the rector’s office to provide a person to assist him had not been made following an assessment of the applicant’s actual needs and an honest appraisal of the potential impact on his safety, dignity and independence.
Domestic courts had not ascertained whether a fair balance had been struck between the competing interests of the applicant (his educational needs) and of society as a whole.
New publication on the CoE’s contribution to Goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda
The factsheet highlights the links between sustainable development and the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The Council of Europe work and standards to achieve real equality between women and men, summarised in this publication, contribute to implementing the UN Agenda 2030 in Europe.
Council of Europe Development Bank - CEB
CEB approves financing for six new social projects
At its first meeting, which took place in Paris on 26 January 2018, the
Administrative Council of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved six new loans worth almost € 635 million.
14th plenary meeting, Strasbourg, 24 to 27 October 2017, the Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on Roma and Traveller Issues (CAHROM)
At its 14th plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 24 to 27 October 2017), the Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on Roma and Traveller Issues (CAHROM) examined four CAHROM thematic reports, namely on the protection, preservation and teaching of languages spoken by Roma, Sinti, Kaale and Yenish including ways to handle the opposition of traditional communities to have their language written and taught (following a thematic visit in Graz, Austria, on 29-31 March 2017); on challenges and best practices in implementing Roma inclusion strategies, including mechanisms for solving personal identification documents and improving access to social services (following a thematic visit in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 26-28 April 2017); on Roma mediation with a focus on school mediators/assistants (following a thematic visit in Vilnius and Panaževis, Lithuania, on 25-27 April 2017); and on the situation of eastern Roma groups (Roma from Turkey and South Caucasus, Lom/Bosha/Posha, Dom/Garachi/Karachi, and Abdal) and policy responses to their needs (following a thematic visit in Tbilissi, Georgia, on 21-23 June 2017). The CAHROM also took note of the review document prepared by the Secretariat following responses received to a questionnaire on the impact, outcome and follow-up given to CAHROM thematic visits and reports over the period 2012-2017 [document CAHROM (2017)29] available on CAHROM website www.coe.int/roma/cahrom. The next CAHROM plenary meeting will take place in Athens, Greece, on 22-25 May 2018.
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