Council of Europe

Invitation Debate “Return of the death penalty in Europe: genuine threat or populist fiction?”

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Debate: “Return of the death penalty in Europe: genuine threat or populist fiction?”
Date: 10 October, 09.00 – 13.00
Languages: French/English
Location: Room 2, ‘Palais de l’Europe’, Council of Europe

Death Penalty – Event 10 Oct 2017 – Programme.en

Death Penalty – Event 10 Oct 2017 – Programme.fr

 

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Equality now, or…? / L’égalité maintenant, ou…?

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Equality now, or?
Collective complaints have been lodged against the fifteen Member States of the Council of Europe which accept them by the European Group of University Women, GEFDU / University Women of Europe, UWE, on the initiative of Anne Nègre, barrister, Bar of Versailles, France, for violation of the European Social Charter regarding equal pay for equal work between women and men. This is a historic first!
Reminder of the European procedure:
GEFDU / UWE at the initiative of Anne Nègre, voted unanimously in a general assembly in Utrecht, the Netherlands, to obtain as International Non Governmental Organization the qualification by the Council of Europe to file collective complaints for violation of the European Social Charter, 1961 Treaty of the Council of Europe. Which is possible since 1995. Which has never been done against 15 States and on such a violation. Anne Nègre obtained the required qualification of the GEFDU / UWE by the Council of Europe and launched the fifteen collective complaints on behalf of the GEFDU / UWE in August, 2016.
Document collective complaints:
After a long period of research, documentation, etc., she filed collective complaints against the 15 Member States of the Council of Europe accepting them, as barrister of the GEFDU / UWE, on August 24th, 2016: Belgium, Bulgaria , Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, and Norway the only country not also in the European Union.
These complaints concern the violation concerning equal pay for equal, similar or comparable work between women and men of the European Social Charter.
The reply of the majority of States: denial
Various states have agreed to challenge the admissibility of the GEFDU / UWE, considering that this INGO, which has been accredited for many years before by the Council of Europe, does not have the qualifications required to file collective complaints. Associations of more than 90 years for some of them constitute GEFDU / UWE. They have been in all the struggles for the emancipation of women, but they shouldn’t be competent? We are waiting for the position of the European Committee of Social Rights, which must decide on the admissibility of GEFDU / UWE. What do these Member States fear? If GEFDU / UWE is declared admissible, the next step will be on the merits . None of those countries are respecting equal pay for equal job. They could be condemned, they should be condemned.
Equal pay is therefore far from being a reality in Europe … It is urgent to act, to mobilize for equality to progress.
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L’égalité maintenant, ou ?
Des réclamations collectives ont été déposées contre les quinze États Membres du Conseil de l’Europe qui les acceptent par le Groupe Européen des Femmes Diplômées des Universités, GEFDU / University Women of Europe, UWE, à l’initiative d’Anne Nègre, avocate au barreau de Versailles, France , pour violation de la Charte Sociale Européenne en matière de salaire égal pour un travail égal entre les femmes et les hommes. C’est une première historique!
Rappel de la procédure européenne :
GEFDU/UWE à l’initiative d’Anne Nègre, a voté à l’unanimité en assemblée générale à Utrecht, Pays Bas, de devenir une Organisation Internationale Non Gouvernementale habilitée par le Conseil d’Europe à déposer des réclamations collectives pour violation de la Charte Sociale Européenne, Traité de 1961 du Conseil de l’Europe. Et à déposer des réclamations collectives, possibles depuis 1995, ce qui n’a jamais été fait contre tous les Etats et sur une telle violation. Anne Nègre a obtenu la qualification requise du GEFDU/UWE par le Conseil de l’Europe et a lancé les quinze réclamations collectives au nom du GEFDU/UWE.
Documenter les réclamations collectives :
Ensuite après un long travail de recherches, de documentations, etc., elle a déposé comme avocate du GEFDU/UWE, le 24 aout 2016, des réclamations collectives contre les 15 Etats Membres du Conseil de l’Europe qui les acceptent : Belgique, Bulgarie, Croatie, Chypre, France, Grèce, Irlande, Italie, Pays Bas, Portugal, République Tchèque, Slovénie, Suède, et la Norvège le seul pays qui ne soit pas également dans l’Union Européenne.
Ces réclamations portent sur la violation des dispositions concernant le salaire égal pour un travail égal, semblable ou comparable entre les femmes et les hommes de la Charte Sociale Européenne.
La réponse de la majorité des Etats :le déni
Divers Etats se sont concertés pour contester la recevabilité du GEFDU/UWE, estimant que cette OING accréditée depuis de longues années auprès du Conseil de l’Europe, n’a pas la qualification requise pour déposer des réclamations collectives. Des associations de plus de 90 ans pour certaines constituent le groupement GEFDU/UWE. Elles ont été de tous les combats de l’émancipation des femmes, mais ne seraient pas compétentes… On attend la position du Comité Européen des Droits sociaux qui doit décider de la recevabilité de GEFDU/UWE. Que craignent ces Etats ? Si GEFDU/UWE est déclarée recevable que sur le fond ils soient condamnés pour non respect de l’égalité salariale entre les femmes et les hommes pour un travail égal ?
L’égalité des salaires est donc loin d’être une réalité en Europe… Il est urgent d’agir, de se mobiliser pour que l’égalité progresse..

Council of Europe – Gender Equality Factsheets

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http://www.coe.int/documents/5492562/7038987/COE-Logo-Quadri.png/5b078783-4008-4825-8721-c04c329844d2?t=1401723151000

COUNCIL OF EUROPE GENDER EQUALITY FACTSHEETS

The Council of Europe has produced concise factsheets on its key areas of activity to promote gender equality. The factsheets aim to provide useful information and definitions on each issue, as well as references to relevant activities, standards and mechanisms of the Council of Europe in each area.

http://www.coe.int/documents/10561494/14961112/factsheet1.jpg/e92ab558-7bf7-4499-8956-c5014e7dfb41?t=1454937398000 Council of Europe Key Standards on Gender Equality

·          http://www.coe.int/documents/10561494/14961112/Factsheet+Equality+small.jpg/dbe6eff4-5127-419b-89da-3e8d5aab5248?t=1467190892000Equality between women and men
·         http://www.coe.int/documents/10561494/14961112/Factsheet+Cover+HS+English.jpg/175d0460-cdeb-4c37-a55f-7a68be7a675c?t=1463670826000  Combatting Sexist Hate Speech

 

 

Are religions a place of emancipation for women?

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On 21 st of June, Human Rights Comittee at the Council of Europe will host a side-event moderated by Gender Expert Anne Nègre, Conference of INGOs.  On June 22, a discussion will be opened on the subject, same place, same hour. On June 20, with the participation of the local group of AFFDU, a day in the town on «  Sexism and Racism ». Anne will talk about sexism in communication.  

Here below the programme.

INGO

ARE RELIGIONS A PLACE OF EMANCIPATION FOR WOMEN?
PROGRESS AND SETBACKS

Council of Europe

21 June 2016 from 13.00 to 14.30

Palais de l’Europe, room 2

The European Convention on Human Rights or the Lisbon Treaty for member States of the European Union respect religions or spiritual movements. National laws also protect freedom of conscience and worship for nationals of States countries of the Council of Europe while ensuring equality between women and men. We question the fate of this equality among places of worship.

Moderator Anne Nègre, Gender Expert, Conference of INGOs

Welcome Anna Rurka, President of the Conference of INGOs

Introduction Elena Centemero, Italian Parliamentarian, Chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Mendel Samama, Rabbi of Strasbourg
Mohamed Tahiri, Chaplain, Preacher, Strasbourg Grand Mosque
Tenzin Palmo, Venerable Buddhist, Founder of the convent of Dongyu Gatsal Ling, India
Basile Iorgulescu, Representative of the Romanian Patriarchate, Priest of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Agnès Von Kirchbach, German Theologian, Pastor of the United Protestant Church, France
Paolo Rudello, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Council of Europe

Closing Gulsun Bilgehan, Turkish parliamentarian, Former Chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, Chairperson of the Media and Information Society sub‑committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Report Conference of the INGO Winter session 26-29 january 2015

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This session was particularly important as elections  for the new standing comittee were due to take place on  the 29 th (election of a president, vice presidents and rapporteurs). Besides that there was also the election of a gender expert as the term of  Betty Doornendal ended in 2015.

Anna Rurka was elected président and three vice présidents two women  Antonina DASHKINA (a social worker)  Laura FRATTI  GUCCI ( an economist) and Israel MENSAH ( a prominent educationist) a very good team to lead the new Standing Committee.  Regarding the post of the gender expert  three persons were candidates but one  had to withdraw  because of health problems and from the two remaining Anne NEGRE introduced  by UWE and Rosy WEISS introduced  by IAW , Anne NEGRE was elected . The expert has a seat at the standing Committee  to present ( and defend) gender issues as a cross cutting issue.

  • On Monday 26th The standing committee of the Conférence and its Bureau met in the morning  and some  working groups  met in the afternoon.
  • On Tuesday 27th The Commission Democracy, Social Cohesion ,Global challenges  held an urgent debate  following the terrorist attack in Paris

A s a consequence a resolution was presented  to the Parliamentary Assembly by the Conference of INGOs after a vote in plenary session the following Thursday. The Commissions on Human Rights  met in the afternoon. Commission on Education and Culture  had a fascinating  intervention of two specialists  of the new technologies with discusssion  from the floor .  The main event was the meeting of the Conference of INGOs all day the 29th  with a heavy agenda  that included procedures for the elections, different reports  as well as two  important hearings. One on Strategic priorities for the promotion of civil society to the decisions process in UKRAINE.  The second  an exchange and discussion  with a delegation from  Morocco as part of the proceses of cooperation of CoE , Lisbon Center and the countries of the Mediterranean area.

More information  and documentation can be found regarding this winter session   on the website of the Council of Europe  www.coe.int   under INOG Conference

R .Gerard, UWE Representative to CoE for January session

NB : The Council of Europe  House of Demoracy  is an Inter parliamentary European  institution and gender equality is recognized as a value for democracy . However  it is not a specific program as such . At the time of restructuration the  Commission on Equality for women and men was suppressed. We must give credit to our friend Anje Wiersinga  from IAW who established an informal  group , mobilized the women INGOs  to obtain a post of gender expert ,is keeping watch on the parliamentary Commissions to remind them of the gender issues  The gender expert should closely cooperate  with this existing women’s  group that is meeting ay every sessions of the INGO Conference.

INGO Conference Council of Europe: Impressive, busy and somewhat overwhelming

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A side-event on “A Europe without torture: what is today’s reality?”, a discussion on the situation in Ukraine with the participation of NGOs from Ukraine, and a debate on “which democracy do we want?” were among the highlights of the session. The Conference of INGOs adopted texts on hate speech, the situation in Ukraine and human rights and religions. It took me awhile to write this report as I needed some time to put all the new information in a report which was not too long. I hope this report will give you more of an impression and if you would like to know more about UWE’s work at the Council of Europe: visit the Meet and Greet 2014 in Amsterdam. More information 2014 meet and greet uwe in amsterdam 1  .   

It was my first time in Strasbourg and I was impressed to talk and meet with representatives of over 100 International NGO’s. The first days were dedicated to the so called committees among which the Culture and education committee see http://www.coe.int/t/ngo/conf_educ_en.asp for the agenda.
The first meeting was a lively one with lots of discussions and presentations and a paper on religion and human rights which was later adopted by the full conference at the end of the week. http://www.coe.int/t/ngo/Articles/CONF_PLE_2014_APP1_HR_religions_en.asp The INGOs are “determined to safeguard, whatever happens, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe is launching an appeal to the men and women of Europe and to NGOs operating on the ground so that, together, everyone can take action at their own level and in their own setting to ensure continued respect for the equal dignity of all individuals and of the values connected with this inviolable principle.” Part of this concern is also the ever growing amount of so called Hate speech growing racism and intolerance in Europe, combating Hate speech will be part of the 2014-2016 program.
It will prepare a “Civil Society White Paper’ to combat hate speech and prepare a “Civil Society Forum”, together with the media and political parties, for the purposes of launching the White Paper and drawing up a Charter of good conduct for tackling hate speech more effectively. I participated also in a working group on Gender equality from the Dutch Gender Advisor Betty Doornenbal. Priority is still the signing of the Istanbul Convention to combat gender based violence. More info: http://www.coe.int/t/ngo/conf_tg_gen_en.asp.  Another important meeting was the working group Living Together in which UWE also participates.

Ukraine
Representatives Ukraine at INGO COEOne of the most impressive and sad occasions at the INGO conference were the statements of NGO’s of Ukraine stating the difficult circumstances and violence they live in. At the initiative of the Conference of INGOs, a group of civil society representatives from Ukraine participated in meetings at the Council of Europe end of January.

The NGOs met with the Secretary General, the Commissioner for Human Rights and participated in a hearing with the INGO Conference at which they reported their concerns regarding the current situation, in particular Human Rights violations. The Conference of INGOs adopted a Resolution urging Council of Europe bodies to monitor the ongoing situation and offered to be the platform to promote dialogue and civil society involvement to help resolve the crisis in Ukraine. Message of solidarity to civil society representatives in Ukraine.
Statement by Jean-Marie Heydt, President of the Conference of INGOs, Strasbourg , 20 February 2014
The Conference of INGOs is deeply shocked and appalled by the current turn of events in Kiev, specifically, the escalation in violence and the many unfortunate deaths that have occurred. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims. The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe once again expresses its solidarity with Ukrainian civil society at this difficult moment and calls for an inclusive dialogue and a peaceful and democratic solution to the current crisis. The Conference remains ready to offer its platform for involving national and international civil society actors in these efforts.
Personal observations
Although resolutions can’t negate the effects of violence and force as is shown in the case of Ukraine and Georgie The INGO Conference is an important tool to enhance democracy it advises the Council of Europe via the President of the INGOs Jean-Marie Heydt. It has three special programmes the Code of Good Conduct, the Dialoque Toolkit – you will be introduced to at the Bucharest Conference in September – and The Expert Council.
Especially the Expert Council which investigates and writes reports on the situation in countries on the participation of civil society is an impressive tool. Next year they will very likely investigate Turkey after investigating Russia and Azerbeidzjan! http://www.coe.int/t/ngo/expert_council_en.asp  Its work covers the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe and Belarus. It was created in January 2008 by the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe with the aim of creating an enabling environment for NGOs through examining national NGO legislation and its implementation and provides advice on how to bring national law and practice into line with Council of Europe standards and European good practice.

The INGO Conference is a wonderful platform to meet lots of other representatives of INGO’s and find partners to create new actions and work towards our goals. I met representatives of the Catholic women, Teachers union, Jewish women etc. etc. and was able to make some contacts. The first few days of the conference are a preparation for the last day in which the voting takes place. As the UWE is on the Standing Committee we are part of a group that can help decide what should be the agenda of the conference. The Conference however decides.

New Vice President
A new candidate for Vice Presidency of the UWE (Vera has done this intensive work September 2014 over six years) to participate in the INGO of the Council of Europe needs to be fluent in English en preferably also speak French as some meetings are in French and not always translated into English. The documents of the INGO and the meetings can be found on the website of the Council of Europe http://www.coe.int/t/ngo/default_en.asp to find out more about the Committees look under structure where you will find the documentation.