The human rights are one of the main values in the European Union as democracy and legal state. These values are in the basic agreement and they were strengthened when the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms was accepted. The countries which want to be members of the European Union have to follow these human rights. Also the countries which have some trade or other agreements have to follow the human rights of the European Union. For the European Union are the human rights universally valid and indivisible.
The European Union defends and promotes the human right in European Union but also in the countries in Third World. The European Union emphasis on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights. At the same time the European Union focuses on the women’s and children’s rights and also on the minority’s rights.
2. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of European Union
During the meeting of the European Council on June in 1999, the European Council decided about writing of document which will be summary of human rights for citizens in European Union. The Charter of Fundamental Rights was based on the international conventions but the Charter also includes the constitutional tradition of member states and the declaration of the European Parliament.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights started to be written in 17th December 1999. On December in 2000 the European Commission and the European Parliament declared the Charter of Fundamental Rights during the meeting of the European Council in Nica and every single member state of EU have to follow this Charter. Since 2001 the European Parliament has submit report. These reports are about following of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in every member state of EU and they are published every year.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights was changed on 12th December 2007 because the institutions of EU started to discuss about the Lisbon Treaty. The inclusion of the fundamental rights in the Lisbon Treaty will mean that, if the Treaty enters into force, the European institutions and the member states will be legally bound to uphold them.
At first the Charter of Fundamental Rights was proposed as part of Treaty establishing a Constitution of Europe but it wasn’t approved in referendum in Netherlands and in France. Now the Charter of Fundamental Rights is part of the Lisbon Treaty.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights is composed of the Preamble, seven chapters and fifty-four articles. The first chapter is called Dignity. This chapter has five articles about human dignity, right to life, right to the integrity of the person, prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, prohibition of slavery and forced labour.
The second chapter includes fourteen articles and this chapter is Freedoms. It’s about right to liberty and security, respect for private and family life, protection of personal data, right to marry and right to found a family, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly and of association, freedom of the arts and sciences, right to education, freedom to choose an occupation and right to engage in work, freedom to conduct a business, right to property, right to asylum, protection in the event of removal, expulsion or extradition. The third chapter is called Equality and this chapter has seven articles.
These articles are about equality before the law, non-discrimination, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, equality between men and women, the rights of the child, the rights of the elderly and integration of persons with disabilities. The forth chapter is Solidarity and this chapter is composed of twelve articles and they are about workers' right to information and consultation within the undertaking, right of collective bargaining and action, right of access to placement services, protection in the event of unjustified dismissal, fair and just working conditions, prohibition of child labour and protection of young people at work, family and professional life, social security and social assistance, health care, access to services of general economic interest, environmental protection and consumer protection.
The fifth chapter of the Charter of Fundamental Rights is Citizen’s rights which include eight articles. These articles are about right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial, presumption of innocence and right of defence, principles of legality and proportionality of criminal offences and penalties, right not to be tried or punished twice in criminal proceedings for the same criminal offence. The last chapter is called General provisions and this chapter has four articles and they are about scope, scope of guaranteed rights, level of protection and prohibition of abuse of rights.
3. The Council of Europe
The Council o Europe was founded on May in 1949 in Rome by London Treaty. London Treaty was signed by Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Great Britain. The Council of Europe was founded four year after the formation of United Nations as reaction on the Second World War. The Council of Europe is the first political and European organization.
In 1950 the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe, which is the first international and legally document, was signed. This document provides human rights. In 1959 the Council of Europe founded the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. In 1987 the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which was prepared by the Council of European Union, was signed.
In 1993 the declaration, which confirm that the Council of Europe focuses on the protecting of human rights in whole Europe, was adopted. In 1995 the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, which was prepared by the Council of Europe, was signed. In 1997 the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine of the Council of Europe was signed. In 1998 the Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine of the Council of Europe, which prohibits the human cloning, was signed. In 2002 the Protocol number thirteen of European Convention on Human Rights which provides for the total abolition of the death penalty and the Guidelines on Human Rights and the Fight against Terrorism was accepted.
The Council of Europe is made up of several institutions: The Committee of Ministers is the main decision-making body of the Council of Europe. It is composed of the Foreign Affairs Ministers of all member states. The Parliamentary Assembly is a deliberative body, composed of 313 members and 313 substitutes who are appointed by national assemblies. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe is a consultative body with local and regional representatives. It is composed of a Chamber of Local Authorities and a Chamber of Regions. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe directs and coordinates the organization's activities. The Secretary serves a five-year term.
Protecting of the human rights is one of the main goals of the Council of Europe, to be achieved in four main areas: effective monitoring and protection of the fundamental rights and the freedoms, identification of a new risks which are against the human rights and the human dignity, developing of the public conscience about the importance of the human rights, promoting of education for the human rights.
The most important agreements for human rights are the European Convention on Human Rights, the Convention for the Prevention of Torture and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The European Convention on Human Rights is the most important success about the human rights for the Council of Europe. This convention was accepted in 1950 and it entered into force in 1953. In this convention is the list of the rights and the freedoms. These rights and freedoms have to be following in every member state.
The Convention for the Prevention of Torture entered into force in 1989. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture is based on this convention. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities was accepted in 1994 by the Council of Europe. This convention is about that every citizen in state has same rights and freedoms as others.
The Council of Europe actively cares in these points of the human rights: protecting civil and political rights through mechanism of individual complaints to the European Court for the human rights, protecting social and economic rights through mechanism of the European Social Charter, protection of persons which are deprived of their liberty to be not torture, punishment or inhuman treatment, protecting rights of national minorities, promoting gender equality, provision against racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism and intolerance, strengthening freedom of expression over the border.
The Council of Europe guarantees these human rights: the right to life (protecting individuals against death caused by arbitrary state), the right to liberty and security (everyone has right to liberty and security of person), the right to fair trial in civil and criminal area, the right to respecting of private and family life (including the right to get married and found family), the husband and wife are equal, the right to freedom of expression, the right to respecting of property, the right to education, the right to free and fair election, the right to free movement. And what is forbidden? Punishment or torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, slavery or forced jobs, discrimination, expulsion of national citizens or deportation of foreigners.
4. Main human rights treaties and bodies
The Council of Europe has made and continues to make many efforts to promote human rights:
1. The European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights was founded in 1959. Its seat is in Strasbourg. The European Commission of Human Rights was part of the European Court of Human Rights which discuss about complaints of individual and the European Court of Human Rights resolved cases which recommended the European Commission of Human Rights to court. But the European Court of Human Rights which included the European Commission of Human Rights worked slowly so since 1998 the European Court of Human Rights has worked without the European Commission of Human Rights.
The European Court of Human Rights is the one of the biggest international judicial authority. Every member state of the Council of Europe has one judge in the European Court of Human Rights. In this time it is more than forty judges. Judges are elected by Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. They would hold office for six years and they are limited by age which is seventy years. Judges can be elected many times.
The complaint of a violation may be filed with the court either by a Contracting State (interstate complaint) or by individuals, groups, individuals and non-governmental organizations (individual application).
The admissibility of individual complaints, a three-member committee decides that it can reject or accept unanimously. Case then progresses seven-member Senate, which decided on its merits. The seven-member Senate also decides on the admissibility and merits of inter-state complaints. If this is an extremely serious affair, the Senate may refer the matter to the Grand Chamber composed of seventeen judges. Grand Chamber Judgment is final. After a seven-member Senate, a conviction may, in exceptional cases, litigants have three months to apply for a hearing before the Grand Chamber. Conditions for acceptance of complaints: They must be exhausted all domestic remedies.
The complaint must be filed within six months after the final domestic decision. Do not go to an anonymous complaint. Lis pendens - must be a new thing that has been discussed by the Court or has been submitted for consideration to another international body. Inadmissible complaints are manifestly unfounded, inconsistent with the provisions of the Convention, or possibly those who abuse the right to complain. In addition to complaints submitted to the court upon request of the Committee of Ministers also judgments about the interpretation of the Convention.
If the application is declared admissible, the Court advocates reaching a friendly settlement, which ranges from a change in the law to compensation. Chamber judgments may be appealed to the Grand Chamber until they become final after three months; Grand Chamber judgments are always final. All judgments are binding under international law, and may be delivered in court or in writing. Once the Court considers a case a violation, states are obliged to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future. "Just satisfaction" can be awarded to victims, including compensation paid by the state at fault.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe monitors the Court's judgments to ensure compensation is paid and to assist victims by reopening proceedings, lifting bans, striking a police record, and granting residence. The Committee of Ministers also sees to it that the requisite changes are made following a judgment, such as changes in legislation, case law, rules, and practices, building prisons or the appointment of new domestic judges.
2. The European Commission of Human Rights
Although the European Commission on Human Rights became obsolete in 1998 with the restructuring of the Court of Human Rights. It held an important role in assisting the European Court of Human Rights from 1953 to 1998. Commission members were elected by the Committee of Ministers and would hold office for six years (during which time they were to act independently, without allegiance to any state).
Their role was to consider if a petition was admissible to the Court. The Commission would examine the petition to determine the facts of the case and look for parties that could help settle the case in a friendly manner. If a friendly settlement could not take place the Commission would issue a report on the established facts with an opinion on whether or not a violation had occurred. A Committee of three people determined the admissibility of a petition. For difficult decisions, however, a Chamber consisting of seven people handled it.
3. The European Social Charter
The European Social Charter was founded in 1961 and it provided nineteen fundamental rights and principles. When some state ratifies the European Social Charter it means that this state follows at least five rights and principles from these rights and principles: Everyone shall have the opportunity to earn his living in an occupation freely entered upon, all workers have the right to just conditions of work, all workers have the right to safe and healthy working conditions, all workers have the right to a fair remuneration sufficient for a decent standard of living for themselves and their families, all workers and employers have the right to freedom of association in national or international organizations for the protection of their economic and social interests, all workers and employers have the right to bargain collectively,
children and young persons have the right to a special protection against the physical and moral hazards to which they are exposed, employed women, in case of maternity, and other employed women as appropriate, have the right to a special protection in their work, everyone has the right to appropriate facilities for vocational guidance with a view to helping him choose an occupation suited to his personal aptitude and interests, everyone has the right to appropriate facilities for vocational training, everyone has the right to benefit from any measures enabling him to enjoy the highest possible standard of health attainable,
all workers and their dependents have the right to social security, anyone without adequate resources has the right to social and medical assistance, everyone has the right to benefit from social welfare services, disabled persons have the right to vocational training, rehabilitation and resettlement, whatever the origin and nature of their disability, the family as a fundamental unit of society has the right to appropriate social, legal and economic protection to ensure its full development, mothers and children, irrespective of marital status and family relations, have the right to appropriate social and economic protection, the nationals of any one of the
Contracting Parties have the right to engage in any gainful occupation in the territory of any one of the others on a footing of equality with the nationals of the latter, subject to restrictions based on cogent economic or social reasons, migrant workers who are nationals of a Contracting Party and their families have the right to protection and assistance in the territory of any other Contracting Party.
In 1988 the European Social Charter was extended by four other points: All workers are entitled to equal opportunities and equal treatment in matters of employment and occupation without discrimination on grounds of sex. Workers have the right to be informed in the company and to be treated. Workers have the right to participate in the establishment and improvement of working conditions and working environment in the enterprise. Every older person has the right to social protection.
The European Social Charter is consists from preamble, five parts of fundamental rights and appendix. These five parts have thirty-eight articles. The first part is about nineteen fundamental rights and principles. The second part has nineteen articles which are called: The right to work, The right to just conditions of work, The right to safe and healthy working conditions, The right to a fair remuneration, The right to organize, The right to bargain collectively, The right of children and young persons to protection,
The right of employed women to protection, The right to vocational Guyance, The right to vocational training, The right to protection of health, The right to social security, The right to social and medical assistance, The right to benefit from social welfare services, The right of physically or mentally disabled persons to vocational training, rehabilitation and social resettlement, The right of the family to social, legal and economic protection, The right of mothers and children to social and economic protection, The right to engage in a gainful occupation in the territory of other Contracting Parties, The right of migrant workers and their families to protection and assistance. The third part has just one article which is called Undertakings.
Forth part has nine articles which are about: reports concerning accepted provisions, reports concerning provisions which are not accepted, communication of copies, examination of the reports, committee of Experts, participation of the International Labour Organization, sub-committee of the Governmental Social Committee, Consultative Assembly, Committee of Ministers. The last part has nine articles as well which are called Derogations in time of war or public emergency, Restrictions, Relations between the Charter and domestic law or international agreements, Implementation by collective agreements, Territorial application, Signature, ratification and entry into force, Amendments, Denunciation, Appendix.
4. The European Committee of Social Rights
The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) is composed of independent experts serving six-year terms that are renewable for one term. States must submit annual reports of how they have followed Charter standards. The Committee reviews these and then publishes decisions known as "Conclusions." If a state ignores a Conclusion of a violation, the Committee of Ministers addresses the state, asking it to rectify the problem, either by changing a law or a practice (or both).
An Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter entered into force in 1998 providing an opportunity for workers' groups and NGOs to lodge collective complaints. The Committee examines collective complaints considered admissible. These must include: details of the organization and individual submitting the complaint, the state against which the complaint has been made, the aspect of the Charter that has allegedly been violated, the actual violation.
Next, there is a written exchange between countries, and in some cases, a public hearing. The Committee then makes a decision on the case and forwards it to the two parties; it is published four months later. Finally, the Committee adopts a resolution regarding the issue and may publish recommendations.
After the break-up of Sovetian Union, violation of human rights was open. The situation since this event has been improved in former communist countries, mainly in central Europe. These Central European states aligned themselves with the EU and they accepted reforms of human rights, especially freedom of speech and religion, and the protection of minorities, particularly the Roma.
The former USSR states have made far slower progress. But since 2004 these countries have improved as well. States the former States the former Yugoslavia are in various stages of human rights development. For example Slovenia is member state of EU so Slovenia accepted reforms of human rights. However, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia are poor countries and in these countries are restricted the growth of human rights. However, EU tries to expand reforms of human rights to whole Europe (every European’s state should be member of EU) but to whole world as well.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf http://www.euroskop.cz/gallery/6/2090-charta_zakladnich_prav_1.pdf http://europa.eu/pol/rights/index_cs.htm http://www.europarl.europa.eu/parliament/public/staticDisplay.do?id=47&pageRank=6&language=CS http://www.radaevropy.cz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=29 http://www.humanrights.coe.int/prothr/pdfs/ProtHR_CZ.pdf
http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evropsk%C3%BD_soud_pro_lidsk%C3%A1_pr%C3%A1va http://www.hrea.org/erc/Library/hrdocs/coe/social-charter.html http://www.cpkp.cz/jc/esch.html http://www.hrea.org/index.php?doc_id=365 Evropský soud pro lidská práva - Prouzová, Anna Člověk a lidská práva - Tuláček, Jan Lidská práva - globalizace – bezpečnost - Zoubek, Vladimír