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European Social Charter

Revised European Social Charter Collective Complaint Mechanism

The European Social Charter sets out a number of rights and freedoms and establishes a supervisory mechanism guaranteeing their respect by the States Parties. The original 1961 Charter was revised in 1996 and this revised European Social Charter came into force in 1999.

The Revised Charter guarantees rights relating to housing, health, education, employment, legal and social protection, movement of persons and non-discrimination. It was intended to fill a gap left by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which essentially covers only civil and political rights.

The monitoring procedure is based on the submission of national reports. The European Committee of Social Rights examines these reports and determines whether or not national law and practice in the States Parties is in conformity with the Charter. 

Under a protocol opened for signature in 1995, which came into force in 1998, complaints of violations of the European Social Charter may be lodged with the European Committee of Social Rights. Certain organisations such as employers’ organisations and trade unions are entitled to lodge complaints with the Committee.

Decisions on the merits in cases involving Ireland of the European Committee of Social Rights under the collective complaints mechanism

2017 - International Federation for Human Rights v Ireland

2015 - European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) v. Ireland

2014 - Association for the Protection of all Children (APPROACH) Ltd v Ireland

2014 - Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) v Ireland

2013 - European Confederation of Police (EuroCop) v Ireland

2007 - International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) v Ireland

2004 - World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) v Ireland

Our Legal Division is the Agent for the Government before the European Court of Human Rights. We do not give legal advice on lodging a collective complaint with the European Committee of Social Rights. Further information on the collective complaint procedure can be obtained from consulting the website of the European Committee of Social Rights