Strasbourg, Sept.1.– The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, has made the following statement ahead of the 70th anniversary of the entry into force of the European Convention on Human Rights on 3 September:
“The European Convention on Human Rights embodies the fundamental values of our continent and puts in place a unique system for enforcing our basic rights and freedoms 70 years after the Convention first came into force, it has never been more important than it is today.
“Hundreds of millions of people across our 46 member states have benefited from the Convention’s protection and continue to do so every single day, sometimes even without knowing it.
“Working together with national authorities, following the devastation of the Second World War, we have used the Convention as a blueprint for building a better Europe, helping to ensure stability and security for seven decades.
“The horrendous events of the last 18 months show what can happen when states turn their back on those values and just how quickly the achievements of the last 70 years can be undone.
“Now, more than at any point in the Convention’s history, the people of Europe need our nations to unite behind the Convention system and its values – as European leaders promised to do at the Reykjavik Summit in May this year – for the benefit of us all, and the generations to come.”
Facts and figures
- The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was opened for signature in Rome on 4 November 1950; it entered into force on 3 September 1953 after being ratified by ten Council of Europe member states
- The European Court of Human Rights was set up in 1959 to oversee the implementation of the Convention; between 1959 and the end of 2022, the Court issued a total of 25,674 judgments
- As of June 2023, 25,034 judgments and friendly settlements (not requiring a judgment from the Court) have been implemented by member states; this has led to widespread changes to legislation, policy and practice as well as numerous payments of “just satisfaction” to applicants
- Since its launch, the Convention has been supplemented by 16 different Protocols, the most recent of which – enabling designated national courts to ask the European Court of Human Rights for advisory opinions – entered into force on 1 August 2018
- The Russian Federation was excluded from the Council of Europe on 16 March 2022 due to its aggression against Ukraine; Russia ceased to be party to the Convention six months later but remains obliged to implement judgments relating to acts or omissions up until 16 September 2022
- Interactive website showing 200 examples of the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights across the continent
- Video: The European Convention on Human Rights – how does it work?