European Human Rights System
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Entry into Force: 3 September, 1953
Ratification Status: 47
Link: https://www.echr.coe.int/european-convention-on-human-rights (in French, English, Spanish and Russian)
Article 2 – Right to Life (see Protocol 6 and 13)
1. Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.
2. Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this Article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
- (a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
- (b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
- (c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.
Article 3 – Prohibition of Torture
No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 5 – Right to Liberty and Security
1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:
- (a) the lawful detention of a person after conviction by a competent court;
- (b) the lawful arrest or detention of a person for noncompliance with the lawful order of a court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation prescribed by law;
- (c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so;
- (d) the detention of a minor by lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision or his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority;
- (e) the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts or vagrants;
- (f) the lawful arrest or detention of a person to prevent his effecting an unauthorised entry into the country or of a person against whom action is being taken with a view to deportation or extradition.
2. Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him.
3. Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.
4. Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.
5. Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the provisions of this Article shall have an enforceable right to compensation.
Article 6 – Right to a Fair Trial
1. In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgment shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interests of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.
2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:
- (a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;
- (b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;
- (c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;
- (d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
- (e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.
Article 13 – Right to an Effective Remedy
Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in this Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.
Article 14 – Prohibition of Discrimination
The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
Protocol No. 6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning the Abolition of the Death Penalty
Entry into force: 1 March 1985
Ratification Status: 46
Link: https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list?module=treaty-detail&treatynum=114 (in English, French and Russian)
Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Entry into force: 1 April 2005
Ratification Status: 20
Link: https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list?module=treaty-detail&treatynum=177 (in English, French and Russian)
Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances
Entry into force: 1 July 2003
Ratification Status: 44
Link: https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list?module=treaty-detail&treatynum=187 (in English and French)
Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
- Declaration on the Protection of human rights during armed conflict, internal disturbances and tensions
- Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on eradicating impunity for serious human rights violations
- Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)10 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the role of women and men in conflict prevention and resolution and in peace building
- Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)12 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on principles concerning missing persons and the presumption of death
- Recommendation 1719(2005) of the Committee of Ministers on Enforced disappearances
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
- PACE Resolution 2391 (2021) Humanitarian consequences of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan / Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
- PACE Resolution 2387 (2021) on Human rights violations committed against Crimean Tatars in Crimea
- PACE Resolution 2067 (2015) on Missing persons during the conflict in Ukraine
- PACE Resolution 1956 (2013) on Missing persons from Europe’s conflicts: the long road to finding humanitarian answers
- PACE Resolution 1868 (2012) on The International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance
- PACE Resolution 1790 (2011) on The situation in Belarus in the aftermath of the presidential election
- PACE Resolution 1553 (2007) on Missing persons in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia from the conflicts over the Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions
- PACE Resolution 1479 (2006) on Human rights violations in the Chechen Republic: the Committee of Ministers’ responsibility vis-à-vis the Assembly’s concerns
- PACE Resolution 1463 (2005) on Enforced Disappearances
- PACE Resolution 1454 (2005) on Disappearance and murder of a great number of women and girls in Mexico
- PACE Resolution 1414 (2004) on Persons unaccounted for as a result of armed conflicts or internal violence in the Balkans
- PACE Resolution 1403 (2004) on The human rights situation in the Chechen Republic
- PACE Resolution 1371 (2004) on Disappeared persons in Belarus
- PACE Recommendation 1056 (1987) on National refugees and missing persons in Cyprus
- PACE Resolution 828 (1984) on Enforced Disappearances
Commissioner for Human Rights
- Report of the Commissioner for Human Rights on Missing persons and victims of enforced disappearance in Europe (2016)