Each year, the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe marks the 17th of October, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, with the organisation of an event which brings together all those who are dedicated to overcoming poverty all year round and those who live with it on a daily basis.
This year’s roundtable focused on young people faced with poverty and social exclusion in Europe. The event brings together people experiencing poverty and social exclusion and representatives of the various Institutions of the Council of Europe: the Conference of INGOs, the Committee of Ministers, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the European Court of Human Rights. Young people from Greece and Poland described the challenges they are facing in accessing services, training and education, jobs as well as challenges hampering their full participation in society.
Many NGOs and associations took action to support the young people, who were brilliant and creative in finding ways to address their situation, in overcoming these challenges. Also, local authorities are often important allies regarding these struggles. They sit on the first row and see the problems that young people face today; they want to take action, but sometimes national policies are insufficiently adapted to their needs. Current austerity policies often prevent the implementation of effective measures and initiatives and consequently put at risk the future of a whole generation and society as a whole.
Several speakers stressed the importance of the Revised European Social Charter as a key instrument to achieve, in a joint effort by all stakeholders, an increased respect for social rights. The monitoring process, in particular the Collective Complaints Mechanism, is an international tool to discuss and find solutions to major political problems together, in a collaborative manner, with the support of all actors concerned. Therefore, several speakers at the event called for the acceptance of the mechanism by all Council of Europe member states, as a way to make decisive progress in reducing inequalities and poverty in Europe.
There is hope that a greater awareness of the value of the European Social Charter and the advantages of the Collective Complaints Mechanism will encourage member states to take more action in favour of a full respect of social rights. It is an investment from which the entire society will benefit.
For further information, please contact:
Policy and Advocacy Officer
Tel: +32 (0)2 235 03 96
Mob: +32 (0)478 58 54 33