On October 8th 2015, the European Committee of Social Rights has adopted a Statement of Interpretation on the rights of refugees under the European Social Charter. The Committee highlights the responsibilities undertaken by States Parties under this treaty to provide protection to refugees in Europe, to treat them with dignity, and to guarantee their fundamental rights. The Statement has been elaborated in the context of the Committee’s periodical examination of state reports on Charter rights related to children, families and migrants. The Committee’s conclusions state-by-state in this respect will be published in January 2016.

In its statement, "the Committee recalls that in European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) v. the Netherlands, Complaint No. 86/2012, Decision on the Merits of 2 July 2014, it held that the right to emergency shelter and to other emergency social assistance is not limited to those belonging to certain vulnerable groups, but extends to all individuals in a precarious situation, pursuant to the principle of upholding their human dignity and the protection of their fundamental rights. The Committee considers that certain social rights directly related to the right to life and human dignity are part of a “non-derogable core” of rights which protect the dignity of all people. Those rights therefore must be guaranteed to refugees, and should be assured for all displaced persons."

Also, "the Committee reiterates that the rights guaranteed by the Charter are to be enjoyed to the fullest extent possible by refugees [...]. It recalls that it has held that certain rights afforded by the Charter apply to refugees and other vulnerable groups, for example Article 17 (Conclusions 2003, Bulgaria), Article 13 (Conclusions 2013, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Article 31 (FEANTSA v. the Netherlands, Complaint No. 86/2012, Decision on the Merits of 2 July 2014)."

To read the whole statement, click here.


(Source : European Social Charter - Council of Europe website)

News Type: 
Right to housing