States must apply the provisions of the European Convention and comply with the decisions of the Strasbourg Court in full. On the eve of Human Rights Day (10 December), Maria Peichinovic Buric, Secretary General of the 47-nation Council of Europe, made the following statement:
“Situations where states face serious challenges can push them to weaken the protection of human rights. In fact, everything should be the other way around - it is in difficult times that we especially need to defend and adhere to the unique value system that we have created over the past 70 years. Europe has undoubtedly faced a number of major challenges lately, not least of which are the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, illegal migration, climate change and societal issues, including growing religious intolerance, racism, discrimination and violence against women.
The European Convention on Human Rights was designed to help national authorities ensure that the fundamental human rights of ordinary people are respected in all circumstances, not only in good times. Both the Convention and the system behind it have succeeded - they have adapted to changing circumstances for over seven decades. More than 20,000 judgments from the European Court of Human Rights and their implementation by our 47 member states have brought many real improvements to the lives of individuals on a variety of indicators, including equality, non-discrimination, health and the environment, and have benefited our societies as a whole.
Human rights, democracy and the rule of law are under severe pressure. Today, more than ever, we must remain true to our values as enshrined in the Convention on Human Rights and ensure the prompt and effective implementation of ECtHR judgments”.
On the eve of Human Rights Day, the Council of Europe published an updated and enhanced version of its interactive website on the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights. The website contains about 175 examples of judgments from the European Court of Human Rights that, once implemented by member states, have helped bring about significant positive changes for applicants and society at large. The updated version of the website includes a new section on Human Rights and Health, as well as the recently published sections “Ensuring Women's Freedom from Violence” and “Human Rights and the Environment”. In addition, the website includes new case studies, videos and animations.