The growth of internet technology has brought cybercrime in its wake – a threat that goes beyond the borders of Europe. That makes the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime an invaluable asset at international level in the fight to combat crime online. A third of the world’s countries are now part of the Convention and two thirds have used it as an inspiration for national action, bringing all regions of the world – Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean – under the Convention’s protective umbrella.
Concerns about privacy and data theft are a feature of an interconnected world. The Council of Europe led the field in data protection with its pioneering 1981 Convention. Now updated for the modern world, it offers a wide package of measures to protect personal data in all regions.
With its successful track record in building a death-penalty-free zone among its member states, the Council of Europe is now leading international efforts to abolish all executions.
The Parliamentary Assembly spreads human rights and democratic ideals beyond Europe to North Africa, the Middle East and central Asia. With the “Partnership for democracy” status, parliaments from these regions can send delegations to take part in Assembly activities if they pledge to work towards Council of Europe values.
The Parliamentary Assembly acts as a watchdog – holding other international organisations to account. The Assembly examines the work of organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the World Health Organisation, NATO and the international football association FIFA to ensure they comply with human rights standards.
Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Israel, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Tunisia and the United States of America are all members of the European Commission for Democracy through Law - better known as the Venice Commission – the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters.
Studying abroad has become much easier thanks to the Lisbon Convention on recognition of higher education qualifications which now covers 53 countries and inspired a new generation of UNESCO regional conventions.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is a tool to measure a person’s ability to speak a foreign language. It has been widely accepted as the standard for grading language proficiency – including by the European Union – and is now increasingly used worldwide.
The Council of Europe’s mission to develop democracy in higher education and science is spreading beyond the borders of Europe thanks to the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy, part of the Council of Europe’s European Cultural Convention. It now includes several organisations and universities in South Africa and Australian.
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
The European Human Rights Convention doesn’t just protect Europeans, but anyone from any country who believes one of the Council of Europe member states has violated their human rights.
The Human Rights Convention has inspired countries around the world to adopt better constitutional guarantees.
The Human Rights Convention stops people in custody being moved to countries where they might face the death penalty, torture, or be denied a fair trial. It bans the use of any evidence obtained through torture when someone is tried in a Council of Europe member State following extradition from abroad.
FREE EXPRESSION, MEDIA, INTERNET
The Council of Europe is leading the way in tackling challenges to freedom of expression in the online environment by teaming with international internet companies for an informed human rights dialogue. It supports the UN Internet Governance Forum and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), where the Council of Europe is an observer in the Governmental Advisory Committee.
Each year since 1995, the North-South Prize rewards two people who stand out for their commitment to global solidarity and interdependence based on Council of Europe’s core values.
Anyone using medical products in one hundred countries worldwide benefits from the work of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare and its Pharmacopoeia which sets common quality standards to ensure that medicine is safe and effective.
International organisations and professional bodies – including the OECD, the UN, the International Bar Association and the International Union of Bailiffs - rely on Council of Europe standards.
The Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities has influenced global thinking and led to better lives for millions. The Charter for Regional or Minority Languages protects speakers of languages used beyond the borders of Europe, such as Yiddish and Kurdish.
The Council of Europe spearheads global action on doping in sport. Australia, Belarus, Canada, Tunisia and Monaco are part of the Anti-Doping Convention
The two international football bodes UEFA and FIFA both refer to the Council of Europe’s conventions on match-fixing and spectator violence and many non-European countries co-operate actively in projects to stop such behaviour.
Although the Committee for the Prevention of Torture visits only European countries included in its system, it investigates complaints no matter what the nationality of the person detained.
The Council of Europe has shared its expertise on torture prevention with the United Nations and other international bodies so that the fight to end torture is strengthened worldwide.