European Council

Since 1977 ATD Fourth World has had participatory status with the Council of Europe. In this capacity, ATD contributes as an international NGO to various activities:

  • Participation in the Council of Europe’s Conference of INGOs: ATD Fourth World participates actively in the two annual sessions (January and June) and in the Commission on Human Rights. It contributes, when possible, to the work of the Commission on ‘Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Issues’ and the Commission on ‘Education and Culture’.
  • Co-organization of the Working Group on ‘Poverty and Social Rights’ of the Commission on Human Rights: Until mid-2017, ATD Fourth World co-chaired the working group ‘Extreme Poverty and Human Rights’. In 2017, a new working group was created: ‘Poverty and Social Rights’. This new group focuses on jobs and decent incomes. During its mandate, this group will identify initiatives taken by international, national and local public authorities, economic actors, and organised civil society in order to ‘leave no one behind’. The working group will then publish the information gathered through their inquiries and consultations.
  • Organization, on behalf of the Conference of INGO’s, of the annual public ceremony to observe 17 October, World Day for Overcoming Poverty.
  • Promotion of the revised European Social Charter:ATD Fourth World Representatives to the European Union in Brussels and to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg work collaboratively to ensure that social rights of the poorest people will be recognized. One way to advance this goal is through the Coordinating Committee for INGO Action in the Turin Process for the European Social Charter; ATD Fourth World is part of the Coordinating Committee along with Caritas Europa, Justice and Peace, and ESAN;
    Another approach is to ask individual governments to sign on to the revised Charter, which includes the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion (Article 30), and the additional protocol for collective complaints.
  • Expanded advocacy efforts to promote the European Social Charter and the collective complaints procedure: ATD Fourth World will broaden its efforts to disseminate the Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (UN), the Handbook on “Making Human Rights work for People Living in Extreme Poverty” and the report “Towards a Sustainable Development that leaves no one behind”.

Individuals and families experiencing poverty and social exclusion will be involved in key aspects of ATD’s work at the European Council.