The European Social Charter (revised) of 1996 (ETS No. 163) embodies in one instrument all rights guaranteed by the Charter of 1961 (ETS No. 035), its additional Protocol of 1988 (ETS No. 128) and adds new rights and amendments adopted by the Parties. It is gradually replacing the initial 1961 treaty.
The European Social Charter (revised) guaranteed fundamental social and economic rights of all individuals in their daily lives. It takes account of the evolution which has occurred in Europe since the Charter was adopted in 1961, and includes the following:
New rights : right to protection against poverty and social exclusion; right to housing; right to protection in cases of termination of employment; right to protection against sexual harassment in the workplace and other forms of harassment; rights of workers with family responsibilities to equal opportunities and equal treatment; rights of workers’ representatives in undertakings;
Amendments : reinforcement of principle of non-discrimination; improvement of gender equality in all fields covered by the treaty; better protection of maternity and social protection of mothers; better social, legal and economic protection of employed children; better protection of handicapped people.
Enforcement of the new Charter is submitted to the same system of control as the Charter of 1961, developed by the Amending Protocol of 1991 (ETS No. 142) and by the Additional Protocol of 1995 providing a system of collective complaints (ETS No. 158).