In Europe, the principal judicial and quasi-judicial organs responsible for defining and overseeing States’ compliance with their regional human rights obligations are the European Court of Human Rights and European Committee of Social Rights, both created under the auspices of the Council of Europe. In addition, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights serves as an independent monitor, highlighting issues of concern in the region.
The Council of Europe is an intergovernmental organization with 47 Member States; it is entirely separate from the European Union. The COE’s connection to the European Union is that the European Union itself, its 27 EU Member States, and candidates for EU membership are required to ratify the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)). See Treaty of the European Union, art. 6.
Learn more about the European human rights bodies: