European Committee of Social Rights
The European Committee of Social Rights is an impartial investigative body working within the Council of Europe. The Committee investigates whether or not the countries that have accepted the European Social Charter have adhered to the requirements of the charter. The Committee monitors compliance with the charter by investigating reports submitted annually by governments, in which they report on their implementation of the charter. In addition, under an additional protocol to the charter it is possible to submit collective complaints to the Committee.
The aim of the complaints procedure is to promote the implementation of rights secured under the charter. Finland has granted all civic organisations the right to issue collective complaints to the Committee.
Collective complaints guarantee associations, such as labour market organisations and NGOs, the possibility to submit complaints to the European Committee of Social Rights. An association can file a collective complaint if it suspects that the charter has been inadequately implemented in a member state that has accepted the collective complaints protocol.
However, private individuals cannot submit complaints to the European Committee of Social Rights.
The Committee comprises 15 impartial experts who are elected by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for six-year terms at a time.
Committee's decision in a complaint concerning the Finnish social security system
A collective complaint on the level of minimum support has been submitted to the European Committee of Social Rights, whose decision was made public by the Council of Europe on 11 February 2015.
The European Committee of Social Rights feels that the minimum level of social security benefits in Finland is inadequate.