International Status

Council of Europe’s formal relations with Non-Governmental Organisations

From its inception the Council of Europe established working relations with non-governmental organisations. The Council recognised their influence as early as 1952 when it opened the possibility for non-governmental organisations to acquire “consultative status”. At present around 400 international non-governmental organisations (hereinafter referred to as INGOs) have enjoyed consultative status with the Council of Europe. Resolution (2003)8 adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 19 November 2003, replaces “consultative status” with “participatory status”. When NGOs are granted this status, the steering committees, committees of governmental experts and other bodies of the Committee of Ministers, the commissions of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe as well as the Commissioner for Human Rights may involve the INGOs enjoying participatory status in the definition of Council of Europe policies, programmes and actions in particular by granting observer status to the Liaison Committee and to the INGO thematic groupings. Additionally, considering their role as advisers in questions concerning civil society, the Secretary General may consult the INGOs, the Liaison Committee or the INGO thematic groupings, in writing or by means of a hearing, on questions of mutual interest.

IAW enjoys consultative status with the Council of Europe and is entitled to lodge collective complaints under the Protocol of the European Social Charter. Our representatives are Anje Wiersinga (Netherlands) and Monique Bouchet (France).


International NGO with general consultative status at the Economic and Social Council of the UN. Accredited at UNCHR, CSW, DPI, ILO, WHO, UNCTAD, FAO, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNCHS, UNEP, ESCAP. Further represented at the International Criminal Court, Council of Europe, Arab League, African Union, Commonwealth. On the board of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and active in various NGO groupings working on specialized subjects at the UN.)


World Health Organisation
International Labour Organisation
The UN Commission on the Status of Women
Womenwatch: The UN Internet Gateway on the Advancement and Empowerment of Women
Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations
United Nations Population Fund
Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems, International (HURIDOCS)
30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
United Nations