The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953. All Council of Europe member states are party to the Convention and new members are expected to ratify the convention at the earliest opportunity.

The Convention established the European Court of Human Rights (generally referred to by the initials ECHR). Any person who feels their rights have been violated under the Convention by a state party can take a case to the Court. Judgments finding violations are binding on the States concerned and they are obliged to execute them. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe monitors the execution of judgments, particularly to ensure payments awarded by the Court appropriately compensate applicants for the damage they have sustained.

The Convention has several protocols, which amend the convention framework.

The Convention has had a significant influence on the law in Council of Europe member countries and is widely considered the most effective international treaty for human rights protection.

European Convention on Human Rights (1.3 Mb, Pdf)