The Council of Europe (CoE) is a leading human-rights intergovernmental organisation with 47 members comprising all European States with the exception of Belarus but including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan. It is the body guaranteeing the European Convention on Human Rights and its protection by the European Court of Human Rights, the only international human rights protection mechanism in the world capable of providing individuals with direct access to judicial remedy in respect of States and their human rights obligations.
Over the years, the CoE has produced more than 200 conventions and several bilateral agreements on diverse topics. The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime is the most significant CoE initiative within the domain of cyber security, as it was the first of its kind in attempting to harmonise cybercrime legislation. The Convention serves as a guideline for countries developing their own comprehensive national cybercrime legislation and proposes a framework for international cooperation between State Parties to this treaty. The Convention is supplemented by a Protocol on Xenophobia and Racism commited through computer systems . Currently, the Convention has been signed by 3 countries and ratified by 64, ((CoE, Treaty Office, http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/ChercheSig.asp?NT=185&CM=8&DF=&…)) including several countries outside the European region. In addition, the CoE offers guidance in interpreting the Convention and various capacity-building programmes.