The Commissioner's Human Rights Comments The Commissioner's Human Rights Comments
Human Rights Comment

National human rights structures: protecting human rights while countering terrorism

Strasbourg 06/12/2016
A series of terrorist attacks has deeply traumatised Europe. In Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen, Ankara and beyond, shock was followed by fear of further attacks and a sense of urgency about preventing them. Preventing and combating terrorism is a clear duty of all states, which must respect and protect every one’s life and security. However, states’ duty to prevent and combat terrorism should in no way be fulfilled at the expense of human rights standards and the common values in which European...
Human Rights Comment

Migrants in limbo in Europe have the right to live in dignity

15/11/2016 Strasbourg
In some countries, they call them “invisible persons”, in others – “ghosts”. Throughout Europe there are many migrants, primarily rejected asylum seekers, who live in a state of protracted legal and social limbo without any long-term prospects. The authorities refuse to regularize them or to grant them any kind of legal status, but often, they cannot go back to their countries of origin for various reasons, most often, fear of persecution. These desperate persons tend to live in substandard...
Human Rights Comment

Why remembering the Holocaust is a human rights imperative

18/10/2016 Strasbourg
The Shoah stands out as one of the defining moments of history that has shaped the conscience of mankind. It is unique in its roots, implementation and envisioned totality. During my mandate as Commissioner for Human Rights, I have attended a number of ceremonies of commemoration of the victims of the Shoah, not only in Strasbourg, but also in Albania and Greece , to highlight that it is our duty to remember the past in order to remain vigilant for the future. Teaching remembrance of the...
Human Rights Comment

No violence against children is acceptable, all violence is preventable

20/09/2016 Strasbourg
This was the main conclusion of the 2006 UN Global study on violence against children. In 2015, the UN Special Representative on Violence against Children published the results of a worldwide consultation of children, which highlighted that protection from violence was their second highest priority, right after education. Children have the right to a life free from violence States have an obligation, enshrined in international law, to protect children from violence. The United Nations...
Human Rights Comment

Human rights defenders’ work is vital for redress to victims of enforced disappearance

29/08/2016 Strasbourg
Last March I published an Issue Paper on Missing persons and victims of enforced disappearance in Europe, aiming to help Council of Europe member states improve their law and practice. Much remains to be done, considering that thousands of cases of missing persons and enforced disappearance remain unresolved in Europe, perpetuating the suffering of their loved ones, which is passed on from one generation to another. Addressing these questions is often dependent on governments’ political...