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

Access to registered same-sex partnerships: it’s a question of equality

21/02/2017 Strasbourg

There is a growing trend in Europe and beyond towards granting same-sex couples legal recognition for their relationships, which confers certain specific protections. The first country to provide “registered partnerships” was Denmark in 1989, while The Netherlands was first to adopt same-sex...

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Human Rights Comment

High time for states to invest in alternatives to migrant detention

31/01/2017 Strasbourg

The use of migrant detention across Europe, whether for the purpose of stopping asylum seekers and other migrants entering a country or for removing them, has long been a serious human rights concern. I have repeatedly spoken out against the pan-European trend of criminalisation of asylum seekers...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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