News News

Human Rights Comment

Travellers – Time to counter deep-rooted hostility

04/02/2016 Strasbourg

In October 2015, 10 persons died in a fire which broke in a Travellers’ site near Dublin. Following this tragic event, neighbours prevented the authorities from providing alternative accommodation to the surviving members of the group on a nearby site by blocking roads leading to the new site....

Read More

Visit report

Belgium should speed up the social inclusion of persons with disabilities

28/01/2016 Strasbourg

Read the report “Belgium is failing to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community. Planned measures to improve the situation should be implemented as a matter of priority” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for...

Read More

Visit to United Kingdom

UK: Forthcoming reforms to human rights law must not weaken protection

22/01/2016 London

“The repeatedly delayed launch of the consultation process for repeal of the Human Rights Act has created much speculation and an atmosphere of anxiety and concern in civil society and in some parts of the devolved administrations. There is a real fear of regression in terms of rights’ protection...

Read More

Third party intervention

Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Khadija Ismayilova

21/01/2016 Strasbourg

Today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, published his written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights on a case concerning journalist and human rights defender Khadija Ismayilova. The Commissioner’s observations underscore the structural...

Read More

Letter

Denmark: amendments to the Aliens Act risk violating international legal standards

15/01/2016 Strasbourg

“Recent restrictive changes to asylum and immigration law in Denmark raise serious concerns of conformity with human rights standards. The government should reconsider them and ensure that law and practice fully comply with Denmark’s obligation to uphold refugee protection standards” said today...

Read More

Third party intervention

Risk of human rights violations for asylum seekers returned to Hungary

13/01/2016 Strasbourg

“Due to sweeping changes introduced in Hungary in asylum law and practice over recent months, asylum seekers returned there run a considerable risk of being subject to human rights violations” said today Commissioner Muižnieks while publishing the written observations he submitted on 17 December...

Read More

Visit observations

Georgia should continue strengthening the independence and impartiality of judges

12/01/2016 Strasbourg

Read the observations “Judicial reforms have yielded some positive results in Georgia, in particular as concerns the reduced influence of the prosecutorial authorities, the increased transparency in the work of the High Council of Justice and an improved juvenile justice system. However,...

Read More

Statement

Call on Polish President not to sign new Media Law

05/01/2016 Strasbourg

I call on the President of the Republic of Poland not to sign the law on Public Service Media governance and to uphold the independence of Poland’s public service television and radio. The law worryingly places public service media under direct government control by giving the latter the powers...

Read More

End of visit

Cyprus: More efforts needed to protect migrants and victims of economic crisis

11/12/2015 Nicosia

“The readiness of Cyprus to receive asylum seekers in the context of the EU relocation scheme is promising. However, I remain seriously concerned about the grave shortcomings of the national asylum system. The authorities need to redouble their efforts to improve reception conditions and fully...

Read More

Statement

European countries’ migration and asylum policies have been disastrous

10/12/2015 Strasbourg

“Only this year more than 3 600 persons, many of them women and children, have lost their lives trying to reach safety and protection in Europe, fleeing war-torn or impoverished homelands. They were asylum seekers or migrants, but above all they were human beings who believed that their lives and...

Read More

Visit to Hungary

Hungary’s response to refugee challenge falls short on human rights

27/11/2015 Strasbourg

An effective response to the current refugee movements across Europe can only be found through concerted European action, but states must continue to abide by their human rights obligations. “I am concerned that Hungary has not lived up to this challenge” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe...

Read More

Statement

Turkey should ensure the protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism

18/11/2015 Strasbourg

I have been informed that the round-the-clock curfew declared in three neighbourhoods of Silvan on 2 November in the framework of anti-terror operations was lifted on 14 November, after 12 days. According to information provided by the Turkish authorities on my request, four curfews had already...

Read More

European Day

Protect children from sexual violence

18/11/2015 Strasbourg

Combating sexual abuses and sexual exploitation of children is a very important but challenging task. The problem is far too often under-estimated, and sometimes even overlooked.

Read More

Visit to Georgia

Georgia: further efforts needed in justice reform and combating intolerance

16/11/2015 Strasbourg

“I am heartened to see a number of positive achievements of the justice sector reforms, notably in the area of juvenile justice. It is also encouraging to see an overall decrease in recourse to pre-trial detention, although its use remains problematic in certain cases”, said the Commissioner...

Read More

Human Rights Comment

Improving protection for victims of forced labour and human trafficking

12/11/2015 Strasbourg

Everyone in Europe - children, women and men - should be protected from forced labour and trafficking in human beings, two serious human rights violations. The latest International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates indicate some 20.9 million people around the world still being subjected to...

Read More

Third party intervention

Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights on migration cases concerning Spain

12/11/2015 Strasbourg

Today, Commissioner Muižnieks has submitted written observations to the European Court of Human Rights in relation to two complaints concerning alleged pushbacks of migrants from the Spanish city of Melilla to Morocco. Basing his observations on his visit to Melilla in January 2015 as well as on...

Read More

Visit report

Eastern Ukraine: urgent need to guarantee freedom of movement and humanitarian access

headline 03/11/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “The conflict in the east of Ukraine has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and severe hardship for ordinary people living in the conflict-affected areas. All measures must be taken to prevent further deaths and provide urgent assistance to meet the basic needs of the...

Read More

Opinion article

Europe is spying on you

Strasbourg 27/10/2015

New York Times, 28/10/2015 - When Edward Snowden disclosed details of America’s huge surveillance program two years ago, many in Europe thought that the response would be increased transparency and stronger oversight of security services.

Read More

Letter

Commissioner Muižnieks urges the Czech authorities to adopt the bill on reparations for involuntary sterilisation of Roma women

22/10/2015 Strasbourg

“I regret the Czech government’s decision not to proceed with the adoption of the law allowing the granting of compensation to the Roma women who were victims of forced sterilisations,” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, making public a letter addressed to...

Read More

Visit report

San Marino: media freedom and gender equality should be improved

15/10/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “San Marino has made progress in promoting human rights in recent years. More sustained action is now needed to ensure media freedom and increase gender equality” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report based on his visit to...

Read More