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Annual activity report

A critical turning point, not business as usual, for human rights in Europe

26/04/2017 Strasbourg

“2016 will likely be remembered as a critical turning point for human rights in Europe” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks today while presenting his annual activity report for 2016. “We will either see it as a low point from which European countries,...

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Country visit report

Lithuania should strengthen the protection of women and children against violence and build a more inclusive society for persons with disabilities

19/04/2017 Strasbourg

“While considerable progress has been achieved in protecting human rights in recent years, the Lithuanian authorities still have to address some remaining shortcomings, in particular as regards the protection of women, children and persons with disabilities” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe...

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Letter

Commissioner encourages Croatia to accelerate the process of ratification of the Istanbul Convention

18/04/2017 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Croatia published today, Commissioner Muižnieks strongly encourages the authorities to move quickly forward on their path towards the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic...

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Memorandum

Justice, social cohesion and media freedom remain top challenges in Kosovo*

10/04/2017 Strasbourg

“Eighteen years after the end of the conflict, thousands of people are still denied justice in Kosovo. It is high time to change course and build a just and cohesive society. Major conditions for achieving this are to prosecute and effectively sanction all persons involved in wartime crimes,...

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Human Rights Comment

The Shrinking Space for Human Rights Organisations

04/04/2017 Strasbourg

In recent years I have noticed a clear trend of backsliding in several European countries in the area of freedom of association, particularly in respect of human rights organisations and defenders. The growing pressure and increased obstacles can take a variety of forms: legal and administrative...

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Letter

Commissioner concerned about law undermining the independence of the judiciary in Poland

03/04/2017 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Speaker of Sejm of Poland published today, the Commissioner calls on the Polish Parliament to reject the amendments to the Act on the National Council for the Judiciary because they would encroach upon the independence of the judiciary. By giving Parliament the...

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Country visit report

Ireland should remove obstacles to the equality of Travellers, women and children

29/03/2017 Strasbourg

“The Irish government should ensure that the economic upturn benefits the most vulnerable groups and should promote equality of Travellers, women and children by removing the barriers that disproportionately hinder them from fully enjoying their rights”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner...

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Country visit

Slovenia: More should be done to ensure that Roma, migrants and those in poverty are not left behind

23/03/2017 Ljubljana

During his visit in Slovenia from 20 to 23 March, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, examined the situation of Roma, migrants and asylum seekers and of the increasing number of people living in poverty in the country. He stressed the centrality of human rights...

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Statement

Europe's duty to avoid detaining migrants

09/03/2017 Strasbourg

The recent recommendation of the European Commission (EC) on more and longer detention of migrants is likely to lead to human rights violations without furthering other goals, such as facilitating the processing of asylum claims or promoting dignified returns. EU law allows for a maximum...

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Statement

Commissioner concerned about Hungary’s new law allowing automatic detention of asylum seekers

08/03/2017 Strasbourg

I am deeply concerned to learn that the Hungarian parliament has approved yesterday a Bill on border management, which is likely to exacerbate the already highly problematic situation of asylum seekers in Hungary. As reported, the adopted Bill would allow the automatic detention of all asylum...

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Country visit

Portugal: progress in participation of Roma in local decision-making should be sustained

08/03/2017 Lisbon

Concrete measures to address the discrimination Roma face in Portugal and ways to foster the participation of Roma in society were at the centre of a two day visit the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks made to Lisbon and Torres Vedras on 6-7 March. “It is heartening...

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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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Visit Memorandum

Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

15/02/2017 Strasbourg

“The space for democratic debate in Turkey has shrunk alarmingly following increased judicial harassment of large strata of society, including journalists, members of parliament, academics and ordinary citizens, and government action which has reduced pluralism and led to self-censorship. This...

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Mission to Kosovo*

Kosovo*: High time to restore social cohesion and safeguard media freedom

09/02/2017 Pristina

“Many victims of the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo, in particular displaced persons, families of missing persons and victims of wartime sexual violence, are still trying to re-build their lives, find out the truth about their loved ones and access justice. The on-going political deliberations have...

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Statement

Luxembourg should not extend the period of detention of migrant children but work to eliminate the practice

06/02/2017 Strabourg

I have learned with concern that the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies, in its examination of Bill No. 6992 on the free movement of persons and immigration and on the holding centre, is considering extending the maximum period for the detention of migrant children and their families to seven days....

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«В обществе должен произойти культурный сдвиг: нельзя поощрять и оправдывать насилие»

Коммерсантъ, 06/02/2017 Закон, отменяющий уголовную ответственность за семейное насилие, ожидает подписи президента РФ. О том, какие меры должны принять российские власти для борьбы с проблемой насилия в семье,— в статье комиссара Совета Европы по правам человека НИЛСА МУЙЖНИЕКСА, написанной...

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The duty to combat domestic violence

Kommersant, 06/02/2017 For many people, home means a refuge, a place where we feel safe and free. A place where our private life is sacred and where the state has no right to pry. But for victims of domestic violence, home means just the opposite: a source of stress and torment. The state has a...

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EU agreements with third countries must uphold human rights

The Huffington Post - 02/02/2017 As the European Council is set to meet in Malta on Friday to address the Union’s response to migration, one topic should be prominent on all points of its agenda: states’ obligations to uphold the human rights of migrants. The urgency for this is clear. Since 2014...

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Statement

Commissioner concerned about closure of two newspapers in Greece

30/01/2017 Strasbourg

I have learned with deep concern that the publication of historic Greek newspapers Ta Nea and To Vima has ceased due to a lack of agreement between their owner, the Lambrakis Press Group, and its lenders. This situation deals a harsh blow to media pluralism in Greece and shrinks the diversity of...

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