The Commissioner addresses the French Senate on surveillance bill

20/05/2015 Strasbourg
Today the Commissioner has released a letter addressed to the members of the French Senate Commission which is discussing the surveillance bill. The Commissioner reiterates the importance of adopting a law which is compliant with human rights and thus urges the Senators to dispel the concerns raised by the current text, namely by clarifying its scope, counterbalancing the powers of the...
Visit report

Norway: people with disabilities and Roma need more attention

18/05/2015 Strasbourg
Read the report “Norway has a strong human rights architecture, but more attention should be given to the empowerment of people with disabilities and the full inclusion of Roma” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while publishing a report based on his visit to the country carried out from 19 to 23 January 2015. The Commissioner welcomes Norway’s...
Publication of an issue paper

Europe disregards intersex people’s right to self-determination and physical integrity

12/05/2015 Strasbourg
“Europeans remain largely unaware of the painful personal histories of intersex people and the human rights violations they face. Stereotypes and norms grounded on the binary female-male classification have led to unnecessary medical and surgical interventions on intersex infants and a climate of incomprehension in society. It is time to address this unacceptable situation,” said today Nils...
Visit to Germany

Germany should advance protection of asylum seekers and improve response to racism and extremism

11/05/2015 Strasbourg
“Germany has done a lot in the field of asylum in recent years, including launching three humanitarian admission programmes for Syrian refugees (concerning 20 000 individuals) and registering more than 200 000 asylum applications in 2014. However, with an estimate of 400 000 asylum applications for this year, a number of important challenges lie ahead”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner...
Human Rights Comment

Inclusive education vital for social cohesion in diverse societies

05/05/2015 Strasbourg
Public debates on the need to ensure more inclusive education for children and young adults who face social exclusion in diverse societies have recently rekindled in Europe. Evidence shows that in many European states the dropout rate of children coming from migrant families or minority groups, such as Roma, is at least twice as high as that of native or ethnic majority students. In many...
Press freedom day

Press freedom is under threat in Europe

30/04/15 Strasbourg
As the world will celebrate press freedom day on 3 May, journalists have increasingly become fair game in Europe. Just a few weeks ago, we mourned another journalist killed in Ukraine. He was the 14th journalist to be killed in Europe in the last 16 months. The rising death toll is the most extreme manifestation of an increasingly difficult working environment for journalists, which features...
Annual activity report

2014 was a bad year for human rights in Europe

23/04/2015 Strasbourg
Annual activity report 2014 “Last year thousands of people died who should not have died, primarily in the Mediterranean Sea and in eastern Ukraine. They should not have died in a Europe that prides itself on being a space where the rule of law and democracy prevails, on a continent that claims to have drawn lessons from its own bloody and violent history,” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of...
Opinion Article

Crisis in the Mediterranean: Europe must change course

22/04/2015 Strasbourg
The Mediterranean Sea has for centuries been the cradle of modern European civilisation. It has today become a huge graveyard, as thousands of migrants continue to drown under Europe’s distracted look. When in October 2013 a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa took the lives of 300 migrants, European leaders were unanimous in declaring ‘no more deaths’. Yet, 18 months and some 5,000...
Third party intervention

Azerbaijan: Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes in Leyla and Arif Yunus’ case before the European Court of Human Rights

20/04/2015 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 the case of Leyla and Arif Yunus. This is the last of five interventions published since February 2015 in which the Commissioner highlights systematic deficiencies in the area of freedom of expression and association in Azerbaijan,...
Human Rights Comment

Armenian-Turkish Reconnections and Human Rights

17/04/2015 Strasbourg
History continues to divide Armenian and Turkish officialdom, but there are many civil society, cultural and academic initiatives aiming to reconnect the two societies.  April 24 marks the centennial of the beginning of the mass killings, deportations and dispossession of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, which resulted in the near-total elimination of Armenians from Anatolia. These...

ARTE Interview on France's draft law on surveillance

13/04/2015 Strasbourg
Media freedom

Commissioner Muižnieks calls for unhindered broadcasting of ATR TV

02/04/2015 Strasbourg
Commissioner Muižnieks is concerned about reports that the Crimean Tatar ATR TV has been forced to stop broadcasting in Crimea.  Current obstacles placed by the authorities to the work of ATR and other Crimean Tatar media outlets send a chilling message to media professionals working on the peninsula and endanger the diversity of the media landscape in Crimea. During his mission to Crimea in...
Third party intervention

Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights on the cases of Rasul Jafarov and Anar Mammadli

01/04/2015 Strasbourg
Today the Commissioner made public two written contributions sent to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the cases of human rights defenders Rasul Jafarov and Anar Mammadli. Following the amicus curiae submissions on the cases of Hilal Mammadov and Intigam Aliyev, today's interventions further illustrate the serious and systemic human rights problems faced in Azerbaijan by...

Le Commissaire s’inquiète des nouvelles mesures antiterrorisme

23/03/2015 Strasbourg
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Visit to Serbia

Serbia urged to safeguard the human rights of persons with disabilities and displaced Roma

20/03/2015 Belgrade
«Serbia needs to take immediate steps to address serious issues relating to the right to legal capacity of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities and their de-institutionalisation in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by which Serbia is bound» said Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights at the end of his visit to...
Third party intervention

Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Intigam Aliyev

18/03/2015 Strasbourg
Today the Commissioner made public his written contribution sent to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the case of human rights defender and lawyer Intigam Aliyev. The Commissioner underscores that the present case is an illustration of a serious and systemic human rights problem in Azerbaijan, where critical voices are often subject to reprisals and judicially harassed. Today’s...

Spain : Commissioner concerned about adoption of amendment to the Aliens Act

13/03/2015 Strasbourg
Yesterday’s adoption by the Senate of the amendment to Spain’s Aliens Act falls short of providing clear guarantees against refoulement and collective expulsions, and of establishing adequate safeguards for the right of every person to seek and enjoy asylum, irrespective of the way they reach Spanish territory, said today Commissioner Muižnieks. This new legal context has the potential to open...
Visit report

Armenia should intensify its efforts to ensure gender equality and protect human rights in the justice system

10/03/2015 Strasbourg
Read the report “Gender inequality and violence against women are serious human rights concerns in Armenia. More vigorous efforts are needed to address them,” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, publishing the report of his visit to Armenia from 5 to 9 October 2014. The adoption of gender-related action plans and the 2013 Law on Equal Rights and Equal...
International Women's Day

Fulfilling women’s rights

05/03/2015 Strasbourg
On the occasion of the International Women’s day, the Commissioner calls on European governments to make gender equality and the fulfilment of women’s rights a reality. “Progress has been made in recent decades in a number of areas, in particular in establishing legislation and mechanisms prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sex. Ambitious goals, including for the equal participation of...
Third party interventions

Commissioner Muižnieks intervenes in cases concerning Azerbaijan before the European Court of Human Rights

24/02/2015 Strasbourg
Today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, published written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Hilal Mammadov against Azerbaijan, in which he stresses the systematic deficiencies in the area of freedom of expression, including judicial harassment of critical voices, and a pattern of retaliatory measures against those who...
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