Lisbon Forum 2016 - 24-25 November


"Migration and human rights: how to structure effective collective action? Best practices and shared knowledge in the Mediterranean and European space "


Migration and Human Rights were the focus of the 22nd edition of the Lisbon Forum, on 24-25 November at the Ismaili Centre.

Organised by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, the international event mobilised 200 high representatives of governments, parliaments, local and regional authorities and civil society organisations, from both shores of the Mediterranean, to promote collaboration between countries of origin, transit and destination of migrants.

Ms Mina Jaf, a refugee from Iraqui-Kurdistan origin, winner of the Voices of Courage 2016 award, founder and director Women Refugee Route, Iraq; Ms Hanifa Karimi, a refugee from Afghanistan and member of the Voices of Young Refugees in Europe (VYRE), and a representative of the Global Platform of Syrian Students, shared their life testimonies representing the 244 million people, more than 3% of the world population who live outside their countries of origin.

The 22nd edition of the Lisbon Forum was chaired by Lora Pappa, founder of the Greek ONG METAdrasi and laureate of the 2015 North-South Prize. The 22nd Lisbon Forum addressed global flows and local responses, access to human rights and successful integration, discuss emergency needs and long term solutions and enhance capacities for dialogue between countries of origin, transit and destination, building bridges based on the principles of solidarity, partnership and shared responsibility. A constructive exchange of experience, good practice and expertise led to specific actions to promote in 2017.

Held in the framework of the EU-funded initiative, carried out by the Council of Europe, South Programme II: support strengthened democratic governance through the creation of effective networks between Europe and the countries of the Southern Mediterranean, the 22nd edition of the Lisbon Forum was organised with the additional support of the Portuguese and Maltese Governments, and the collaboration of the Aga Khan Development Network, the Portuguese Platform for Refugees and the NGO, Voices of Young Refugees – Europe.

 The Lisbon Forum

An annual event since it was established in 1994 by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, the Lisbon Forum has been a distinctive platform bringing together high-level participants from Europe, neighbouring regions and other continents to share experience, good practice and expertise.

Themes of the Forum have been closely related to the core mission of the Council of Europe: to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Following developments in the region and a refocusing of the Centre’s mission to contribute to the Council of Europe’s policy towards its neighbouring regions, recent editions of the Forum have sought to address key challenges faced by countries of the Southern Mediterranean and explore possibilities for renewed cooperation with Europe.

These recent editions have been supported by the joint EU/ CoE Programme “Strengthening democratic reform in the Southern Neighbourhood” (South Programme). SPII, a second phase of the South Programme started in 2015, calls for sustained action in the field of democratic governance in the southern Mediterranean based on acknowledged CoE expertise in supporting the building of pluralist democracies across Europe and beyond. SPII will continue to support the organisation of the Lisbon Forum by the North-South Centre insofar as it contributes “Towards strengthened democratic governance in the Southern Mediterranean.”



Recommendations of the Women Refugee Round Table (side event)

Concept note

Biographies of speakers

Picture Gallery

Press Review

Press Release

CoE thematic work on migration

South Programme EU/COE

South Programme

Partner's activities - Europe Vision Summit 2016

Previous editions

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

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North-South Centre