News

Letter to the Prime Minister

Ukraine: urgent action needed to protect internally displaced persons

17/07/2014 Strasbourg
“I am deeply concerned about the situation of internally displaced people in Ukraine. Many of the IDPs, who include women, children, and persons with disabilities, are traumatised by the hostilities and need special care. The government must urgently develop a coordinated response at the central level, first of all, by establishing a centralised registration system and designating a state...
Human Rights Comments

Protect women’s rights during the crisis

10/07/2014 Strasbourg
Women and men entered the economic crisis on an unequal footing. The crisis and resulting austerity measures have hit women disproportionately and endangered the progress already made in the enjoyment of human rights by women. A gender-sensitive response is necessary to halt and reverse this trend. Female poverty on the rise In most of the countries affected by the economic crisis, an...
Report on visit to Romania

Vulnerable groups require better protection in Romania

08/07/2014 Strasbourg
“Romania must show a much stronger commitment to effectively protecting the human rights of persons with disabilities, children and Roma”, said today Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report on his visit to Romania from 31 March to 4 April 2014. “Many persons with disabilities, including children, are isolated from society in a growing number of...
Visit to Hungary

Hungary should do more for the human rights of Roma, migrants and persons with disabilities

04/07/2014 Strasbourg
"The impact of recent changes in the legal framework in Hungary on human rights has attracted considerable international criticism. While some of the issues raised in that context have been addressed, the situation of vulnerable groups in the country remains of serious concern” said today Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, at the end of a four-day visit to...
Report on visit to Montenegro

Montenegro: overcoming wartime legacy and strengthening media freedoms remain priorities

23/06/2014 Strasbourg
“Montenegro has an important role in regional efforts to establish the truth about serious human rights violations committed during the wars of the 1990s in the region of former Yugoslavia. However, impunity for wartime crimes and access to adequate reparations for all war victims remain issues that need to be effectively addressed by the authorities” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of...
Visit to Ukraine

Ukraine: Crucial to pursue police and judicial reforms and address needs of displaced persons

20/06/2014 Strasbourg
“I strongly encourage the Ukrainian authorities to pursue reforms in the areas of law enforcement, the public prosecutor’s office and the judicial system. Ensuring effective investigations into human rights violations is essential to restore public trust in institutions,” concluded the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, after a visit to Ukraine (Kyiv and Odessa)...
Il Corriere della Sera
Opinion article

Defamation in Italy : a draft law to be changed

08/06/2014
In an opinion editorial published today on the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, the Commissioner, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, called on the Italian Senate to amend the current draft law on defamation. “To better reflect both national and international...
Human Rights Comment

Youth human rights at risk during the crisis

06/03/2014 Strasbourg
Young people have been one of the groups hardest hit by the economic crisis in Europe, with youth unemployment being the most common pathology of many countries implementing austerity measures. However, it is not only the social and economic rights of young people that are being undermined, but also their right to equal treatment, their right to participation, and their place in society, and...
Visit to the Netherlands

The Netherlands should improve protection of the rights of asylum seekers, migrants and children

23/05/2014 Strasbourg
"The Dutch authorities should stop automatic detention of asylum seekers arriving at Dutch international (air)ports from non-Schengen countries. In particular, children and their families do not belong there" said today Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, at the end of a three-day visit to the Netherlands, which included a visit to Schiphol airport’s migrant...
Report on visit to Georgia

Georgia has to improve the administration of justice and promote tolerance

12/05/2014 Strasbourg
“Continued efforts are needed to enhance public trust in the justice system and to promote equality and minority rights,” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report (CommDH(2014)9) on his visit to Georgia from 20 to 25 January 2014. A reduction in the use of pre-trial detention and the increase of acquittal rates by the courts appear to signal...
Human Rights Comment

A boy or a girl or a person - intersex people lack recognition in Europe

09/05/2014 Strasbourg
On 1 March, Fox News presenter Clayton Morris had to apologise for his 'ignorant and stupid' comments mocking the new gender options for Facebook profiles which allow users to register as intersex. The TV presenter had ridiculed the move of the social media company referring to intersex by saying "whatever that is". This case illustrates the prejudice and ignorance surrounding the reality of...
Opinion article

Keep the press free

02/05/2014 Strasbourg
To work as a journalist today, you need a great deal of courage. In the last twelve months, hundreds of journalists, photographers and camera operators in the world have been killed, injured, kidnapped, threatened or sued. Europe is no exception: worrying patterns are eroding press freedom here too. We must reverse them. A free, safe, independent and pluralistic press is a core element of any...
Human Rights Comment

Protecting children’s rights in the digital world: an ever-growing challenge

29/04/2014 Strasbourg
Most teenagers spend a substantial share of their time on Internet, often using social media, which have become a major means of socialising. Growing access to the Internet has brought about almost unlimited possibilities for children to access content and exercise their rights, including the right to receive and impart information. However, these benefits go hand in hand with growing risks for...
Observations on Azerbaijan

Freedom of expression, assembly and association deteriorating in Azerbaijan

23/04/2014 Strasbourg
"Freedom of expression, assembly and association are regrettably deteriorating in Azerbaijan. I once again call on the authorities to pay urgent attention to these issues so as to comply with Azerbaijan's human rights obligations and commitments as a member state of the Council of Europe" said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing his...
Activity report

2013 annual activity report

08/04/2014 Strasbourg
Today, the Commissioner Nils Muižnieks, presented his 2013 annual activity report before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Link to the report
Visit to Romania

Romania has to ensure a better protection to persons with disabilities, children and Roma

04/04/2014 Bucharest
"I am seriously concerned by a number of reported cases of inhuman and degrading treatment of persons with disabilities living in closed institutions. Romania needs to set up an efficient national mechanism for the prevention of torture to safeguard the protection of the human rights of persons deprived of their liberty", said today Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human...
Report on visit to Denmark

Better protection needed for migrant children in Denmark

24/03/2014 Strasbourg
"The best interests of the child are not always upheld in the context of asylum and immigration in Denmark. The Danish authorities should improve the protection they provide to migrant children, by ensuring full respect of their rights" said today Nils Muižnieks Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in releasing the report on his visit to Denmark carried out on 19-21 November 2013. ...
Visit to Montenegro

Montenegro needs to do more to address past human rights violations and ensure media freedoms

21 March 2014 Podgorica
"Montenegro is still going through a transition period and needs to step up its efforts to provide full redress to all the victims of serious human rights violations that occurred during the wars in the 1990s, to eliminate discrimination, and to enhance media freedom" said Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights at the end of his four-day visit to the country. The...
Letter to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

Czech Republic: urgent action needed to protect Roma from racist extremism

18/03/2014 Strasbourg
"I am deeply concerned about the emerging pattern of anti-Roma events in the Czech Republic – many led by racist extremists groups and organised simultaneously in different localities across the country. Their increased frequency and determined rhetoric against the Roma community call for a comprehensive response from the Czech authorities," said today Nis Muižnieks, the Council of Europe...
Report on Ukraine

Ukraine: Fight against impunity and judicial reforms are necessary to improve human rights protection

04/03/2014 Strasbourg
"The dramatic events that have been unfolding in Ukraine since November 2013 brought to the fore a number of long-standing, core human rights challenges that the Government has to address, in particular as regards the excessive use of force by the police, the independence and impartiality of the judicial system and the lack of a legislative framework governing peaceful assembly", said Nils...
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