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Letter

Latvian authorities should investigate human rights abuses at border with Belarus

09/08/2022 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Latvian Minister of the Interior published today, Commissioner Mijatović expresses her concern about the reports of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants having been violently prevented from entering Latvia from Belarus, held in inhumane conditions in the forest,...

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EN FR

Letter

Finland: amendments to Border Guard Act must be accompanied by clear human rights safeguards

04/08/2022 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Finnish Minister of Interior, published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, called for clear safeguards to ensure that recently adopted amendments to the Border Guard Act would not lead to human rights violations. Under the...

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EN FR

Statement

Roma Holocaust Day is both about our duty to remember and the need to tackle persisting discrimination against Roma

01/08/2022 Strasbourg

Ahead of the European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day on 2 August, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, calls on all states to recognise past and present human rights violations affecting Roma people and to step up efforts to ensure the protection their rights in all...

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EN FR

Statement

In times of crises, states should step up their efforts to prevent human trafficking and protect victims

29/07/2022 Strasbourg

Ahead of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, issued the following statement: “We should all remember that Europe is not immune to human trafficking and that certain groups, including women, children and people on the...

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EN FR

Country visit report

Georgia should ensure effective implementation of the anti-discrimination legislation and improve protection of human rights in the fields of labour and the environment

15/07/2022 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published today the report following her visit to Georgia in February 2022, with recommendations on combating discrimination against LGBTI people and those belonging to religious minorities, as well as protecting human rights...

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Letter

Commissioner calls on Spanish authorities to investigate the circumstances of the deaths and violence at Melilla border

13/07/2022 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Spanish Minister of the Interior published today, Commissioner Mijatović urges the authorities to conduct an independent, full and effective investigation into the events leading to the deaths of more than 20 migrants who attempted to cross the fence between Nador,...

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EN FR

Statement

Srebrenica: The Mothers’ fight for justice should inspire us all

10/07/2022 Srebrenica-Potočari

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović participated today in the inauguration of the ‘Mother’s Scarf’ art installation initiated by the Mothers of Srebrenica, as part of the Srebrenica Heroines Initiative, and issued the following statement: “As we honour the memory...

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Memorandum

The Commissioner publishes her memorandum on the human rights consequences of the war in Ukraine

08/07/2022 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published today a memorandum addressing the human rights consequences of the war in Ukraine. It aims to address some of the humanitarian and human rights consequences of the war and to highlight issues which require urgent...

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Country visit

United Kingdom: backsliding on human rights must be prevented

04/07/2022 Strasbourg

“Legal reforms should not weaken human rights protections in the United Kingdom”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, following a five-day visit to the country (27 June to 1 July), which focused on the system for human rights protection, the situation...

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Statement

International Criminal Court needs robust and long-term support

30/06/2022 Strasbourg

"As unspeakable atrocities are committed in the heart of Europe once again, we are reminded that the International Criminal Court (ICC), as a pillar of the international criminal justice system and the fight against impunity, is needed more than ever,” said Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe...

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Speech

At the crossroads – Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law

27/06/2022 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights pronounced the following keynote speech at the Solemn Hearing of the European Court of Human Rights on 25 June 2022. President Spano, President of the Hellenic Republic, Distinguished Judges, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, As Commissioner...

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Letter

Hungary: establish a fair and effective asylum system

21/06/2022 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Hungarian Minister of the Interior published today, Commissioner Mijatović expresses her appreciation for the country’s open border policy for those fleeing Ukraine but raises concerns about the longer-term protection perspective of third country nationals and...

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Exhibition

LISTEN by War Childhood Museum: let’s make the voices of children affected by war heard

20/06/2022 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, is hosting a pop-up exhibition to underline the necessity of having the voices of children affected by war heard. At the inauguration, the Commissioner stated that despite mentions of "never again", the war has been going on...

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Mission

Commissioner Mijatović concludes her mission to Kosovo*

03/06/2022 Pristina

In the context of her continuous human rights monitoring work, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović carried out a mission to Kosovo from 30 May to 3 June. The mission focused on issues pertaining to transitional justice and social cohesion, freedom of the media,...

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Statement

Slovenia: lawsuits and fines against peaceful demonstrators should be dropped

25/05/2022 Strasbourg

“The financial and administrative harassment of civil society activists in Slovenia must stop immediately,” said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović. “Demanding that peaceful demonstrators reimburse the costs for policing unregistered public assemblies is...

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Letter

Estonia: Parliament must ensure that bill amending the State Borders Act complies with human rights obligations

23/05/2022 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the President of the Estonian Parliament published today, Commissioner Mijatović called on parliamentarians to amend a bill which would, among other things, allow pushbacks in situations of emergency with a mass influx of migrants, and to ensure that it fully complies...

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Letter

Bulgaria: improve protection from violence against women and domestic violence

20/05/2022 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice of Bulgaria published today, Commissioner Mijatović calls on the Bulgarian authorities to improve the legal and institutional protection of victims of violence against women and domestic violence. The Commissioner stresses...

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Letter

Commissioner calls on UK government not to extradite Julian Assange

18/05/2022 Strasbourg

In a letter, published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, called on UK Home Secretary Priti Patel not to extradite Julian Assange. Writing in view of the impending decision on Mr Assange’s extradition, the Commissioner noted that the wider human rights...

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Statement

LGBTI people affected by the war in Ukraine need protection

17/05/2022 Strasbourg

“On the occasion of this year’s International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, I call on all member states to pay attention to the situation of LGBTI people who are either still in Ukraine or are fleeing the war, so that their vulnerability and needs are fully taken into account...

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Länderbesuchsbericht

Österreich: Die Aufnahme und Integration von Migranten und der Schutz von Frauenrechten müssen gestärkt werden

12/05/2022 Straßburg

Die Menschenrechtskommissarin des Europarats, Dunja Mijatović, veröffentlichte heute den Bericht zu ihrem Besuch in Österreich im Dezember 2021, der Empfehlungen zur Verbesserung der Aufnahme und Integration von Flüchtlingen, Asylsuchenden und Migranten und zur Stärkung der Frauenrechte und...

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EN FR RU UK

Country visit

Visit to Ukraine: Commissioner Mijatović calls for continuous support and justice for victims of the war

07/05/2022 Strasbourg/Kyiv

“The extent and gravity of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have taken place as a result of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine are staggering. Providing redress and support for victims and their families and delivering justice will be an...

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Annual activity report

Commissioner presents her annual report to the Parliamentary Assembly

26/04/2022 Strasbourg

Today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published her annual report 2021. The Commissioner stressed that trends undermining human rights protection have continued in 2021. The topics covered by the report vary from media freedom and journalists’ safety to the...

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Statement

People in the besieged city of Mariupol must urgently be protected from harm

20/04/2022 Strasbourg

As the fighting around the besieged steel plant in the ruined city of Mariupol intensifies, there is growing uncertainty and concern about the life and human rights of those who still remain in the areas under siege. Many civilians, among them women, children and older persons, reportedly still...

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Statement

United Kingdom government‘s intention to offshore asylum processing to Rwanda sends a worrying signal

14 April 2022 Strasbourg

“Today’s announcement by the UK government of its intention to offshore asylum processing to Rwanda sends a worrying signal”, said Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović. “Not only does such externalisation raise questions about the protection of the human rights of the...

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Written comments

Commissioner Mijatović intervenes in the infringement proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Osman Kavala v. Turkey

14 April 2022 Strasbourg

Today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights published her written comments, submitted on 6 April 2022 to the European Court of Human Rights, in the infringement proceedings in the case of Osman Kavala v. Turkey. These proceedings concern the question referred to the Court by the...

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Statement

Kramatorsk: Those responsible for the terrible loss of civilian life must be held accountable

08/04/2022 Rome

For dozens of civilians who waited at the railway station in Kramatorsk this morning, hoping to evacuate from areas at risk of attacks by the Russian forces, the journey to safety ended in a bloodbath as the station’s grounds were struck by ballistic missiles. Hundreds more were reportedly...

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Visit to Vatican City

His Holiness Pope Francis and Commissioner Mijatović discuss the human rights of migrants and the humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine

08/04/2022 Rome

Today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, met with His Holiness Pope Francis during a private Audience held in the Vatican City. The Commissioner highlighted her main concerns relating to the erosion in the protection of the human rights of migrants,...

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Recommendation

Pushed beyond the limits. Urgent action needed to stop pushbacks at Europe’s borders

07/04/2022 Strasbourg

“The scale and normalisation of pushbacks at Europe’s borders requires urgent and concerted action by governments and parliamentarians”, said today Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a Recommendation to member states’ governments and...

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Statement on International Roma Day

Let us fight discrimination and prejudices against Roma fleeing the war in Ukraine

07/04/2022 Strasbourg

Ahead of International Roma Day, my thoughts are with Ukrainian Roma who not only suffer from the consequences of the horrific war in Ukraine but also often face discrimination and prejudices in Europe when fleeing Ukraine. In these difficult times, it is even more important to protect Roma and...

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Statement

Justice needed for residents of Bucha and all other victims of the war in Ukraine

06/04/2022 Strasbourg

The images of lifeless bodies of civilians, brutally killed in Bucha, render speechless. They provide a haunting illustration to shocking reports of violations of human rights and breaches of international humanitarian law, such as summary executions, abductions, torture, sexual violence, and...

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Speech

Beyond the Horizon: A New Era for the Rights of the Child

07/04/2022 Rome

Intervention at Rome High-level Launching Conference for the launching of the new Strategy for the Rights of the Child 2022 – 2027 Your excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Co-panelists, dear Chair, dear children present here today, I first want to thank the Italian Presidency of the...

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Statement on World Health Day

Inclusive and resilient health care for all – are we closer?

06/04/2022 Strasbourg

It has been over a year since I published my Issue paper on protecting the right to health. In February 2021, as Europe was gripped by the multiple impacts of COVID-19, I addressed recommendations to member states on how to secure access to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental...

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Statement

Life-saving humanitarian and medical aid should immediately be allowed to reach the residents of Mariupol

28/03/2022 Strasbourg

The image of besieged Mariupol that emerges from reports and survivors’ testimonies is one of unspeakable human suffering as a result of serious human rights violations committed there on a daily basis. Thousands of residents of the city are increasingly desperate as drinking water, food, and...

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Missions to the Czech Republic, Hungary Poland, Romania and Slovakia

Commissioner urges more coordinated efforts by all member states to meet the humanitarian needs and protect the human rights of people fleeing the war in Ukraine

24/03/2022 Strasbourg

“All member states should strengthen their efforts to coordinate – both at domestic and European levels – and scale up support for the response to the humanitarian and human rights needs of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Medium and long-term planning is urgently needed to ensure...

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Statement

Russian civil society needs support of Council of Europe member states

24/03/2022 Strasbourg

During her mission to the Czech Republic carried out as part of her work on the humanitarian and human rights consequences of the war in Ukraine, the Commissioner also met with a large number of civil society actors, including Russian and Belarusian human rights defenders and journalists who had...

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Third party intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on the absence of legal recognition of same-sex relationships in Russia

24/03/2022 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published her written observations to the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Irina Borisovna FEDOTOVA and Irina Vladimirovna SHIPITKO and 2 other applications v. Russia, which is pending before the Grand Chamber, concerning the absence of legal recognition of...

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Statement

Commissioner’s further steps on the human rights consequences of the war in Ukraine

15/03/2022 Strasbourg

Commissioner Mijatović and her team will visit the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Romania from 16 to 22 March 2022 to focus on efforts made in assisting people fleeing the war in Ukraine and assessing their human rights needs. At the end of those missions, the...

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Mission to the Republic of Moldova

More support urgently needed to assist people fleeing the war in Ukraine and countries of arrival, in particular the Republic of Moldova

09/03/2022 Chisinau/Strasbourg

“Beyond the prompt humanitarian response already provided by European states to people fleeing the war in Ukraine, more support is urgently needed to protect their human rights and to support countries of arrival, in particular the Republic of Moldova”, said today the Council of Europe...

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Statement

Russian authorities should stop the unprecedented crackdown on freedoms of expression, assembly and association in the country

07/03/2022 Chisinau

Russia's military attack against Ukraine has lasted for almost 12 days now, causing death and destruction. It is also leading to a large-scale repression of freedoms in the Russian Federation. Since the war began, more than 13 000 people, including children and elderly people, have been arrested...

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Statement

On International Women’s Day, let us stand with Ukrainian women and girls

07/03/2022 Chisinau

“Ahead of International Women’s Day, my sympathy and profound solidarity go to Ukrainian women and girls who are caught up in a war waged with total disregard for human life and dignity. I pay my deepest respects to those of them who have been killed, and my thoughts are with those who have been...

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Statement

The killing and suffering of people in Ukraine has to stop now

01/03/2022 Strasbourg

“For the sixth day now, Russia's military attack against Ukraine has continued to sow death and destruction in the heart of Europe. In just a few days, the war has led to the death or injury of hundreds of people, including many children. The latest shelling of the city of Kharkiv has laid bare...

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Statement

Slovenia state apology to the “erased” is a welcome and meaningful step

25/02/2022 Strasbourg

“The apology extended today by Slovenian President Borut Pahor on behalf of the state and himself to the “erased”, 30 years after their removal from the official residence registry, is a welcome and meaningful step. It helps remedy past wrongs, foster reconciliation and prevent similar human...

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Statement

Commissioner for Human Rights’ statement on the situation in Ukraine

24/02/2022 Strasbourg

What had seemed unthinkable in Europe in the 21st century has just happened. Our continent is today once more being drawn into an armed conflict. The Russian military attack on Ukraine has already resulted in the loss of human life and dire human suffering. It exposes millions of people in...

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Statement

Criminal conviction of independent journalist Vladislav Yesipenko further undermines media freedom in Crimea

17/02/2022 Strasbourg

The criminal conviction handed down in the case of freelance RFE/RL journalist Vladislav Yesipenko in Crimea yesterday defies credibility and raises serious concerns that it is connected to his legitimate journalistic work. Mr Yesipenko was convicted of possession of explosives and sentenced to...

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Country report

Malta: High time for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia and for reforms to safeguard media freedom and better protect the rights of migrants and women

15/02/2022 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published today the report on her visit to Malta carried out in October 2021, with recommendations on safeguarding media freedom and ensuring the safety of journalists, protecting the lives and dignity of refugees, asylum...

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Letter

Spain: the review of the 2015 Law on Citizens' Safety should result in better protecting human rights

11/02/2022 Strasbourg

In a letter published today, the Commissioner calls on the Parliament of Spain to ensure that the review of the 2015 Law on Citizens’ Safety is used as an opportunity to bring it fully in line with European and international human rights standards, in particular as concerns the provisions...

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Third Party Intervention

Commissioner intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in a case concerning the situation of asylum seekers and migrants stranded at the border between Poland and Belarus

04 February 2022 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner published her written observations to the European Court of Human Rights on the case of R.A. and others v. Poland concerning the situation of asylum seekers and migrants stranded at the border between Poland and Belarus. The Commissioner’s observations were submitted in...

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Statement

Remembering the Holocaust by rejecting denial and distortion

26/01/2022 Strasbourg

Year after year, reports warn against rising antisemitism in Europe. A particularly worrying manifestation of this phenomenon is the spreading of messages denying or distorting the Holocaust in the digital space. Such statements attempt to cast doubt on the existence of the Holocaust, its...

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Letter

Azerbaijan: new media law raises serious human rights concerns and should be changed

25/01/2022 Strasbourg

In a letter made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, invites the President of Azerbaijan, Mr Ilham Aliyev, to use his authority to return a recently adopted media law to the Milli Majlis to proceed to its substantial revision. In her letter, the...

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Statement

Hungarian government must stop instrumentalising and weakening the human rights of LGBTI people

13/01/2022 Strasbourg

“The decision of the Hungarian government to conduct a national referendum regarding children’s access to information concerning sexual orientation and gender identity issues on the same day as the parliamentary elections is deeply regrettable as it furthers the instrumentalisation of the human...

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