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Statement

New legislation perpetuates restrictions and obstacles to protection of human rights on Poland’s eastern border

01/12/2021 Strasbourg

Amendments to Poland’s Border Protection Act, adopted yesterday, effectively perpetuate many of the restrictive measures put in place by the country’s state of emergency, with negative effects on the freedom of movement, assembly, and expression on Poland’s eastern border. During my recent...

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Statement

The persecution of Crimean Tatars must stop

25/11/2021 Strasbourg

The arrest and detention of a large group of Crimean Tatars, including several journalists, who assembled peacefully in Simferopol last Tuesday to witness the release from detention of human rights lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, is the latest link in a chain of reprisals and harassment directed at...

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Speech

Combating violence against women in a digital age utilising the Istanbul Convention: GREVIO General Recommendation No.1 on the Digital Dimension of Violence against Women

24/11/2021 Strasbourg

Dear GREVIO members, Distinguished speakers, Colleagues and friends, Let me begin by congratulating GREVIO on the adoption of General Recommendation No.1 on the digital dimension of violence against women. I wish to extend my congratulations to all the experts and actors who worked on this...

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Letter

Commissioner seeks clarification over criminal proceedings against Armenian human rights defender Sashik Sultanyan

23/11/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, requests information with regards to the ongoing criminal proceedings against human rights defender Sashik Sultanyan, Head of the Yezidi Center...

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Statement

Georgian politicians should fully respect the independent mandate of the Public Defender

23/11/2021 Strasbourg

Public attacks by members of the Georgian Parliament against the Public Defender of Georgia, in connection with her and her Office’s work related to the imprisonment of the former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, and his hunger strike, are unacceptable. I commend the Public Defender and...

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EN FR

Statement

Council of Europe member states must prioritise children’s rights every day

20/11/2021 Strasbourg

“On the occasion of World Children’s Day, I call on political leaders to ensure that children’s rights remain firmly on top of their agendas. Council of Europe member states must take all necessary measures to build strong societies for the future. This means investing in children from early...

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Country visit

Commissioner calls for immediate access of international and national human rights actors and media to Poland’s border with Belarus to end human suffering and violations of human rights

19/11/2021 Strasbourg

“The humanitarian and human rights situation along Poland’s border with Belarus is alarming. Urgent action is needed to protect the lives of people stranded in the border regions”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, following her 4-day mission to...

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Opinion article

Op-ed: De-escalate Bosnia and Herzegovina - before it is too late

18/11/2021 Strasbourg

EUObserver, 18/11/2021 Warmongering has seriously intensified in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As some politicians, including in the neighbouring countries Serbia and Croatia, ratchet-up their inflammatory rhetoric, the international community struggles to find a response to escalating tensions. This...

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Statement

The Russian authorities should discontinue the liquidation of Memorial and repeal the “foreign agents” law as a matter of priority

17/11/2021 Strasbourg

The Russian authorities' move towards liquidating the NGOs International Memorial and Human Rights Centre Memorial for non-compliance with the so-called “foreign agents” law is deeply disturbing. Memorial is one of the most senior and prominent human rights groups in Russia and a symbol of the...

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Third Party Intervention

Commissioner intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning abortion rights in Poland

10/11/2021 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published her written observations to the European Court of Human Rights as a third party in the cases of K.B. v. Poland and 3 other applications, K.C. v. Poland and 3 other applications and A.L. - B. v. Poland and 3 other applications concerning abortion rights in Poland....

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Memorandum

Humanitarian and human rights protection needed following the 2020 outbreak of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

08/11/2021 Strasbourg

One year after the signing of the trilateral statement which ended the 2020 outbreak of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, publishes a memorandum addressing the humanitarian and human rights...

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Statement

Reprisals against Belarusian civil society must stop

03/11/2021 Strasbourg

Today’s verdict against two members of the Belarusian human rights centre Vyasna - Leanid Sudalenka and Tatsiana Lasitsa – sentenced respectively to three and to two and a half years of imprisonment in a colony, is another illustration of the reprisals against human rights defenders taking place...

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Speech

Climate change, human rights and environmental defenders – what role for the academia?

28/10/2021 Edinburgh

"Human Rights and Climate Change", International virtual symposium convened by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Professor Jaspars, Professor Zenner, Dear Dr Boyd -- dear David, Dear Friends, What a pleasure to be with...

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Speech

Meeting of the Parties of the Aarhus Convention

21/10/2021 Strasbourg

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Chair, Thank you for inviting me to speak. As Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, I am committed to raising awareness about the link between environment and human rights in its forty-seven member States. Environmental harm, pollution...

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EN FR

Statement

European states must stand up against pushbacks and the attempt to legalise them

21/10/2021 Strasbourg

“Member states must take a stand against pushbacks at borders and clearly oppose attempts to legalise this illegal practice”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović. Human rights violations against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants at the borders of...

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EN FR

Letter

Slovak Republic: Parliament should reject bill that restricts access to safe and legal abortion services

19/10/2021 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published a letter she had sent to the National Council of the Slovak Republic in which she raises concerns about a draft law currently under discussion that would introduce restrictions on access to safe and legal abortion services. For the third time in three years, the...

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Speech

60th Anniversary of the European Social Charter

18/10/2021 Strasbourg

High-level panel discussion, opening statement by Dunja Mijatović Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Co-panelists, dear Chair, I am very pleased and honoured to address you today to mark the 60th anniversary of the opening for signature of the European Social Charter. The European Social Charter and the...

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EN FR

Country visit

Reforms needed to better protect journalists’ safety and the rights of migrants and women in Malta

18/10/2021 Strasbourg

“Implementing the recommendations of the public inquiry report which found that the state must bear responsibility for Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination should be a top priority for the government”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, following a...

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Speech

ECRI 2021 annual seminar with Equality Bodies

18/10/2021 Strasbourg

Joining Forces to Promote and Protect the Human Rights of LGBTI Person. Opening statement by Dunja Mijatović. Dear all, dear friends, It is a real pleasure for me to be here this morning with you for this seminar organised by ECRI, an essential partner in the fight against all forms of...

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Statement

Justice should be ensured to honour the memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia

16/10/2021 Valletta

“Daphne Caruana Galizia was a courageous woman and a brilliant journalist. She used her skills to speak truth to power. She served the public good, believing in the power of journalism to build a more just society. Despite herself, she became the symbol of all the threats against journalists when...

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Speech

Hearing of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the cases of H.F. and M.F. v. France and J.D. and A.D. v. France

30/09/2021 Strasbourg

Mr President, Distinguished members of the Court, I have decided to intervene in these cases because they concern an urgent situation, demanding urgent action. The situation faced by nationals of Council of Europe member states detained in the camps in North-East Syria is continuously...

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Letter

UK government’s legacy proposals must not undermine human rights and cut off victims’ avenues to justice in Northern Ireland

23/09/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, warns that a proposed new plan for dealing with the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland “would undermine human rights protections and would cut...

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Statement

Greece's Parliament should align the deportations and return bill with human rights standards

03/09/2021 Strasbourg

“The Greek parliament should reconsider a legislative proposal currently being discussed, which would seriously hinder the life-saving work carried out at sea by NGOs, and their human rights monitoring capacities in the Aegean”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja...

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EN RU

Statement

Turkey: prolongation of detention of Osman Kavala displays contempt for human rights and the rule of law

02/09/2021 Strasbourg

Yesterday’s decision of the Istanbul 13th Assize Court to prolong the detention of Mr Osman Kavala perpetuates the violation of both his human rights and of Turkey’s obligation to abide by a final judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. Mr Kavala has been in detention for 46 months...

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Letter

Germany should pursue efforts to fully ensure children’s rights

31/08/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to Christine Lambrecht, the Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection and Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth of Germany, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, urges the German...

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Statement

In their response to Afghans seeking safety, Council of Europe member states should not undermine human rights protections

30/08/2021 Strasbourg

“Member states should unequivocally commit to handling the arrival of persons fleeing the horrendous situation in Afghanistan in accordance with their human rights obligations”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, today. “Various governments and local...

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EN RU

Statement

Poland should take immediate action to protect the human rights of people stranded at its border with Belarus

25/08/2021 Strasbourg

The dire humanitarian situation of a group of people stuck for many days at the Polish-Belarussian border is alarming. I understand that this situation is the result of attempts by Belarus to encourage people to cross borders, leaving them in a vulnerable position and creating challenges for the...

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Letter

Lithuania: safeguards in asylum procedures and preventing pushbacks should be central to response to migration challenges

24/08/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Prime Minister of Lithuania published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, calls for the response to migration-related challenges to be fully compliant with the country’s human rights obligations, in particular by ensuring fair asylum...

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Statement

Commemoration of the Roma Holocaust: we should combat antigypsyism and discrimination against Roma at all times

02/08/2021 Strasbourg

Every year on 2 August, we commemorate the Roma Holocaust perpetrated during the Second World War and pay tribute to the victims of horrendous past human rights violations, including deportation and extermination. Now more than ever, we should all continue to confront the deeply rooted prejudices...

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Letter

Slovak Republic: the government should deliver justice to victims of forced sterilisation through a compensation mechanism

19/07/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice of the Slovak Republic, published today, the Commissioner calls on the government to set up a mechanism to ensure prompt and effective access to reparations for victims of forced or coercive sterilisation. This is a long-standing...

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Letter

The Senate of the Czech Republic should adopt the draft law on compensation for victims of forced sterilisation

16/07/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Senate of the Czech Republic, published today, the Commissioner expresses her support for the adoption of the Proposal for a law for a one-off financial compensation for victims of unlawful sterilisation. In her letter, she follows up on her dialogue with the Czech Chamber of...

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Letter

United Kingdom: Parliamentarians should reject restrictions on peaceful demonstration, criminalisation of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities

05/07/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the UK House of Commons and House of Lords, published today, the Commissioner urged parliamentarians to reject restrictions on peaceful demonstrations contained in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. She also urges them to reject a new proposed criminal offence of...

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Third party intervention

Commissioner publishes her observations on the repatriation of European nationals held in camps in North-East Syria

02/07/2021 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights as a third-party in the cases of H.F. and M.F. v. France and J.D. and A.D. v. France on the fate of European nationals held in camps in North-East Syria. The Commissioner considers that...

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EN FR RU

Third party intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on the human rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities

28/06/2021 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the case of Clipea and Iapara v. the Republic of Moldova, which relates to alleged human rights violations committed in connection with the applicants’ stay in a psychiatric...

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Letter

Turkish authorities should stop the stigmatisation of LGBTI people

24/06/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice of Turkey, published today, the Commissioner calls on the authorities to fulfil the commitments enshrined in the national Action Plan on Human Rights, stop the stigmatisation of LGBTI people, and uphold their freedoms...

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EN RU

Statement

Commissioner Mijatović urges Hungary’s Parliamentarians to reject draft amendments banning discussion about sexual and gender identity and diversity

14/06/2021 Strasbourg

“I call on all Hungarian Members of Parliament to reject the proposal to ban the "portrayal and the promotion of gender identity different from sex at birth, the change of sex and homosexuality" aimed at children, said Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights today. “I...

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EN RU

Speech

Artificial Intelligence – Intelligent Politics. Challenges and opportunities for media and democracy

10/06/2021 Strasbourg

On-line keynote speech at the Council of Europe Conference, of Ministers responsible for Media and Information Society. Dear Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a great pleasure to be with you today, even if only remotely. We would all have preferred to meet in person in Cyprus as originally...

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Statement

Coming to terms with the past and delivering justice is the only way to achieve reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia

08/06/2021 Strasbourg

”I sincerely hope that the confirmation on appeal of Ratko Mladić’s guilty verdict brings the relief of justice done to the many victims who suffered atrocities and lost loved ones in Srebrenica, Sarajevo, and other municipalities during the war in the 1990’s in the former Yugoslavia”, said today...

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Country Memorandum

Slovenian authorities should halt the deterioration of freedom of expression and media freedom

04/06/2021 Strasbourg

In a Memorandum published today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, calls on the Slovenian authorities to put a stop to the marked deterioration of freedom of expression and of the media in the country. The Commissioner warns that some steps taken by the...

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Speech

Alarm and Hope. 21st Century International Conference On the Centenary of the Birth of Dr Andrei Sakharov

24/05/2021 Strasbourg

Alarm and Hope. 21st Century International Conference On the Centenary of the Birth of Dr Andrei Sakharov - Plenary session Peace, progress and human rights are about choosing the right side. When you decide to defend and promote them, you choose to take the side of those who seek freedom. You...

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Event

Alarm and Hope. 21st century International Conference

20/05/2021 Strasbourg

online conference dedicated to the centenary of Andrei Sakharov

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EN RU

Speech

Exchange of views with the European Committee of Social Rights

17/05/2021 Strasbourg

Good afternoon to you all and thank you very much for the invitation to this exchange of views! This is the first time that we meet, and the timing is certainly good. Even though there are signs of relief now, at least in Europe, the Covid-19 pandemic has been much more than just a health crisis:...

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Joint statement

The right to freedom of religion or belief and the right to live free from violence and discrimina-tion based on SOGI are both built on a promise of human freedom LGBT persons deserve that promise fulfilled

14/05/2021 Geneva/Washington D.C./Strasbourg

Statement by human rights experts on the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia On the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), which will be held on 17 May 2021, a group of United Nations and international human rights experts*...

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Letter

Greek authorities should investigate allegations of pushbacks and ill-treatment of migrants, ensure an enabling environment for NGOs and improve reception conditions

12/05/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister for Citizens’ Protection, the Minister of Migration and Asylum, and the Minister of Shipping and Island Policy of Greece, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, urges the Greek authorities to put an end to...

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EN RU

Third party intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on the human rights impact of climate change

11/05/2021 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner published her written observations to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the case of Cláudia Duarte Agostinho and others v. Portugal and 32 other States which relates to the negative impact of climate change on a range of human rights, in particular those of...

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Letter

Azerbaijan: efforts to deal with the past should become the priority to ensure reconciliation and lasting peace

27/04/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the President of Azerbaijan, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, urges to take utmost care not to perpetuate and multiply the already deeply-running grievances between the communities affected by the conflict in and around...

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Annual activity report

A renewed impetus is needed to narrow the gap between human rights standards and reality

21/04/2021 Strasbourg

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the erosion of the democratic fabric of our society on which the protection of human rights ultimately depends”, warned Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, while presenting today her annual activity report covering 2020 before...

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Letter

Romania: the appointment of the new leadership of the CRPD Monitoring Council should be an opportunity to strengthen the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities

14/04/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter to the President of the Senate of Romania and the Chairperson of its Human Rights Committee, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights invites the Senate to use the appointment of the new leadership of the CRPD Monitoring Council to strengthen the...

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Speech

Exchange of views with the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

31/03/2021 Strasbourg

Ladies and Gentlemen, It is pleasure and honour for me to meet with you today. There is much to share, and I look forward to discussing how we can complement and reinforce each other’s work for increased impact. Our meeting takes place in special circumstances, which affect people across Europe...

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Report

Environmental Rights Activism and Advocacy in Europe: Issues, Threats, Opportunities

31/03/2021 Strasbourg

“Environmental protection is a critical pillar in ensuring that everyone in Europe can fully enjoy human rights,” the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, said today upon the release of a report on a round-table with environmental human rights defenders from across...

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