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Country visit report

The Republic of Moldova should ratify the Istanbul Convention, improve its response to hate speech and advance access to quality healthcare, affordable housing and social inclusion for all

25/06/2020 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published today a report on her visit to the Republic of Moldova in March this year – which included travel to Comrat (Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia) and Tiraspol - with recommendations on violence against women and...

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EN RU

Speech

PACE urgent debate on the occasion of International obligations concerning the repatriation of children from war and conflict zones

30/01/2020 Strasbourg

Mr President, Mr. Rapporteur, Ladies and gentlemen, Allow me first to thank the Parliamentary Assembly for giving me the opportunity to address its plenary on this very important and sensitive issue. I would also like to congratulate Mr. Schennach on his report, which perfectly highlights the...

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EN RU

Statement

Realising children’s rights is not an option, it’s an obligation

20/11/2019 Strasbourg

We celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child today. Children finally became full bearers of human rights under international law thanks to this landmark Convention, the most widely ratified international treaty in the world. Countries have made substantial...

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EN RU

Statement

Latvia takes important step toward eliminating child statelessness

18/10/2019 Strasbourg

“I welcome the Latvian Parliament taking a decisive step toward eliminating child statelessness with the adoption of a law to grant automatic citizenship to children of “non-citizens” as of 1st January 2020, unless the parents opt for another nationality. This measure represents significant...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Step up action against statelessness

03/10/2019 Strasbourg

Statelessness is the root cause of countless human rights violations. Unfortunately, it is still widespread in Europe today as at least 600 000 people do not have a nationality or identity documents that make it possible to enjoy the benefits of a nationality. Having no nationality means you have...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Council of Europe member states should urgently repatriate their under-age nationals stranded in Northern Syria

28/05/2019 Strasbourg

The camp of Al-Hol in Northern Syria hosts more than 73 000 people, including citizens of Council of Europe member states, who live in squalid and hazardous conditions according to the World Health Organisation. 90% of those stranded in the camp with almost no access to health care are women and...

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EN FR RU

Third party intervention

The Commissioner intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in a case concerning family reunification in Denmark

08/02/2019 Strasbourg

The Commissioner intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights in a case concerning family reunification in Denmark Today the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in connection with the case of M.A. v. Denmark. This case concerns...

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EN RU

Letter

Commissioner provides evidence to the Scottish Parliament on the age of criminal responsibility

16/01/2019 Strasbourg

On 10 January 2019, the Commissioner provided evidence in the form of a letter to the Equalities and Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament regarding the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill. In her letter, the Commissioner provides further clarification to the Committee...

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EN RU

Letter

Commissioner calls on the Czech Republic to ensure legislative changes do not harm inclusive education efforts

15/01/2019 Strasbourg

In a letter to the Czech Republic’s Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, and Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Robert Plaga, published today, the Commissioner addresses proposed changes to Decree 27/2016 Coll. on the education of pupils with special education needs. The Commissioner expresses her...

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EN RU

Letter

Commissioner urges Scotland’s government to increase the age of criminal responsibility

20/12/2018 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to Scotland’s Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd MSP, published today, the Commissioner calls for an increase in the age of criminal responsibility and stronger safeguards in the treatment of children who come into conflict with the law. “Children who come...

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EN FR HY RU

Country visit

Armenia’s new government should place human rights at the centre of its policies

24/09/18 Strasbourg

“Armenia’s peaceful transfer of power in May 2018 has been truly remarkable. However, popular expectations are high that there will be tangible improvements to people’s lives, and the government should devote its attention to upholding the long-neglected rights of those who are most vulnerable”,...

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EN RU

Speech

Upholding the human rights of persons with disabilities in Armenia

19/09/2018 Yerevan

The Commissioner delivered a keynote speech today at the closing conference “Social Rights of Persons with Disabilities” organised in Yerevan, Armenia. Download the speech CommDH/Speech(2018)6 (Pdf) Watch the video (Facebook) Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a real pleasure to be here...

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EN FR RU SQ

Country visit report

Albania should continue improving child protection and inclusion of persons with disabilities

13/09/2018 Strasbourg

“The protection of children and inclusion of persons with disabilities has improved in Albania, but the authorities still have to address remaining shortcomings”, said today Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing the report on her visit to the country...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner calls on Belgium not to resume detention of migrant children

14/06/2018 Strasbourg

The Commissioner published today a letter that she addressed to Mr Theo Francken, Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum of Belgium, in which she raises concerns about the possibility that migrant families with children may be detained in newly constructed closed detention units near...

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EN FR RU

Country visit

Albania should step up protection of children and inclusion of persons with disabilities

25/05/2018 Tirana

Today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, concluded her five-day visit to Albania which focused on children’s rights, the rights of persons with disabilities, and access to free legal aid. Concerning children’s rights, the Commissioner welcomes the authorities’...

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EN FR

Country visit

Slovak Republic: adopt a bolder approach to ensure inclusive education and strengthen the safety of journalists

16/03/2018 Bratislava

Today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, concluded a visit to the Slovak Republic which focused on inclusive education of children with disabilities and Roma children. At the same time, since the visit took place shortly after the murder of investigative...

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EN FR MK SQ

Country visit

Invest in education and language acquisition to build a cohesive society, says Commissioner Muižnieks in Skopje

02/02/2018 Skopje

“The Macedonian authorities should implement policies that encourage interaction and understanding between ethnic communities and promote social cohesion while protecting diversity,” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, after a five-day follow-up visit to “the...

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EN FR

Country visit report

Switzerland should reinforce its human rights protection framework and better respond to the needs of vulnerable migrants

17/10/2017 Strasbourg

Reinforcing the institutional and legal framework for safeguarding and promoting human rights and enhancing the protection of migrants and asylum seekers are the key recommendations addressed to the Swiss authorities by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, in a...

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EN FR

Position paper

School segregation still deprives many children of quality education

12/09/2017 Strasbourg

“The right to education is a fundamental human right. Yet, many European countries still deny thousands of children, including children with disabilities, Roma children and refugee or migrant children, equal access to it by keeping them in segregated schools. This is a violation of children’s...

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Statement

Croatian government should reconsider the draft law on the Ombudsman for Children

11/07/2017 Strasbourg

“I understand that a draft law on the Ombudsman for Children, prepared by the Croatian Government, is scheduled to be debated today in the Croatian Parliament. Whereas the Constitutional Court’s decision which abolished the previous law has left a legal gap which needs to be filled, I am...

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EN FR RU

Country visit report

Slovenia should pursue its efforts to protect vulnerable people

11/07/2017 Strasbourg

“Slovenia has undertaken a number of initiatives in recent years to address major human rights issues concerning migrants, Roma, the “erased” and people living in poverty. It is crucial to reinforce these efforts to ensure that no one is left behind and the human rights of all are upheld”, said...

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EN FR

Country visit

Switzerland: Commissioner welcomes progress on asylum, but the most vulnerable need better protection

30/05/2017 Strasbourg

“I call on the Swiss authorities to stop detaining migrant children arriving at Swiss international airports. Children, with or without their families, do not belong in detention” said today Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, after a three-day visit (22-24 May)...

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EN FR

Joint statement

Embrace diversity and protect trans and gender diverse children and adolescents

16/05/2017 Geneva / Banjul / Strasbourg / Washington

Speaking ahead of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17 May, a group of United Nations and international human rights experts* urge States and other stakeholders to protect trans and gender diverse** children and adolescents effectively from discrimination,...

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EN FR

Letter

Commissioner calls on Italy not to weaken the protection of children’s rights in the justice system

16/05/2017 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the President of the Italian Senate published today, the Commissioner expresses concerns about the bill on the efficiency of civil judicial proceedings. The planned transfer of juvenile justice competencies from specialised to ordinary courts and prosecution services...

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EN FR RU

Country visit report

Lithuania should strengthen the protection of women and children against violence and build a more inclusive society for persons with disabilities

19/04/2017 Strasbourg

“While considerable progress has been achieved in protecting human rights in recent years, the Lithuanian authorities still have to address some remaining shortcomings, in particular as regards the protection of women, children and persons with disabilities” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe...

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EN FR

Country visit report

Ireland should remove obstacles to the equality of Travellers, women and children

29/03/2017 Strasbourg

“The Irish government should ensure that the economic upturn benefits the most vulnerable groups and should promote equality of Travellers, women and children by removing the barriers that disproportionately hinder them from fully enjoying their rights”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner concerned about Hungary’s new law allowing automatic detention of asylum seekers

08/03/2017 Strasbourg

I am deeply concerned to learn that the Hungarian parliament has approved yesterday a Bill on border management, which is likely to exacerbate the already highly problematic situation of asylum seekers in Hungary. As reported, the adopted Bill would allow the automatic detention of all asylum...

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EN FR

Statement

Luxembourg should not extend the period of detention of migrant children but work to eliminate the practice

06/02/2017 Strabourg

I have learned with concern that the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies, in its examination of Bill No. 6992 on the free movement of persons and immigration and on the holding centre, is considering extending the maximum period for the detention of migrant children and their families to seven days....

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EN FR RU

Country visit

Monaco must consolidate the progress achieved in protecting the rights of children, people with disabilities and LGBTI persons

20/01/2017 Strasbourg

“Monaco has made significant progress in recent years in the protection of human rights. However, this progress must be consolidated by further improving protection of the rights of the most vulnerable, such as children, people with disabilities and LGBTI persons, and by strengthening the...

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EN FR

Letter

Belgium urged not to resume detention of migrant children and to expand alternatives to immigration detention for families with children

19/12/2016 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum of Belgium, Mr Theo Francken, published today, Commissioner Muižnieks warns against resuming the practice of detaining migrant families with children. Referring to the Secretary of State’s recent general policy statement,...

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EN FR

Country visit report

Latvia urged to ensure gender equality and foster an inclusive society

13/12/2016 Strasbourg

“Latvia has achieved considerable progress in adopting legislation and policies which comply with human rights standards, but the authorities must engage in more sustained efforts to bridge the remaining gaps, in particular those which still hinder gender equality and more effective protection...

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EN FR

Visit to Lithuania

Lithuania: ensure better protection for persons with disabilities, children and victims of domestic violence

09/12/2016 Lithuania

“I welcome the commitment expressed by the authorities to move away from the practice of placing children without parental care and people with disabilities in institutions. However, many persons continue to live in an institutional environment. The authorities should intensify their efforts to...

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EN FR

Country visit

Ireland: advance equality of Travellers and women

25/11/2016 Dublin

“I am deeply concerned at the persisting social exclusion and discrimination Travellers are confronted with in Ireland”, said the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks today, concluding a three-day visit to the country. With Travellers having been affected in a gravely...

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EN FR

Visit to Andorra

Andorra: sustain progress on children and women’s rights and bolster human rights structures

12/05/2016 Andorra La Vella

“Andorra has a very advanced system of inclusive education, whereby all children, including those with disabilities and from migrant families, learn together with other children and are supported as necessary. However, further efforts are required to enhance the overall protection of children’s...

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EN FR

European Day

Protect children from sexual violence

18/11/2015 Strasbourg

Combating sexual abuses and sexual exploitation of children is a very important but challenging task. The problem is far too often under-estimated, and sometimes even overlooked.

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EN FR

Country visit report

Slovakia: Roma, LGBTI persons, and persons with disabilities need more protection

13/10/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “Slovakia has to step up its efforts aimed at combating and eradicating discrimination in law and practice, and take effective measures to improve the protection of Roma, persons with disabilities and LGBTI persons,” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for...

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EN FR SR

Country visit report

Serbia: Impunity for war crimes, discrimination and lack of media freedom hamper human rights progress

08/07/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “Serbia has to show more resolve in addressing the legacy of the past, to improve the fight against discrimination and to establish a safer media environment” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing the report based on his visit to the...

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BG EN FR

Country visit report

Progress on human rights protection remains slow in Bulgaria

22/06/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “Bulgaria has made some progress in strengthening human rights protection, but this remains slow and fragile, in particular as regard the rights of persons placed in institutions, the human rights of migrants and media freedom,” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe...

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EN FR

Country 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...

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EN FR

Visit report

France: persistent discrimination endangers human rights

17/02/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “Despite advances in legislation and measures to combat intolerance and racism, discrimination and hate speech not only persist in France but are on the rise. There is an urgent need to combat this in a sustained and systematic manner,” Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe...

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EN FR

Report on visit to the Netherlands

Migrants’ and children’s rights need better protection in the Netherlands

14/10/2014 Strasbourg

“The Netherlands has a solid human rights protection system, but in practice there are shortcomings, in particular as concerns migrants and children, that need to be addressed” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing the report on his visit to...

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EN FR

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...

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EN FR

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...

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EN FR

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...

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