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Country visit

Austria should step up efforts to protect women’s rights and gender equality and improve the reception and integration of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants

20/12/2021 Strasbourg

“Austria has taken significant steps to combat violence against women but, as the high number of femicides and the emergence of new digital dimensions of violence show, increased and better co-ordinated efforts are required,” said Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović...

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EN FR

Letter

Safe and legal routes and protection of human rights must take centre stage in co-operation between the United Kingdom and France on Channel crossings

08/12/2021 Strasbourg

The United Kingdom and France should ensure that the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants take centre stage in their actions to deal with crossings of the Channel, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, in letters addressed to the UK Home...

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EN FR

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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EN FR

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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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

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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EN FR RU

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 FR RU

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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EN FR RU

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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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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EN FR RU

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 FR RU

Letter

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

18/03/2021 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior of Cyprus, made public today, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović urges the Cypriot authorities to ensure that independent and effective investigations are carried out into allegations of pushbacks and of...

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EN FR RU

Follow-up report

European countries must urgently change their migration policies which endanger refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean

09/03/2021 Strasbourg

“European countries are failing to protect refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean. Backsliding in the protection of the lives and rights of refugees and migrants is worsening and causing thousands of avoidable deaths each year”, said today Dunja Mijatović, the Council...

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Third Party Intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on summary returns of migrants from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina

11/01/2021 Strasbourg

The Commissioner published today her written observations to the European Court of Human Rights concerning the cases of three Syrian applicants summarily returned from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Commissioner stresses that all the information available points to the existence of an...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Bosnia and Herzegovina must urgently improve its migrant reception capacities, improve access to asylum and protect unaccompanied migrant children

11/12/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter published today, the Commissioner calls on the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to address the persistent shortcomings in their handling of migrants and asylum seekers. The letter was addressed to Mr Zoran Tegeltija, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina,...

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EN RU

Statement

Croatian authorities must stop pushbacks and border violence, and end impunity

21 October 2020 Strasbourg

The latest allegations of collective expulsions of migrants, denial of access to asylum, and of extreme violence by Croatian law enforcement officers used in this context are extremely worrying. Numerous human rights organisations and international organisations have been documenting for a long...

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EN RU

Speech

Introductory remarks at the exchange of views with PACE Standing Committee

13/10/2020 Strasbourg

Dear PACE members, It is a pleasure to meet with you today, although only from cyberspace. I would have preferred to get together with you last April at your plenary session to discuss my annual report. Regrettably, the pandemic made it impossible and I was only able to circulate my report...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner calls on the Greek authorities to provide adequate support to all those affected by the fire in Moria

09/09/2020 Strasbourg

“The fire that destroyed most of the Registration and Identification Centre of Moria and the informal settlements surrounding it, on the Greek island of Lesvos on Tuesday night has dramatically worsened the living conditions of more than 12 000 asylum seekers and migrants, including more than...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Spain’s authorities must find alternatives to accommodating migrants, including asylum seekers, in substandard conditions in Melilla

03/09/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Ministers of Home Affairs and for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration of Spain, published today, the Commissioner raises concerns about the situation of the migrants, including asylum seekers, who are accommodated in the bullring of Melilla, following the...

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DE EN RU

Speech

Protecting refugees in Europe: the ECHR and beyond

22/06/2020 Strasbourg

Video speech given on the occasion of the 20th Berlin Conference on refugee Rights "Europe, Coronavirus and Human Rights - The Significance of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) for the Protection of Refugees" Ladies and gentlemen, Over the past 70 years, the European Convention on...

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EN FR

Statement

Pushbacks and border violence against refugees must end

19/06/2020 Strasbourg

“On 20 June, World Refugee Day will spotlight the hardship that refugees endure. I pay tribute to the resilience of refugees and reiterate the call to protect them and uphold their rights”, said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, ahead of World Refugee Day. “All too often,...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Immediate action needed to disembark migrants held on ships off Malta’s coast

04/06/2020 Strasbourg

“The situation of more than 400 persons kept on private ships just outside Malta’s territorial waters is unsustainable and requires immediate action”, said today Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. Since Malta closed its ports in response to the Covid-19 crisis,...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner urges Malta to meet its obligations to save lives at sea, ensure prompt and safe disembarkation, and investigate allegations of delay or non-response to situations of distress

11/05/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Malta, Robert Abela, published today, the Commissioner urges the Maltese government to fully meet its human rights obligations towards migrants, including asylum seekers and refugees, who cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. “In accordance with...

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EN FR RU

Statement

States should ensure rescue at sea and allow safe disembarkation during the COVID-19 crisis

16/04/2020 Strasbourg

“Despite the unprecedented challenges European countries face due to COVID-19, saving lives at sea and disembarking survivors in a safe port must continue”, stated today Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. The Commissioner calls on Council of Europe member states...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner calls for release of immigration detainees while Covid-19 crisis continues

26/03/2020 Strasbourg

I call on all Council of Europe member states to review the situation of rejected asylum seekers and irregular migrants in immigration detention, and to release them to the maximum extent possible. In the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic, many member states have had to suspend forced returns...

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EN FR RU

Letter

New EU Pact on Migration and Asylum should be firmly underpinned by human rights, effective solidarity and responsibility sharing

17/03/2020 Strasbourg

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights published today a letter addressed to European Commission Vice-President Schinas and Commissioner Johansson in which she draws their attention to crucial human rights issues pertaining to the protection of the rights of migrants, including...

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EN RU

Statement

Time to immediately act and to address humanitarian and protection needs of people trapped between Turkey and Greece

03/03/2020 Strasbourg

The human rights situation at the border between Turkey and Greece where thousands of vulnerable men, women and children are trapped between borders without access to assistance or the possibility to seek international protection is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Urgent action is now...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner urges Italy to suspend co-operation activities with Libyan Coast Guard and introduce human rights safeguards in future migration co-operation

21/02/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Luigi Di Maio, published today, the Commissioner urges the Italian government to introduce human rights safeguards in the Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Libya. While noting that discussions to improve human rights...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner calls on the Italian government to suspend the co-operation activities in place with the Libyan Coast Guard that impact on the return of persons intercepted at sea to Libya

31/01/2020 Strasbourg

“The Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Libya will be renewed automatically next 2 February. I regret that the Italian authorities have not scrapped that agreement or - as a minimum - changed its terms,” said today the Commissioner. “As I have already stressed on several occasions, and...

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EN RU

Speech

PACE urgent debate on 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

Commissioner Mijatovic welcomes the closure of the “Vučjak” migrant camp in Bosnia Herzegovina

11/12/2019 Strasbourg

I welcome the closure of the improvised camp “Vučjak” near Bihać where migrants and asylum seekers had been languishing for months in absolutely dire conditions. This much-needed closure was made possible thanks to co-operation between the state and the Una-Sana and the Sarajevo canton...

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Country visit

Bosnia and Herzegovina must immediately close the Vučjak camp and take concrete measures to improve the treatment of migrants in the country

06/12/2019 Sarajevo

“The living conditions of hundreds of human beings in the improvised Vučjak camp are shameful. That camp should have never been opened in the first place. It is now urgent to relocate these people and provide them with decent accommodations. I was assured by the State Minister of Security that...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner seeks information from the Greek government on its plans to set-up closed reception centres on the Aegean islands

03/12/2019 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published an exchange of letters with the Minister of Citizen Protection of Greece, Michalis Chrysochoidis, and the Alternate Minister for Migration Policy of Greece, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, concerning the plans to transfer migrants from the Aegean islands to the mainland and...

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Third party intervention

Commissioner publishes observations on alleged human rights violations of migrants returned from Italy to Libya

22/11/2019 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in connection with the case of S.S. and others v. Italy. This case concerns the interception and rescue operation of a boat in distress in the Mediterranean Sea, carrying around 150 persons...

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EN FR RU

Country visit

Greece must urgently transfer asylum seekers from the Aegean islands and improve living conditions in reception facilities

31/10/2019 Athens

“The situation of migrants, including asylum seekers, in the Greek Aegean islands has dramatically worsened over the past 12 months. Urgent measures are needed to address the desperate conditions in which thousands of human beings are living,” said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for...

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EN RU

Statement

Commissioner calls for urgent relocation of migrants from Vučjak in Bosnia and Herzegovina

17/10/2019 Strasbourg

“I am following with great concern the developments in the city of Bihać in Bosnia and Herzegovina where the authorities are continuing to place migrants in the already overpopulated improvised camp in Vučjak. The living conditions in this camp, which is close to land-minded areas, are already...

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EN FR RU

Statement

Commissioner Mijatović calls for bolder measures to protect the human rights and dignity of all migrants in the Mediterranean

07/10/2019 Strasbourg

“The Justice and Home Affairs Ministers of EU member states meeting today and tomorrow in Luxembourg should not miss the chance to steer migration policy on to a more humane and human rights compliant path,” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović. “I welcome...

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Recommendation

Council of Europe member states must assume more responsibility for rescuing migrants at sea and protecting their rights

18/06/2019 Strasbourg

“European states’ approach to migration in the Mediterranean Sea has become much too focused on preventing refugees and migrants from reaching European shores, and too little on the humanitarian and human rights aspects. This approach is having tragic consequences”, said Dunja Mijatović, Council...

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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 Sweden

03/06/2019 Strasbourg

Today, the Commissioner published her written observations submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in connection with the case of Dabo v. Sweden. This case concerns the refusal to grant family reunification to the family members of a person with refugee status in Sweden, because he did...

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Letter

Commissioner urges German Parliament to increase the human rights safeguards of the bill for improving the implementation of expulsion of migrants

23/05/2019 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner published a letter she addressed to the Chairwoman of the Committee on Internal Affairs and Community of the Parliament of Germany, Andrea Lindholz, in which she raises concerns about some aspects of the bill that aims at facilitating removals of people obliged to leave the...

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EN FR RU

Country visit report

Hungary should address interconnected human rights issues in refugee protection, civil society space, independence of the judiciary and gender equality

21/05/2019 Strasbourg

“Human rights violations in Hungary have a negative effect on the whole protection system and the rule of law. They must be addressed as a matter of urgency,” says Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, in a report published today on her visit to Hungary in February...

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EN RU

Statement

Commissioner calls for more rescue capacity in the Mediterranean

27/03/19 Strasbourg

I take note of the decision taken by the EU's Political and Security Committee with regards to Operation Sophia. I regret that this will lead to even fewer naval assets in the Mediterranean, which could assist the rescue of persons in distress at sea. Lives are continuing to be lost in the...

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EN RU

Speech

At GANNHRI's Annual Meeting, Commissioner Mijatović underlines the role of NHRIs in protecting the human rights of migrants

06/03/2019 Genève

The Commissioner delivered a speech today at GANNHRI's Annual Conference on "Ensuring human rights-based and gender-responsive implementation, follow-up and review of the Global Compact for Migration: The role of National Human Rights Institutions". Download the speech CommDH/Speech(2019)2 (Pdf)...

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EN FR RU

Country visit

Hungary should address many interconnected human rights protection challenges including civil society space, gender equality, refugee protection and independence of the judiciary

11/02/2019 Strasbourg

“Hungary faces many interconnected human rights challenges,” said today Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, after her five-day visit to Hungary last week. “The space for the work of NGOs, human rights defenders and journalists critical of the government has become...

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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 FR RU

Letter

The Commissioner calls on Italy to uphold the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants

07/02/2019 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, published today, the Commissioner requests the Italian government to clarify the measures it intends to take to ensure the continuity of essential services for asylum seekers and beneficiaries of protection. The Commissioner is...

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EN FR RU

Country visit report

Greece should safeguard social rights for all and improve the reception and integration of migrants

06/11/2018 Strasbourg

“Greece should take urgent steps and adopt long-term policies to improve the reception and integration of migrants and to reverse the adverse effects of austerity measures on access to health care and education”, says Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, publishing...

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EN FR RU

Letter

Commissioner calls on Croatia to investigate allegations of collective expulsions of migrants and of violence by law enforcement officers

05/10/2018 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Croatia published today, Commissioner Mijatović raises concerns about allegations of collective expulsions of 2500 migrants since the beginning of 2018 and reported violence and other crimes allegedly committed by law enforcement officers. “The...

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EN FR RU

Third party intervention

Commissioner Mijatović intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights on migration cases concerning Spain

26/09/2018 Strasbourg

Today the Commissioner took part in the hearing before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of N.D. and N.T. v. Spain in relation to two complaints concerning alleged summary returns of migrants from the Spanish city of Melilla to Morocco. Commissioner Mijatović...

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