News News

End of visit

Cyprus: More efforts needed to protect migrants and victims of economic crisis

11/12/2015 Nicosia

“The readiness of Cyprus to receive asylum seekers in the context of the EU relocation scheme is promising. However, I remain seriously concerned about the grave shortcomings of the national asylum system. The authorities need to redouble their efforts to improve reception conditions and fully...

Read More

Statement

European countries’ migration and asylum policies have been disastrous

10/12/2015 Strasbourg

“Only this year more than 3 600 persons, many of them women and children, have lost their lives trying to reach safety and protection in Europe, fleeing war-torn or impoverished homelands. They were asylum seekers or migrants, but above all they were human beings who believed that their lives and...

Read More

Visit to Hungary

Hungary’s response to refugee challenge falls short on human rights

27/11/2015 Strasbourg

An effective response to the current refugee movements across Europe can only be found through concerted European action, but states must continue to abide by their human rights obligations. “I am concerned that Hungary has not lived up to this challenge” said Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe...

Read More

Statement

Turkey should ensure the protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism

18/11/2015 Strasbourg

I have been informed that the round-the-clock curfew declared in three neighbourhoods of Silvan on 2 November in the framework of anti-terror operations was lifted on 14 November, after 12 days. According to information provided by the Turkish authorities on my request, four curfews had already...

Read More

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.

Read More

Visit to Georgia

Georgia: further efforts needed in justice reform and combating intolerance

16/11/2015 Strasbourg

“I am heartened to see a number of positive achievements of the justice sector reforms, notably in the area of juvenile justice. It is also encouraging to see an overall decrease in recourse to pre-trial detention, although its use remains problematic in certain cases”, said the Commissioner...

Read More

Third party intervention

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

12/11/2015 Strasbourg

Today, Commissioner Muižnieks has submitted written observations to the European Court of Human Rights in relation to two complaints concerning alleged pushbacks of migrants from the Spanish city of Melilla to Morocco. Basing his observations on his visit to Melilla in January 2015 as well as on...

Read More

Visit report

Eastern Ukraine: urgent need to guarantee freedom of movement and humanitarian access

headline 03/11/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “The conflict in the east of Ukraine has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and severe hardship for ordinary people living in the conflict-affected areas. All measures must be taken to prevent further deaths and provide urgent assistance to meet the basic needs of the...

Read More

Opinion article

Europe is spying on you

Strasbourg 27/10/2015

New York Times, 28/10/2015 - When Edward Snowden disclosed details of America’s huge surveillance program two years ago, many in Europe thought that the response would be increased transparency and stronger oversight of security services.

Read More

Letter

Commissioner Muižnieks urges the Czech authorities to adopt the bill on reparations for involuntary sterilisation of Roma women

22/10/2015 Strasbourg

“I regret the Czech government’s decision not to proceed with the adoption of the law allowing the granting of compensation to the Roma women who were victims of forced sterilisations,” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, making public a letter addressed to...

Read More

Visit report

San Marino: media freedom and gender equality should be improved

15/10/2015 Strasbourg

Read the report “San Marino has made progress in promoting human rights in recent years. More sustained action is now needed to ensure media freedom and increase gender equality” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report based on his visit to...

Read More

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...

Read More

Report on visit

Germany's efforts to protect refugees are remarkable. Now it has to boost integration and improve fight against racism

01/10/2015 Berlin

“Germany’s considerable efforts in helping asylum-seekers and refugees, in particular Syrians, is commendable and the support of the vast majority of the population is heartening. However, progress is needed to improve reception conditions, speed up fair asylum procedures and accelerate refugee...

Read More

Visit to Belgium

Belgium: accelerate reception of asylum-seekers and improve inclusive education

18/09/2015 Brussels

"The overwhelmingly positive response of Belgian society to the arrivals of refugees and the decision of the authorities to increase the quota of Syrian refugees they accept for resettlement are encouraging signs. They suggest that Belgium is ready to play its part to ensure that Europe meets the...

Read More

Statement

Turkey should ensure immediate access to Cizre by independent observers

11/09/2015 Strasbourg

“I have been following with increasing alarm the escalation of violence in Turkey in recent weeks. I am particularly concerned about very distressing information I have received on developments in Cizre, a city of around 100 000 inhabitants in the Şırnak Province in South-Eastern Turkey” said...

Read More

Opinion article

Europe can do more to protect refugees

02/09/2015 Strasbourg

For many years European countries have been warned about the inadequacy of their immigration and asylum systems. Now, with increased refugee arrivals and more frequent tragedies, this system is showing all its weaknesses. But refugee arrivals are not the real cause of this collapse. The real...

Read More

Statement

OSCE Representative and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights condemn sentencing of journalist Khadija Ismayilova in Azerbaijan

01 September 2015 Strasbourg/Vienna

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, today condemned the sentencing of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova. “The charges brought against Ismayilova, and the trial, are unjust; they...

Read More

Statement

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance

28/08/2015 Strasbourg

30 August, the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, should not be the only day when we remember the victims and reflect on the harsh reality that thousands of families of victims are faced with, waiting and hoping to find out the truth about their loved ones. Regrettably,...

Read More

Statement

Commissioner appalled by sentences against Leyla and Arif Yunus

13/08/2015 Strasbourg

I am appalled and saddened by Baku Court’s decision to sentence Leyla and Arif Yunus to respectively 8 years and a half and 7 years of prison. These sentences are a glaring illustration of the ongoing repression in Azerbaijan, where human rights defenders are selectively targeted with criminal...

Read More

Opinion article

The Srebrenica genocide: addressing the needs of the victims must be the priority

10/07/2015 Oslobodjenje and others

The Srebrenica genocide is one of the vilest episodes of Europe’s contemporary history. In just a few days in July 1995, around 8 300 boys and men were executed while 30 000 women, children and elderly persons were forcibly displaced. Twenty years on, the victims of that genocide are still...

Read More