Migration crises, whether caused by political, ideological, climate, economic, health or other reasons, should prompt all relevant stakeholders to strengthen solidarity with migrants beyond the countries they are leaving. These are crises involving states that are in situations of conflict or in which there have been various disasters, transit countries and those receiving hundreds of thousands of migrants who have had to flee their home regions.

The Council of Europe’s Conference of INGOs has its own specific role to play, building on its members’ activities with migrants. It places the priority on a human rights-based approach, taking the view that migrants are to be considered as full holders of these rights and not merely beneficiaries of services. The advocates and organisations that are part of the Conference are committed to ensuring respect for human rights, the rule of law and democracy. As such, they must be supported and defended.

The responses to these migration and post-migration crises are a result of citizen engagement at local, regional, national and international level. This engagement is all the more necessary given the need to improve exchanges and the way in which people live together, while at the same time confronting prejudice, preventing a backlash against migrants and taking account of a changing society. To this end, the Conference of INGOs has a dialogue tool designed to strengthen social cohesion and diversity management, both of which are based on human rights.

In order to strengthen the case it makes for the adoption of the measures that need to be taken to deal with the migration and post-migration crises, the Conference of INGOs has a duty support the work of NGOs and be even more receptive to their concerns. To this end, the Standing Committee of the Conference of INGOs has set up a migration task force, whose objective is to provide input for the work of all the Conference bodies, particularly by analysing the information gathered by INGOs. This monitoring work will help ensure that the concerns of NGOs working with migrants are incorporated into all the Conference’s activities.

All the NGOs working in the field to protect and receive migrants in the member states of the Conference, whether as their main activity or as part of their specialist sphere of action, can submit their contributions and ask the Conference of INGOs questions via the task force. An online form will be available soon.


Photo: Eleonas Refugee Camp, Athens © Council of Europe - Sandro Weltin