Ensuring implementation of relevant commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), whilst managing overwhelming numbers of refugees and migrants, represents today a significant challenge for all member States of the Council of Europe.

Several bodies of the Council of Europe have already been mobilised to provide assistance and support to the member States concerned. However, we are experiencing unpredictable developments, notably sudden concentrations of high numbers of refugees and migrants in certain locations, which seriously threaten their well-being and rights under the ECHR.

Against this background, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe appointed Ambassador Tomáš Boček as his Special Representative on Migration and Refugees. Mr Boček is responsible for gathering information on the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees in Europe, including through fact-finding missions, and making proposals for action.

He will seek to strengthen coordination of the relevant activities within the Council of Europe and to develop effective communication and coordination with international partners such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organisation for Migration, UNICEF, the EU and FRONTEX. One of his key priorities is the protection of migrant and refugee children.

The Special Representative took up his duties on 1st February 2016.