Migration and Refugees: Secretary General appoints Special Representative

Council of Europe to examine reported human rights violations against migrants and refugees
Secretary General Strasbourg 16 December 2015
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Following reports and allegations of human rights violations against migrants and refugees in Europe, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland is appointing a Special Representative on Migration and Refugees.

“I am alarmed by the many reports of ill-treatment of migrants and refugees across Europe today. Migrants and refugees in Council of Europe member states have the same fundamental rights as anyone else under the European Convention on Human Rights. We have an obligation to protect their rights, and, together with our international partner organisations, we need to address violations where and when they occur”, said Secretary General Jagland.

The Special Representative will undertake fact-finding missions, liaise with international partners including the UNHCR, IOM, UNICEF, EU, FRONTEX and reinforce the Council of Europe’s cooperation with these organisations.

The Special Representative's objective is to collect and analyse information on the human rights situation of migrants and refugees in Europe. This will enable the Council of Europe to provide better assistance and support to member states, especially in locations where a sudden increase in migrants and refugees poses serious challenges to the protection of their fundamental rights, in particular Article 3 “Inhuman and degrading treatments” and Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights “Right to liberty and security”.

Details of the appointment and mission of the Special Representative on Migration and Refugees will be announced shortly.

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