On 9 and 10 June, the Special Representative on Migration and Refugees (SRSG), Leyla Kayacik, chaired the 5th meeting of the Network of Focal Points on Migration. The meeting, in a hybrid format, gathered participants from relevant ministries dealing with migration issues, coming from 40 member states. The meeting followed up on the extraordinary meeting of the Network held on 9 March 2022 in the context of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine and the SRSG updated the Network on her activities.
Member states provided updates on the situation of people fleeing Ukraine since the last meeting in March, and the Council of Europe informed participants on initiatives and new standards relevant for migrants and refugees, such as the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member States on protecting the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls and the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member States on multilevel policies and governance for intercultural integration.
“I am very pleased that the Network is now including Focal Points on Migration from all 46 member states of the Council of Europe. In these critical times, the Network has a central role in addressing human rights challenges and in exchanging good practices”, said the Special Representative.
For the first time, a thematic discussion on child-friendly approaches and procedures in migration was organised, as reflected in the Council of Europe Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Asylum and Migration in Europe. Setting the scene for the thematic discussion, Arezo Karimi, a refugee girl from Afghanistan, who now lives in Sweden, gave a testimony of her own experience.
The new Council Of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2022-2027): “Children’s Rights in Action: from continuous implementation to joint innovation” was presented with a focus on migrant and refugee children. The meeting agenda also included a presentation of compliance reports adopted by the Lanzarote Committee, the new Council of Europe guidance on family-based care for unaccompanied and separated children and an overview of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights on the rights of refugee and migrant children. An update on the progress of the implementation of the Council of Europe Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum in Europe was also presented.