Today the Commissioner took part in the hearing before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of N.D. and N.T. v. Spain in relation to two complaints concerning alleged summary returns of migrants from the Spanish city of Melilla to Morocco.
Commissioner Mijatović explained that her decision to take part in this hearing was prompted by “the special importance this case has for the protection of the human rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.”
Among the key human rights issues at stake in these cases, the Commissioner emphasised the protection against collective expulsions and safeguards against violations of the principle of non-refoulement, underscoring that the practice of summary returns of migrants raises a number of human rights concerns.
“This practice deprives them of the possibility of being identified, of having their individual situation duly assessed and of having access to an effective remedy”, said the Commissioner.
She stressed that the challenges states meet in managing migratory flows cannot justify practices incompatible with their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.
This was Commissioner Mijatović’s first appearance before the Court since the start of her mandate in April 2018.
Third party interventions represent an additional tool at the Commissioner’s disposal to help promote and protect human rights. They are foreseen by the European Convention on Human Rights and are based on the Commissioner’s country and thematic activities.