War in Ukraine
The Commissioner and her Office have been actively engaged in the response to the human rights consequences of the war in Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict.
This engagement has so far involved, among other things, a series of monitoring missions carried out in March 2022 to countries receiving people fleeing Ukraine; two visits to Ukraine (in May 2022 and in February 2023), including a field visit in the Kyiv region; and a Memorandum on the human rights consequences of the war in Ukraine, published in July 2022.
Moreover, it has involved regular exchanges with Ukrainian authorities, including Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, representatives of Parliament, and Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as with the Office of the ICC Prosecutor and international governmental and non-governmental organisations.
The Commissioner has also been in direct contact with Ukrainian and Russian human rights defenders and published statements on specific human rights issues and the situation of particularly vulnerable persons.
She will continue to use her mandate to address the human rights violations resulting from the war in Ukraine.
Commissioner draws attention to Crimean Tatars’ struggle for human rights
“Crimean Tatars in Crimea, and especially those opposing Crimea’s illegal annexation or expressing dissent, are being subjected to numerous patterns of serious violations of human rights, persecution, discrimination, and stigmatisation by the Russian occupying authorities. This is further...
Urgent action needed to reunite Ukrainian children transferred to Russia and Russian-occupied territories with their families
“Russia’s failure to return Ukrainian children separated from their families and legal guardians is a serious violation of their human rights. Concrete mechanisms and solutions must urgently be identified and used to reunite these children with their families,” said today the Council of Europe...
Brutal aggression against Ukraine: One Year On
Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs and President of the Committee of Ministers Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, President of the Parliamentary Assembly Tiny Kox, Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović as well as President of the Congress...
Commissioner stresses the importance of solidarity with and among human rights defenders
"Human rights defenders need more solidarity from member states, their citizens and civil society, as well as solidarity among themselves", said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, in a conference organised today in Oslo by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee in...
World Children's Day
Protecting and supporting children impacted by the war in Ukraine must be top priority
“The war in Ukraine has been devastating for children. Council of Europe member states should redouble their efforts to protect and support the children who are suffering as a result of Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović,...
Justice for victims of missile attacks on Ukraine’s civilian population
The deadly hail of missiles and rockets that rained on Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro and dozens of other cities in Ukraine this morning and yesterday is a stark reminder of the Russian regime’s utter disdain for human suffering in the pursuance of its aggression against Ukraine. Many lives were lost...
The Commissioner publishes her memorandum on the human rights consequences of the war in Ukraine
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published today a memorandum addressing the human rights consequences of the war in Ukraine. It aims to address some of the humanitarian and human rights consequences of the war and to highlight issues which require urgent...
LGBTI people affected by the war in Ukraine need protection
“On the occasion of this year’s International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, I call on all member states to pay attention to the situation of LGBTI people who are either still in Ukraine or are fleeing the war, so that their vulnerability and needs are fully taken into account...
Visit to Ukraine: Commissioner Mijatović calls for continuous support and justice for victims of the war
“The extent and gravity of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have taken place as a result of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine are staggering. Providing redress and support for victims and their families and delivering justice will be an...
People in the besieged city of Mariupol must urgently be protected from harm
As the fighting around the besieged steel plant in the ruined city of Mariupol intensifies, there is growing uncertainty and concern about the life and human rights of those who still remain in the areas under siege. Many civilians, among them women, children and older persons, reportedly still...
Kramatorsk: Those responsible for the terrible loss of civilian life must be held accountable
For dozens of civilians who waited at the railway station in Kramatorsk this morning, hoping to evacuate from areas at risk of attacks by the Russian forces, the journey to safety ended in a bloodbath as the station’s grounds were struck by ballistic missiles. Hundreds more were reportedly...
Visit to Vatican City
His Holiness Pope Francis and Commissioner Mijatović discuss the human rights of migrants and the humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine
Today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, met with His Holiness Pope Francis during a private Audience held in the Vatican City. The Commissioner highlighted her main concerns relating to the erosion in the protection of the human rights of migrants,...
Statement on International Roma Day
Let us fight discrimination and prejudices against Roma fleeing the war in Ukraine
Ahead of International Roma Day, my thoughts are with Ukrainian Roma who not only suffer from the consequences of the horrific war in Ukraine but also often face discrimination and prejudices in Europe when fleeing Ukraine. In these difficult times, it is even more important to protect Roma and...
Justice needed for residents of Bucha and all other victims of the war in Ukraine
The images of lifeless bodies of civilians, brutally killed in Bucha, render speechless. They provide a haunting illustration to shocking reports of violations of human rights and breaches of international humanitarian law, such as summary executions, abductions, torture, sexual violence, and...
Life-saving humanitarian and medical aid should immediately be allowed to reach the residents of Mariupol
The image of besieged Mariupol that emerges from reports and survivors’ testimonies is one of unspeakable human suffering as a result of serious human rights violations committed there on a daily basis. Thousands of residents of the city are increasingly desperate as drinking water, food, and...
Missions to the Czech Republic, Hungary Poland, Romania and Slovakia
Commissioner urges more coordinated efforts by all member states to meet the humanitarian needs and protect the human rights of people fleeing the war in Ukraine
“All member states should strengthen their efforts to coordinate – both at domestic and European levels – and scale up support for the response to the humanitarian and human rights needs of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Medium and long-term planning is urgently needed to ensure...
Commissioner’s further steps on the human rights consequences of the war in Ukraine
Commissioner Mijatović and her team will visit the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Romania from 16 to 22 March 2022 to focus on efforts made in assisting people fleeing the war in Ukraine and assessing their human rights needs. At the end of those missions, the...
Mission to the Republic of Moldova
More support urgently needed to assist people fleeing the war in Ukraine and countries of arrival, in particular the Republic of Moldova
“Beyond the prompt humanitarian response already provided by European states to people fleeing the war in Ukraine, more support is urgently needed to protect their human rights and to support countries of arrival, in particular the Republic of Moldova”, said today the Council of Europe...
Russian authorities should stop the unprecedented crackdown on freedoms of expression, assembly and association in the country
Russia's military attack against Ukraine has lasted for almost 12 days now, causing death and destruction. It is also leading to a large-scale repression of freedoms in the Russian Federation. Since the war began, more than 13 000 people, including children and elderly people, have been arrested...
Human Rights Comment
Not a target – the need to reinforce the safety of journalists covering conflicts
There are many areas around the world, particularly in conflict or post-conflict zones, where it is dangerous, even life-threatening, to practice journalism. The war in Ukraine provides yet another tragic illustration of the vulnerability of journalists in conflict situations. While it is...