On 26 and 27 June 2018, during it summer part-session, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted three resolutions and two recommendations proposed by the Committee on “Humanitarian situation in the Countries neighbouring Syria” (rapporteur Manlio Di Stefano, NR) “Human rights impact of the ‘external dimension’ of European Union asylum and migration policy: out of sight, out of rights?” (rapporteur Tineke Strik, Netherlands, SOC) and “The extra-territorial processing of asylum claims and the creation of safe refugee shelters abroad” (rapporteur Domagoj Hajduković, Croatia, SOC). An urgent debate was held on “International obligations of Council of Europe member States: to protect life at sea”, which resulted in the adoption of a resolution and a recommendation urging states to put their duty to save lives at sea before any other considerations. Petra De Sutter (Belgium, SOC), the General Rapporteur on Conditions of Reception of migrants, is carrying out a fact-finding mission to Greece on 10-13 July 2018. She will visit camps in Kavala, Lesvos and Moria and meet local and regional authorities, international organisations and migrants. Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC), was appointed General Rapporteur on ending immigration detention of children and he carred out a fact-finding mission to Burkina Faso on 1-12 July 2018 in preparation of his report on Development cooperation as a tool for avoiding migration crises, and to observe the implementation of cooperation projects in the country.
The third phase of the Parliamentary Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children has now been launched, thanks to a new voluntary contribution of 258 104€ from the Swiss Government. Practical outputs include a guide on monitoring places where children are deprived of their liberty for immigration purposes, which is also available in French and Arabic. This third phase of the Campaign will focus further on promoting positive and protective alternatives to detention and access to rights for children in migration, in particular during age assessment procedures, in synergy with the Ad hoc Committee for the Rights of the Child (CAHENF), which oversees the implementation of the Strategy for the Rights of the Child 2016-2021. On 23 July 2018, in the framework of the Campaign, the PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons is organising a visit for parliamentarians to two shelters for unaccompanied children operated by SOS Children’s Villages in Greece.
On 24 September 2018, following an invitation of the Ukrainian Parliament, the next meeting of the Parliamentary Network on Diaspora Policies of PACE, will be held in Kyiv, Ukraine. During that meeting, a European Diaspora Prize will be awarded for best initiatives of diaspora associations “supporting integration of diaspora members in host countries while promoting and fostering their cultural identity and developing links with and providing support to the countries of origin”. Nominations, which must be submitted in one of the two official languages of the Council of Europe (English or French), should reach the Secretariat of the Migration Committee before 15 August 2018. The application form and more details on the selection procedure can be found on the Network web page.