Tagged: EU

The CIE Archipelago: Inquiry into the Italian Centres for Identification and Expulsion

ArcipelagoCIE
CIEs are a shameful reality across Europe. The Italian NGO Medici per i Diritti Umani (MEDU) recently published a report “The CIE Archipelago: Inquiry into the Italian Centres for Identification and Expulsion.” The MEDU report includes an overview of the situation of 11 CIEs in Italy and a comparative analysis of CIEs elsewhere in Europe. The summary of the report is available here.

Fundamental rights of migrants in an irregular situation in the European Union

New FRA Comparative report

Securing the fundamental rights of migrants in an irregular situation – those who do not fulfil conditions for entry, stay or residence in an EU Member State – remains a challenge. Such migrants are at high risk of exploitation in the labour market, often filling market gaps by working at dangerous, dirty or degrading jobs. Their housing situation can be precarious. Their right to healthcare is unevenly protected; their children’s right to education remains unclear. While EU Member States have a right to control immigration, non-compliance with migration regulations cannot deprive migrants in an irregular situation of certain basic rights to which they are entitled as human beings. This FRA report examines the legal and practical challenges facing EM Member States as they strive to guarantee such migrants’ fundamental rights and proposes ways to incorporate those rights into the policies, laws and administrative practices that affect migrants in irregular situations.

Link: http://bit.ly/1axwaFs

EU policy on irregular migration is “fundamentally at odds with the human rights approach”

Last Thursday, the European Parliament’s Human Rights Committee (DROI) heard from a number of speakers on the compliance of Frontex with its human rights responsibilities. A short video posted on the Parliament’s website shows some of the key comments from the session, of which the most scathing came from a statement by François Crépeau, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.

In a statement read by Paul d’Auchamp from the Brussels section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the committee heard that “within the EU policy context, irregular migration remains largely viewed as a security concern that must be stopped. This is fundamentally at odds with the human rights approach concerning the conceptualisation of migrants as individuals and equal holders of human rights.”

Other speakers before the committee discussed the introduction of more stringent human rights requirements for Frontex. Immaculada Arnaez Fernandez, the agency’s recently-appointed Fundamental Rights Officer, noted that her work was “very focused on establishing procedures and systems that will allow to mainstream human rights in all activities from the beginning.”

Stefan Kessler, a member of the Frontex Consultative Forum that was established last year and is made up of a number of NGOs and human rights organisations, said that the Forum is “not just looking to agree principles on paper, but rather develop concrete standards and mechanisms to guarantee the rights of migrants.”

However, he noted that all members of the Forum are “aware of the fact that neither we nor the Fundamental Rights Officer can solve the more structural problems of Frontex” and that the Forum has little real power: it “is not a decision-making body but can only give recommendations.”

Other comments can be seen in the video: Implementation of the new regulation of FRONTEX: extracts from the meeting

FRA Director holds speech on combating hate crime in Europe and beyond

“Hate crimes speak to people who sympathise with the offender and whose biased attitudes the offender confirms and reinforces. They say ‘don’t think you’re wanted here, because you’re not. And don’t think you’re safe, because we’ve already shown you’re not – and it could happen again. Be scared’.”

FRA Director Morten Kjaerum held a speech entitled Innocent figures: why we need more facts at the conference ‘Right-wing extremism and hate crime: minorities under pressure in Europe and beyond’ in Oslo on 14-15 May.

He began by talking of the gaps in data collection that can impede the search for lasting and effective solutions to the phenomenon of hate crime. This leaves the majority of such crimes unrecognised, unprosecuted and therefore invisible. The gaps are due both to under-reporting by victims, who often lack confidence in the authorities’ ability to afford them protection, and to under-recording by national governments. At present, only four EU Member States collect comprehensive data on hate crime, while differences of classification in national crime statistics often make it impossible to make comparisons between countries.

FRA research shows clearly that hate crime is a major problem in the EU today. This is particularly the case in the wake of the EU’s economic crisis, with violent extremism on the rise in a number of countries. Of the 93,000 respondents to FRA’s 2012 LGBT survey, 26% had experienced violence in the five years preceding the survey, with the figure rising to 35% for transgender people. In a survey of Jewish communities, FRA found that 26% had experienced some form of harassment in the 12 months preceding the survey.

The Director emphasised that hate crime transcends the experiences of the individuals directly involved, as homophobic, racist and other crimes motivated by prejudice create an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality that harms entire groups and society as a whole. This means it is all the more important for countries to introduce enhanced penalties for bias-motivated crimes, thus making perpetrators fully accountable for their actions.

At the end of his speech, the Director underlined the fact that hate crime is not just a phenomenon that affects a few individuals marginal to society, but a direct attack on the democratic principle of equality and the assumption that each person in a democratic society can live without fear of violence and discrimination.

Original link: http://fra.europa.eu/en/news/2013/fra-director-holds-speech-combating-hate-crime-europe-and-beyond

Pro Igual joins ENRAC

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In May 2013 Pro Igual joined the European Network of Rights Advice Centres (ENRAC). ENRAC is a joint initiative of Kent University in Brussels, the Kent Law Clinic and the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)

The Network´s mission is problem-solving of difficult cases through collective action and contribution to improvements in European policy and legislation. It is a not-for-profit service and is comprised of existing not-for-profit organizations and/or legal clinics on a national level which are able to assist citizens in upholding their European rights before the national authorities.

Pro Igual hopes through participation in the Network to provide better assistance to our target groups, including foreigners, minorities and others at risk of exclusion and discrimination, with asserting their fundamental rights vis-a-vis Spanish public authorities.

Sign Amnesty International´s Petition: Human rights here, Roma rights now

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Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner on Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Roma across Europe – 6 million in the EU – are the largest and most disadvantaged minority in the region.

Thousands of Roma are forced to live in informal settlements; they are forcibly evicted from their homes, and, if not left homeless, are resettled in inadequate conditions. Each year, thousands of Roma children are segregated in schools offering inferior education. Many Roma are denied access to jobs and quality health care. They are victims of racially motivated violence, often left without police protection or access to justice.

This is not a coincidence. It is the result of widespread discrimination and racism facing Roma across Europe.

Many EU member states fail to enforce, in policy and practice, not just international human rights standards, but also EU anti-discrimination law. The European Commission has the competence, responsibility and obligation to ensure compliance with this law and fight against the discrimination facing Roma.

The EU prides itself on being founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. This continues to ring hollow while millions of Roma are denied their basic human rights due to discrimination.

I urge you to use all your powers, including sound legal monitoring and political pressure, to guarantee the compliance of EU member states with EU anti-discrimination law and uphold equal rights for all.

FRA brief: Crimes Motivated by Hatred and Prejudice in the EU

The March 2013 brief by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) provides information about the situation on the ground in the EU as well as suggestions for the way in which the EU and its Member States could better address crimes motivated by hatred and prejudice.

CIDH Pro Igual es Asociación sin ánimo de lucro registrada en el Ministerio del Interior con el nº 595496.