PICUM Bulletin — 10 December 2014


  • EU / EU Ombudsman launches an investigation into Frontex’s Joint Return Operations (JROs)

    The European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, announced on 22 October 2014 that her office has opened an investigation into how Frontex ensures respect of fundamental rights in the context of forced returns under the agency’s joint return operations (JROs). The EU Ombudsman addressed a list of questions to Frontex, including a question on how independent monitoring during JROs can be guaranteed. The inquiry is also looking at Frontex’s cooperation with national monitoring bodies as per Article 9(1b) of the Frontex Regulation and Article 8(6) of the Return Directive. Ms O’Reilly highlighted that “by their very nature, forced return operations have the potential to involve serious violations of fundamental rights. Through this investigation, I want to find out how Frontex is equipped to deal with potential violations and how it minimises the risk of such violations.” The Ombudsman’s letter to Frontex is available here.
    Source: European Ombudsman, Press release no. 20/2014, 22 October 2014

  • REPORT / Fundamental rights at land and air borders of the European Union

    The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) launched, on 11 November 2014, two reports focusing on the compliance with fundamental rights at air and land borders of the European Union. Analysing the border management and procedures and checks at five international airports and six land border crossing points, the report highlights that there is a need for border guards to be better trained on assessing individual circumstances and a more general need to ensure that adequate information is provided to persons who are subjected to advance checks or who are refused entry at the border, situations which significantly preclude migrants from accessing their right to an effective remedy, including the right to appeal against a refusal of entry. The report “Fundamental rights at land borders: findings from selected EU border crossing points” is available here. The report “Fundamental rights at airports: border checks at five international airports in the European Union” is available here.
    Source: EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, 10 November 2014

  • SPAIN / Call to stop amendment law which would violate human rights

    A group of 13 human rights organisations wrote a letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants, François Crépeau, and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, urging them to press the Spanish government to withdraw a proposed amendment to Spain’s immigration law. The proposed amendment would facilitate automatic and collective expulsion of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers from the borders of the two Spanish enclaves in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla. This would deprive migrants and refugees of the right to seek asylum and expose them to risk of serious human rights violations. If adopted, the amendment would formalise an ongoing but unlawful practice of returning migrants and asylum seekers without due process to Morocco, even after they have reached Spanish territory. Spanish border officials have several times been accused for using excessive force to return migrants (See PICUM Bulletin, 30 October 2014). A petition addressed to the Spanish Interior Minister and to the Popular Party Spokesperson to stop the amendment, can be signed here. To find more information to write a letter to the Spanish government, click here.
    Sources: Amnesty International, October 2014 ; Human Rights Watch, 30 October 2014 ; Europa Press, 30 October 2014

  • UN / New guidelines on human rights at international borders

    The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released its “Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights at International Borders” during the 69th  session of the UN General Assembly in New York on 23 October 2014. The guidelines address, among others, legal and policy frameworks, ensuring human rights in rescue and interception, screening and interviewing, avoiding detention, and return or removal. In reference to irregular migrants, the guidelines state that measures to address irregular migration shall not be discriminatory in purpose or effect. States shall also ensure that measures aimed at addressing irregular migration and combating transnational organised crime at international borders, shall not adversely affect the human rights and dignity of migrants. To view the guidelines, click here.

United Nations

  • UN / Rights of undocumented children and non-detention high on agenda on 25th anniversary of UN child rights convention

    Child rights actors celebrated Universal Children’s Day and the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) on 20 November 2014. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights named detention of migrant children as the first of four key challenges regarding children’s rights in Europe and called on states to expeditiously and completely end immigration detention of children, as advocated by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The urgent need to end the immigration detention of children was also raised in joint civil society statements from the Global Coalition on Migration (GCM) and the End Child Detention Campaign (ECD), which also led an International Day of Action to mark the anniversary, with several events organised globally around this time to address the issue. The day also saw the launch of the European Network on Statelessness’ campaign ‘None of Europe’s Children should be Stateless. The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the occasion of the anniversary of the CRC on 27 November 2014, which also includes provisions in relation to the protection of every child and the mainstreaming of children’s rights across all EU action. Further, the resolution recognises that every child is first and foremost a child whose rights should be fulfilled without discrimination, regardless of their or their parents’ ethnic origin, nationality or social, migration or residence status; and that much more needs to be done to ensure that the rights of migrant children are fully respected across the EU. The resolution is available here. The Council of the European Union has adopted draft Council Conclusions on the rights of the child on 4 December 2014. The Council Conclusions make a number of commitments relating to ensuring that the rights of children are protected across all policy areas that are relevant for undocumented children.

European Policy Developments

  • EUROPEAN COMMISSION / Finland should ensure access to a judicial body for migrants to challenge refusal of visa

    In a formal reasoned opinion issued to the competent national authorities on 26 November 2014, the European Commission urged Finland to ensure access to a judicial body for migrants willing to challenge the refusal, annulment or revocation of a visa. Currently, national law in Finland only envisages the possibility for applicants to appeal before non-judicial administrative authorities and not through a judicial appeal procedure, as required by the Visa Code Regulation and by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which affirms the right to an effective remedy before a court, in case of violation of rights and freedoms under EU law. The Finnish authorities will have to take the necessary measures to comply with the Commission’s request within two months of receipt of the reasoned opinion. Should the Finnish authorities fail to comply with the request, the European Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice. Previously, on 16 October 2014, the European Commission issued reasoned opinions on the same grounds to the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland and Slovakia.
    Source: European Commission Fact Sheet, 26 November 2014 ; European Commission Memo, 16 October 2014

  • EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT / Pope Francis asks EU for acceptance of migrants

    Pope Francis visited the European Parliament on 25 November 2014 in Strasbourg and called in his speech for more acceptance of migrants. The Pope highlighted the dignity of all human beings and stated “we cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast graveyard. Migrants need acceptance.” Nonetheless, his visit also triggered criticism that European Parliament head Martin Schulz invited the religious leader to address a secular body. It was the first pontifical visit since 1988 when John Paul II travelled to Strasbourg to address the EU Parliament at the time of the Cold War.
    Source: France 24, 25 November 2014

  • COUNCIL OF EUROPE / European Committee on Social Rights issues final decision on the case CEC v. the Netherlands

    In its decision on the case Conference of European Churches (CEC) v. the Netherlands, issued on 9 July 2014 and publicised on 10 November 2014, the European Committee of Social Rights concluded that the current Dutch social welfare system violates the rights of undocumented migrants and that it is not in conformity with Article 13.4 and with Article 31.2 of the European Social Charter, referring, respectively, to the right to social and medical assistance and to the right to housing. The Committee ruled that denying access to housing and healthcare to adult undocumented migrants without resources constitutes a violation of the European Social Charter and recalled that State Parties to the Charter shall provide appropriate assistance to persons requiring immediate and urgent need, in order to ensure the respect for human dignity as a core value of EU human rights law. The Committee concluded that States Parties to the Charter must provide adequate shelter to undocumented migrants, regardless of whether they have been requested to leave the country.
    Source: Council of Europe, 10 November 2014

  • COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION / Ruling in favour of undocumented workers’ rights in the Netherlands

    In its judgment of 5 November 2014, in the case C-311/13 (O. Tümer v Raad van bestuur van het Uitvoeringsinstituut werknemersverzekeringen), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in favour of the application to undocumented migrant workers of the protections established by the EU Directive on insolvency of employers. The case concerned the application of Mr Tümer, a Turkish national with no leave to remain in the Netherlands, to access his right to back pay as his employer became insolvent. Prior to the decision of the Court of Justice, according to Dutch legislation, undocumented migrants could not be considered “employees” for the purpose of the national application of EU law. The Court ruled that denying undocumented workers access to back pay when their employer becomes insolvent is “contrary to the social objectives of the directive” and thus clarified that member states could not refuse to apply the safeguards established by the directive to undocumented migrants.
    Source: Judgment of the Court (Fifth Chamber) of 5 November 2014, O. Tümer v Raad van bestuur van het Uitvoeringsinstituut werknemersverzekeringen, Case C-311/13.

  • COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION / Judgment on removal order in France

    The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued on 5 November 2014 its ruling on the Case C-166/13 Sophie Mukarubega v. Préfet de police and Préfet de la Seine-Saint-Denis, concerning the complaint against a removal order presented by Ms Sophie Mukarabega, a Rwandan national whose asylum application had been refused in 2012 by the French national authorities. In its ruling, the Court states that EU law does not pose an obligation on national authorities to undergo a specific hearing concerning a return decision, where a decision on the irregularity of the stay and a removal order have been issued at the same time. The Court also highlights that a separate hearing is not necessary in cases where the applicant has had the opportunity to be heard and to effectively present his/her point of view on the question of both, the irregular stay and the removal decision. Noting that Ms Mukarabega had a hearing about her irregular stay and was able to submit her observations on that subject, the Court concludes that the adoption of a removal order by the French authorities was not in breach of the right to be heard enshrined within the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. The ruling is available here.
    Source: Court of Justice of the European Union, Press Release No 142/14, 5 November 2014

National Developments

  • BELGIUM / About 50 undocumented migrants on hunger strike

    Since 17 November 2014, a group of approximately 50 undocumented migrants, including eight women, has been on a hunger strike in Brussels, Belgium. The group asks for their rights to be heard and to be regularised. The Belgian Foreigners’ Office (L’Office des Étrangers) stated that they had not yet received any official statement. A spokesperson for the office stated that a hunger strike, considered as blackmail, would usually not lead the office to make adjustments concerning the status of the migrants. Most of the migrants on the hunger strike have been staying in a squat in Brussels and some were recently featured in a documentary about the lives of undocumented migrants in Belgium.
    Source: DH.net, 23 November 2014

  • IRELAND / New data on undocumented migrants in Ireland

    The Migrants Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) published a new study on 26 November 2014 about the lives of undocumented migrants in Ireland. The data, which was collected by MRCI and its Justice for the Undocumented campaign group, reveals that there are between 20,000 and 26,000 undocumented migrants living in the country at present. The vast majority (81%) have been in Ireland for five or more years. 87% of undocumented migrants in Ireland are working and over 86% entered the country regularly and then became undocumented. Migrants of 29 different nationalities were surveyed, with the majority being Filipino, Chinese, Mauritian, Brazilian and Pakistani.
    Sources: Migrants Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), 26 November 2014 ; The Irish Times, 26 November 2014

  • IRELAND / Victims’ Rights Alliance: Implementing and Enforcing the Victims’ Rights Directive in the European Union

    The Victims’ Rights Alliance (VRA) together with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties-led JUSTICIA European Rights Network organised a conference on 14 November 2014 focusing on the “Implementation and Enforcement of the Victims’ Rights Directive in Ireland”. The international conference aimed at exploring the legal and administrative infrastructure needed to facilitate the provision of adequate information, support and protection to all victims of crime, regardless of their residence status, as provided for by the EU Victims’ Rights Directive, due to be incorporated into the EU member states’ national laws by 16 November 2015. The programme of the conference is available here. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties’ press release of the conference can be downloaded here . The JUSTICIA network’s report on the Victims’ Directive, “Know Your Rights on the Victims’ Directive” is available here. The report is also available in Latvian, Greek and Hungarian.

  • SPAIN / Campaign challenges sensationalism of media

    A campaign by the Spanish organisation Red Acoge challenges the sensationalist approach of media towards migration. With the coined term ‘Inmigracionalismo’ derived from ‘immigration’ and ‘sensationalism’, the campaign has launched a website with information and audiovisual resources to raise awareness about the issue. To find out more about the campaign, click here.

Health Care

  • EU / Europe-wide standards for gynaecology care should ensure separation from immigration control

    The European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (EBCOG) has produced Standards of Care for women’s health services in Europe for obstetric and neonatal services and for gynaecology services. The Standards of Care are intended to address variations and inequities in access to care and will lead to a clearer understanding about what standards of treatment patients can and should expect. The Standards of Care focus on safety, care, dignity and treatment of patients.  Included in the generic or cross-cutting standards for all gynaecology services are that local protocols should be developed to support equal access to health care needs for all vulnerable groups, including the migrant population, through patient information; and that migrants in an irregular situation seeking medical assistance should not be apprehended at or next to medical facilities. Read the guidelines here.

Labour and Fair Working Conditions

  • GERMANY / Left unionists want to integrate undocumented migrants and refugees in unions

    A new alliance for union rights for refugees and undocumented migrants was founded in Berlin through the initiative of the unionist group ‘Ver.di aktiv’ in November 2014. The initiative follows the occupation of undocumented migrants and refugees of the headquarters of the German Trade Union Federation (DGB) in September 2014. The action did not result in solidarity but in the forced removal of the occupants by the police on 2 October 2014. Supporters and some unionists were outraged by the forced removal of occupants. In 2013, the service employees’ union Ver.di in Hamburg admitted about 300 undocumented migrants and refugees who are mostly of sub-Saharan origin, came through Lampedusa to Germany  and are part of the initiative ‘Lampedusa in Hamburg’. Despite some resistance within the union, their membership was accepted.
    Source: Neues Deutschland, 5 December 2014 ; Ver.di aktiv, November 2014

Undocumented Women

  • IRELAND / Case of asylum seeking woman highlights ongoing failures of Ireland’s abortion laws

    A recent case of a woman who came to Ireland to seek asylum in March 2014 and wanted to have an abortion which was denied and subsequently had a caesarean so that her child could be placed in care, has increased calls for free, safe and legal access to abortion for all women living and working in Ireland. Through interpreters, the woman told a number of state agencies she would “rather die” than proceed with the pregnancy because it resulted from rape in her country of origin. In the early stages of her pregnancy, she received information from a family planning association regarding the procedure required to obtain an abortion abroad. The woman attempted to travel to the UK on her own but was arrested in the UK for irregular entry, taken into custody by UK immigration services and was then returned to Ireland. By the time she accessed care in Ireland, she was told her pregnancy was too advanced. Transferred to a maternity hospital, she was told she would be detained under mental health legislation if she tried to leave. She began to refuse food and fluids and after 40 hours of refusing fluids, health authorities offered her an immediate Caesarean section. Her baby was delivered at 25 weeks and placed into state care. A leaked report from Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) identified “missed opportunities” and found that the various agencies dealing with the woman were constrained by the legislation. The case is now the subject to reviews.
    Sources: Irish Independent, 2 November 2014 ; Irish Times, 4 October 2014 ; The Irish Times, 11 October 2014

  • USA / Access to safe and legal abortion denied to undocumented women in South Texas

    In October 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decided that in the interests of “patient safety”, Texas can legally require all abortion clinics to meet hospital-style equipment and staffing standards — a decision which closed 13 clinics overnight, including the last remaining clinic in the poverty-stricken Rio Grande Valley. Undocumented women who, with the aim to get an abortion, cross one of the inland border patrol checkpoints, which are located near the border to Mexico along major U.S. highways to deter those who might have bypassed official crossings, risk deportation.  Until two years ago, 41 abortion clinics operated in Texas, including four which were accessible without crossing an inland checkpoint. But after restrictions were enacted, only eight clinics remain in the whole state and none fall below the wall of checkpoints. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found there were 18 moving “tactical checkpoints” stationed within 100 miles of the Mexico-Texas border on roads leading north. In addition, permanent checkpoints are stationed on major highways, including US-281, the highway a woman would take to make the four-hour journey from the Rio Grande Valley to the nearest clinic that remains open in San Antonio. An estimated 1.65 million undocumented people live in state of Texas. While Customs and Border point to a temporary humanitarian parole program that would allow a woman to enter the country for a short period of time if she agreed to return immediately after, each application costs upwards of $100 and can take up to 120 business days to process. Advocates insist this is not a real option for most of the undocumented women they work with.
    Source: Fusion, 10 October 2014

Undocumented Children and Their Families

  • REPORT / What states can do to ensure respect for the best interests of unaccompanied and separated children in Europe

    A new report from UNICEF and UNHCR aims to support states to fulfil their responsibilities to protect the rights and best interests of unaccompanied and separated children in Europe. Entitled ‘Safe and Sound’ the report presents key safeguards and procedural guarantees, as well as good practices, to ensure unaccompanied and separated children’s rights are upheld and best interests respected through the process of arrival, access to the territory, registration, referral to state child protection systems, process planning, applying the best interests principle in asylum and immigration procedures, identifying a durable solution and monitoring. Although some of the guidance is specific to the situation of unaccompanied and separated children, many of the principles and safeguards are relevant for all children in immigration and asylum procedures, including those accompanied by their parents of other caregivers. The report also considers protection measures for unaccompanied and separated children turning 18, and therefore undocumented adults. Read the report here.

  • UN / CRC concluding observations on Croatia and Hungary urge better protection of migrant children

    In the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s report on the child rights situation in Croatia, the Committee notes that the reception facilities are not appropriate for unaccompanied and separated children and recommends to make them conform to applicable United Nations standards. In the Committee’s report on the child rights situation in Hungary, it urges the State Party to implement its laws that prohibit discrimination against categories of children in marginalized and disadvantaged situations, such as migrant and unaccompanied children, to take measures to educate the public about equality and non-discrimination and to expand its programmes in schools, as well as ensure that asylum-seeking, unaccompanied and migrant children are not administratively detained under any circumstance. Both countries are encouraged to strengthen efforts to ensure that the best interests of the child principle is appropriately integrated and consistently applied in all legislative, administrative and judicial proceedings as well as in all policies, programmes and projects relevant to and with an impact on children; and urged to ensure equal access to education and health services for all children without discrimination. Read the report for Croatia here and the report for Hungary here.

  • REPORTS / Policy documents on education for migrant children and young people

    The SIRIUS Network on the education of children and young people with a migrant background has released an Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe and the supporting recommendations for EU institutions and for Member State authorities, which presents a vision on migrant education and a set of policy recommendations that aim to promote a more inclusive education system and lead to a decrease in the achievement gap between pupils with and without a migrant background. The agenda begins by establishing, as a starting point, that all learners should have full access to high quality education and vocational training in inclusive settings, regardless of their parents’ education or income level, ethnicity, gender, language(s) spoken at home or migration or residence status. There are also specific recommendations about equal access to high quality vocational education and training for all, regardless of residence status. Read the agenda here.  Alongside the agenda, the SIRIUS network and Migration Policy Institute are releasing a series of six policy briefs. The first, entitled Enhancing EU education policy: Building a framework to help young people of migrant background succeed, provides an overview of how education policies can be improved for children of migrant background (migrants from countries outside of the European Union or the children of such migrants). The two subsequent briefs that have been released explore mentoring and developing school capacity for diversity. All the briefs are/will be available (in English, French, German and Spanish) here.

Detention and Deportation

  • AUSTRALIA / Investigation into claims of sexual abuse in Nauru detention centre

    The Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced in early October an inquiry to examine allegations of sexual abuse and the conduct of contractors at the Nauru detention centre, following pressure from Green and Labour politicians. The claims include that women inside the centre were being sexually exploited in order to have access to the showers, and that children were being forced to have sex in front of guards at the centre. The inquiry will also investigate allegations that Save the Children employees, who were contracted to provide welfare, education and protection for children on Nauru, encouraged the children to protest and coached self-harm in an effort to undermine the detention system, allegations that Save the Children strongly rejects.
    Source: ABC News, 3 October 2014 ; ABC News, 30 September 2014 ; Child Rights Information Network, CRINmail 1399, 16 October 2014

  • CANADA / Inquiry following suicide of Mexican woman facing deportation

    A coroner’s inquest into the death of Lucia Jimenez, a Mexican woman who faced deportation and committed suicide in a holding cell of Canada Border Services Agency (CSBA) took place in Burnaby, British Colombia in early October 2014. The 42-year-old hotel worker hanged herself inside a shower stall at the Vancouver airport holding cells on December 20, 2013. After being apprehended by a transit police officer for an unpaid fare, Ms Jimenez passed several institutions in the last months of her life. Two women who befriended Jimenez at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, said she confided in them a fear of torture or death if returned home. The inquest heard that it took Ms Jiminez over three weeks to get a lawyer through legal aid, and when she finally did so it was due to the support of other detainees at Alouette Correctional Centre and not from the facility’s staff. As a result, the deadline to file a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) had passed and deportation was imminent. A former employee of the private security company Genesis also admitted to falsifying room check records at CSBA, allegedly due to understaffing the morning that Lucia was found. Although Lucia was in the shower stall for at least 40 minutes, the falsified records indicate she was in a cell at the time. The coroner’s inquest jury has recommended that a new immigration holding centre be built within proximity to Vancouver airport, and stated it should be staffed by CBSA staff rather than contract employees.
    Sources: The Insider, 6 October 2014 ; CBC News, 7 October 2014 ; Huffington Post, 30 September 2014

  • GREECE / Continuous ill-treatment of irregular migrants in detention facilities and police stations

    On 16 October 2014, the delegation of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published a report on the conditions of irregular migrants in Greece. The report details visits to 24 police and border-guard stations, nine detention facilities and seven prisons throughout the country. The Committee reported numerous accounts of  physical abuse of migrants in police stations and detention centres, and was particularly critical of the conditions for unaccompanied minors. Furthermore, a previous visit in 2011 shows that despite the criticism the country has received, the ill-treatment of irregular migrants continues to be a problem. Mohamed Asfak, a 26-year-old migrant from Pakistan who was detained at the migrant detention centre in Amygdaleza, near Athens, died on 6 November 2014 after having suffered severe respiratory problems. He was taken to a hospital only once his condition became life threatening. To protest against the death of Mohamed Asfak, the poor detention conditions and systematic detention, hundreds of migrants held at the Amygdaleza detention centre went on hunger strike from 17 to 21 November. The Amygdaleza detention centre has a total capacity of 1,000 inmates, but currently holds approximately 1,600 migrants, including children.
    Sources: The Wall Street Journal´s Brussels Blog, 16 October 2014  ; Infomobile, 20 November 2014 ; in.gr, 20 November 2014

  • ITALY / Report on how undocumented migrants can challenge expulsion and detention orders and access justice

    In a report entitled “’Undocumented’ Justice for Migrants in Italy”, published in October 2014, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) presents a legal analysis of the available avenues for undocumented migrants to challenge expulsion and detention orders in Italy. The report highlights the inadequacies of the Italian system in securing access to justice and substantive and procedural rights to undocumented migrants at national level. The report also stresses the need for the national courts to interpret national legislation in line with Italy’s international obligations in order to ensure compliance with EU law and international human rights law.
    Source: International Commission of Jurists, 30 October 2014

Publications and other Resources

  • TERMINOLOGY / Leaflet promoting accurate language available in Dutch, Italian and Greek

    A pocket-sized leaflet which provides reasons why not to use the term ‘illegal migrant’, a lexicon with translations of ‘undocumented migrant’ and/or ‘irregular migrant’ in all EU languages and an overview of key institutions who have already committed to accurate terminology in reference to undocumented migrants is now also available in the following languages: Dutch, Italian and Greek. The leaflet is the major tool of the campaign ‘Words Matter’ which was launched by the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) in June 2014 and advocates for fair language when referring to undocumented migrants. For more information on the campaign, click here.


  • EU / Fundamental Rights Conference 2014

    The Fundamental Rights Conference organised by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) took place on 10 and 11 November in Rome and focused on “Fundamental Rights and Migration into the European Union.” Building on the strategic guidelines for legislative and policy planning in the area of freedom, security and justice, adopted by the European Council in June 2014, the conference highlighted key fundamental rights challenges to be taken into consideration when referring to migration policies. The conference was co-hosted by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and brought together over 250 practitioners and policy makers to address migration management from a fundamental rights perspective. A full recording of the conference is available here. The conclusions of the conference are available here.
    Source: EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Rights Conference 2014

  • UNESCO / EVENT / Gender, Violence and Rights of the Child: a focus on Europe

    On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNESCO together with the French organisation Adéquations organised on 25 November 2014 a panel discussion in Paris, on “Gender, Violence and Rights of the Child“. The event also addressed the barriers faced by undocumented migrant women and undocumented children when seeking access to services and access to justice in Europe. Legislative and policy opportunities to prevent violence and advance all victims’ rights, as for example the EU Victims’ Directive and the Council of Europe’s Convention of the Elimination of Violence against Women (Istanbul Convention) which came into force on 1 August 2014 were highlighted as well.
    Source: UNESCO, 25 November 2014


  • BELGIUM / Can the EU Seasonal Workers’ Directive end exploitation?

    The Belgian news magazine featured a series on seasonal work and exploitation. PICUM Advocacy Officer, Kadri Soova, was quoted in an article on the EU Seasonal Workers’ Directive and exploitation of undocumented migrant workers.
    Alter Echos, 25 November 2014

  • BELGIUM / A humanitarian approach to migration

    An article of Mondiaal Nieuws which covered a Red Cross Conference on migration held in November 2014 quoted PICUM Director, Michele LeVoy and highlighted PICUM’s ‘WordsMatter!’ campaign on accurate terminology.
    Mondiaal Nieuws, 21 November 2014

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