Asylum and Migration

The Asylum and Migration Working Group:

  • exchanges knowledge and experience in order to strengthen regional and international cooperation in the field of asylum and migration.
  • provides support to members in addressing contemporary challenges in this area.
  • gets members to work together to provide a stronger regional voice, in order to impact on policy, legislation and jurisprudence.
  • facilitates engagement with regional mechanisms on asylum and migration issues.
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Protecting the rights of migrants ©Gustave Deghilage / Flickr

Freedom of movement is both a human right and a fundamental freedom, which impacts on the enjoyment of many other human rights. The Asylum and Migration (A&M WG) began in 2008 by an informal network of lawyers working in different European National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs). It has grown ever since and has held annual meetings since 2010. In 2017, the A&M WG comprises representatives from 23 NHRIs from wider Europe.

A&M WG Priorities

  • monitoring detention/reception conditions of migrants.
  • analyzing return policies.
  • exploring alternatives to detention.
  • undocumented migrants and non-returnable persons.

ENNHRI Activities in the field of asylum and migration

In May 2017, ENNHRI and other NHRIs with a NPM mandate attended a Conference co-organised by the Council of Europe (CoE) and OSCE/ODIHR to discuss and input the first comprehensive set of rules on the administrative detention of migrants.
In January 2016, members of the Asylum and Migration working group participated in a Meeting of the thematic collaborative Platform on Asylum and Migration Platform with FRA, Council of Europe and Equinet. The main topics discussed at the meeting were integration, migrant children’s rights and actions of national bodies. Adriana Van Dooijeweert, in her quality of ENNHRI Working Group Chair, opened the session on the topic of integration.

Working group members actively contributed to

  • ENNHRI contribution to Council of Europe’s CDDH-Mig on alternative to migrant’s detention (December 2016)
  • ENNHRI General Assembly Statement on Human Rights concerns regarding the ongoing crisis of Europe‘s Migration System (March 2016)
  • ENNHRI Visit to Hotspots in Greece (July 2016)
  • WG chair attended meetings of Ombudsmen in Tirana and Istanbul to represent the working group and to inform about its activities. (September 2016)

ENNHRI Recent statements and position on asylum and migration

Other statements and declarations

  • Tirana Declaration on the occasion of the High Level Conference "Challenges of Ombudsman Institutions with respect to Mixed Migratory Flows" (7-8 September 2016, Tirana, Albania)