ENNHRI Asylum and Migration Working Group met in Brussels to define priorities for 2019

ENNHRI Asylum & Migration Working Group meeting - 13-14 November 2018, Brussels, Belgium

On 13-14 November 2018, representatives from 14 European National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) met in Brussels for ENNHRI’s Asylum and Migration Working Group meeting. The members of the Working Group shared their work in the field of asylum and migration, discussed developments at the regional and international levels and defined the WG priorities for 2019.

The Working Group members reiterated that “asylum and migration” remains a priority topic for their NHRIs and have shared with their peers the different activities they carry out in this area at the national level. From monitoring detention centres at the borders to providing advice on legislative proposals, NHRIs increasingly make use of their broad human rights mandate to promote and protect the rights of migrants. In this meeting, European NHRIs had the opportunity to discuss challenges and to share good practices when working on the asylum and migration issues.

The Working Group also elected a new Chair: Maja Kević, Deputy Ombudswoman from the Croatian NHRI. On this occasion, Ms Kević recalled:

“Refugees and migrants are entitled to the same universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, which must be respected, protected and fulfilled at all times. (…) NHRIs must contribute not only to the creation of a culture of non-discrimination and respect of human rights principles, but should also tackle the rising negative public discourse on migration across Europe. NHRIs have an important role and unique opportunity to be active in challenging xenophobic discourse, opening dialogues and creating more inclusive societies.”

The Asylum and Migration Working Group expressed its gratitude and appreciation to its former Chair, Adriana Van Dooijeweert from the Netherlands NHRIs, for her outstanding work, commitment and guidance in the past years.

With regard to the thematic priorities for 2019, the Working Group discussed paying particular attention to the human rights situation of migrants at the borders, issues with regard to immigration detention and the need to engage with relevant European stakeholders on policy and legislative developments in the field of asylum and migration.

About the Asylum and Migration Working Group

The Asylum and Migration Working Group began in 2008 by an informal network of lawyers working in different European NHRIs. It has grown ever since and has held annual meetings since 2010. In 2018, it comprises over 23 NHRIs from wider Europe that work together to better promote and protect the human rights of migrants, asylum applicants and refugees in Europe.

In ENNHRI’s Strategic Plan, “Asylum and Migration” is defined as one of its priority thematic areas for the period of 2018-2021.

Click here more information about the Working Group.