High-Level Meeting on Ensuring Respect for the Human Rights of Migrants at Borders: The Role of NHRIs

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2-3 June 2021, 10:00 – 12:30 CEST

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NHRIs play a key role in ensuring that the human rights of migrants are respected, including at borders. This includes, among others, protecting their right to asylum, adequate reception conditions, and protection against arbitrary detention, violence and refoulement. This role has been recognised by a variety of actors, such as the European Parliament and the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers. 

This online High-Level Meeting will focus on the future of the European migration and asylum frameworks, particularly in relation to the situation at the borders, and the role of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) to monitor, promote and protect human rights. The event, which will be held on 2 – 3 June 2021, will bring together NHRIs (represented by Head of Institutions, senior staff and migration experts) and key regional actors (at the level of the Council of Europe and the European Union, as well as leading NGOs).

Over the course of two days, panellists and participants will reflect on the key added value of NHRIs in promoting and protecting the human rights of migrants at European borders; they will identify opportunities for stronger cooperation between NHRIsregional stakeholders and NGOs, and discuss recommendations to national and regional authorities based on ENNHRI’s reports on migrants’ rights at borders (May 2021). 

Registration is required to join this event. Please register here.


Draft agenda

2 June 2021, 10:00 – 12:30 CEST; Speakers TBC

  • Welcome and meeting objectives
  • Presentation of main findings of ENNHRI’s Comparative Report on Migrants’ Rights at Borders
  • Panel 1: Towards stronger cooperation with NHRIs in promoting and protecting the human rights of migrants at European borders (and Q&A session)
  • Panel 2: Creating an enabling environment for NHRIs and other human rights defenders when monitoring, promoting and protecting human rights at the borders (and Q&A session)
  • Wrap up

3 June 2021, 10:00 – 12:30 CEST; Speakers TBC

  • Welcome and recap of main points of previous day
  • Panel 3: From evidence collected at borders to shaping the development of policy and legislation at the regional level (and Q&A session)
  • Panel 4: Triggering change at the national level towards the respect for human rights of migrants at borders through the work of NHRIs and other human rights defenders (and Q&A session)
  • Moving ahead: respecting human rights of migrants at borders

About the Migrants’ Rights at Borders project & Resources

In 2019, ENNHRI started a project co-funded by the European Union and supported in part by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the OSIFE of the Open Society FoundationThrough different capacity-building, advocacy, communication and reporting activities led by NHRIs in Europethe project aims at contributing to better promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants at the borders. 

Under this project, ENNHRI has produced the following outputs:

  • Background Paper on “Protecting human rights of migrants at borders: evidence and work of European NHRIs”, available here. 
  • Guidance on “Monitoring Human Rights at Borders: building on the mandate and functions of NHRIs”, available here. 
  • Statement on “Stronger human rights monitoring at Europe’s borders – why NHRIs are part of the solution”, available here. 
  • Complementary Guidance on “Monitoring human rights of migrants at borders during the Covid-19 pandemic”, available here. 
  • Article on “Protecting the rights of migrants during the pandemic: How have NHRIs responded?”, available here. 
  • Recommendations on “Independent Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms at Borders under the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum”, available here. 

In addition, five NHRIs (in Croatia, France, Greece, Serbia, Slovenia) are publishing national monitoring reports in May 2021 with the result of their visits at the borders. The main findings of the national reports will converge into a comparative regional report focused on common trends, exchange of good practices and challenges, as well as policy recommendations linked to regional developments, such as at the EU level. The regional report will be published in end-May 2021. 

Registration for : High-Level Meeting on Ensuring Respect for the Human Rights of Migrants at Borders: The Role of NHRIs

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