Myria (the Belgian Federal Migration Centre) is an independent public body. It analyses migration, defends the rights of foreigners and combats human smuggling and trafficking. Myria promotes public policies based on evidence and human rights.

Migration movements

Myria studies and monitors the evolution of migration movements, focusing on their nature and dimensions. It provides information on the migration movements (entries/exits) and the residence of foreigners to public authorities, civil society and society at large. Its mission consists mainly in the publication of online demographics and studies on specific issues. Since 2008, Myria is the contact point in Belgium for the European Migration Network (EMN), which is an instrument that allows Member States and European institutions to collect objective, reliable and up to date information.

Fundamental rights

Myria works to ensure that the fundamental rights of foreigners are respected, through field observation (particularly within detention centres) and by following the complex legislation that regulates this issue. It also provides first line support to persons who wish to receive information on their fundamental rights or residency status. Through an ongoing dialogue with the authorities (local, regional and federal) and other competent public services, Myria works to ensure that these rights are respected with respect to all areas affecting the status of foreigners. Myria also provides observations and recommendations to public authorities and civil society on these issues.

Human trafficking

Since 2014, Myria is part of the mechanism of the National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking, serving as its independent component, in addition to the Interdepartmental Coordination Unit (which reports on behalf of the Belgian State). In this role, Myria is entitled to take legal action. The board of directors regularly votes to file civil charges in cases of human trafficking and human smuggling. This allows Myria to share its expertise with the judiciary and other stakeholders and to acquire a thorough knowledge on the phenomenon.

Every year Myria draws up an independent public evaluation report describing the developments and results in the fight against international trade in human beings. It also coordinates three specialised reception centres for trafficking-victims.

Head of institution

Koen Dewulf

Website

http://www.myria.be

Address

Rue Royale 138, Brussels 1000, Belgium

Year of establishment

1993 as the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism. Renamed to Myria in 2015.

Accreditation status

The Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism had been previously awarded a B status. Currently, Myria has the status of NHRI in transition.

Year of first accreditation

1999

Year of latest accreditation

2010

Number of staff

16

Regional offices

None

Mandate(s)

  • National Rapporteur or equivalent mechanisms on trafficking (under Trafficking Directive Art. 19)

Core functions

  • Monitoring
  • Publishing research, recommendations, opinions
  • Reporting to international and regional human rights mechanisms
  • Complaints handling
  • Legal assistance
  • Advising government, parliament and other public bodies
  • Supporting the work of human rights defenders
  • Cooperation with civil society organisations
  • Human rights education and training
  • Awareness raising activities