Men walking on a railway
28 Jan 2020

New paper outlines how European NHRIs promote and protect human rights of migrants at borders

ENNHRI has launched a new paper outlining how National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in Europe promote and protect the human rights of migrants at borders. The paper serves as a starting point for European NHRIs to put forward recommendations to national and regional authorities to ensure greater respect for human rights.

NHRIs have contributed to a growing body of evidence indicating widespread violations of migrants’ human rights at the borders in Europe, in line with the concerns raised by civil society organisations and international and regional human rights bodies.

In addition to outlining those human rights violations, this paper explores how NHRIs use their unique mandate and range of functions to address these concerns. This includes through:

  • Monitoring human rights at the borders
  • Providing recommendations to national authorities
  • Monitoring deprivation of liberty
  • Independent monitoring of forced returns
  • Human rights training to border authorities
  • Raising awareness of migrants’ rights
  • Receiving and handling individual complaints
  • Cooperation with regional and international human rights bodies
  • Strategic litigation and third party interventions
  • Cooperation with Civil Society Organisations
  • Safeguarding democratic space and upholding the rule of law
  • Cooperation and joint work with other NHRIs
  • Work on developing issues at the borders

NHRIs join other actors, such as civil society organisations and international human rights bodies, in showing that a new approach towards migration is possible: one that is rooted on the respect for human rights, including at the borders. Their experience on migration and unique status as state-mandated bodies make them ideally placed to work with governments, regional actors and civil society in ensuring that the human rights of migrants are respected in all places, including when crossing borders. 

The launch of this paper comes ahead of a series of planned NHRI border monitoring visits in 2020 as a part of ENNHRI’s Project on Promoting and Protecting Migrants’ Rights at the Borders.

For more information, contact Gabriel Almeida from the ENNHRI Secretariat.

» Download paper

» Learn more about ENNHRI’s work on asylum and migration

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