14 Jul 2022

ENNHRI report explores solutions for strengthening human rights accountability at borders

Drawing on the findings, good practices and recommendations of European NHRIs, this report outlines opportunities and guidance for overcoming gaps in human rights accountability at borders. It advances five key messages to national and regional actors on the urgent need to strengthen accountability and prevent violations of migrants’ human rights.

Despite the robust body of evidence demonstrating serious violations of the human rights of migrants, European NHRIs have highlighted an ongoing climate of impunity at European borders. There is a lack of follow up to the findings and recommendations of human rights monitors, including those of NHRIs and other human rights defenders.

In December 2021, through an ENNHRI report on gaps in human rights accountability at borders, European NHRIs found numerous serious deficiencies in the accountability system at borders. Notably, the report analysed the underlying causes of gaps in monitoring and overall transparency; access to justice; investigations; revision and prevention; and promoting a culture of rights.

Building on these findings, the current report takes a step further by providing guidance and good practices for overcoming these gaps in human rights accountability at borders. It details the way in which the specific mandate, role and expertise of NHRI can contribute to this goal and provides a basis upon which NHRIs, civil society and key regional stakeholders can work together towards stronger human rights accountability.

The report closes with five key messages to national and regional authorities for securing stronger accountability for violations of migrants’ rights at borders:

  1. Accountability at borders requires proactive steps
  2. EU legislation and policy must contribute to bridging accountability gaps
  3. Accountability at borders must be considered part of respect for rule of law
  4. Cross-border violations require cross-border solutions
  5. The response to forced displacement from Ukraine demonstrates that alternative approaches to migration management are possible

ENNHRI encourages national and regional actors to act on the recommendations and messages presented in the report and to draw on its findings in considering migration policies and practices.

Explore the report on our dedicated webpage.

Download the full report.