14 Dec 2021

New ENNHRI report outlines gaps in human rights accountability at European borders

Drawing on the experience and findings of European NHRIs, this report identifies gaps in accountability for human rights violations at borders. In doing so, it contributes to a greater understanding of the factors behind them.

NHRIs have observed significant accountability gaps across Europe. While there are important national specificities, the absence of functioning accountability systems has contributed to a prevalence of human rights violations at borders.

Based on NHRIs’ reporting, ENNHRI found shortcomings in five key areas related to human rights accountability:

  1. Structural gaps;
  2. Gaps in investigations;
  3. Gaps in access to justice;
  4. Gaps in revisions and prevention; and,
  5. Gaps in promoting a culture of rights.

The report identifies specific issues under each topic. These can serve as a starting point for NHRIs to exchange practices, develop solutions to overcome the identified gaps, and formulate recommendations to strengthen human rights accountability at national and regional levels.

To ensure accountability at borders, national and regional authorities must have the political will to proactively address the several deficiencies in the system. In their role providing oversight, EU institutions can hold states to account when they derogate from their legal obligations. In addition, they can make sure that new legislative and policy proposals enhance accountability, instead of widening existing gaps.  

» Read the report.

» Discover ENNHRI’s work on rights at borders.

» Read about ENNHRI’s work on asylum and migration.