- 1. WHAT’S NEW
- a) Access to education failing many migrants
- b) Safe havens needed for LGBTI people fleeing persecution
- c) Call for FRA scientific committee members
- d) Strengthening ties with Finland
- e) Exploring the potential of cross-border cooperation in criminal justice
- f) Developing child rights indicators
- g) The shrinking space for European civil society – what can be done?
- h) Interoperability working group speaks at the European Parliament
- i) Bridging the arts and human rights worlds
- FEEDBACK FROM RECENT ACTIVITIES
- a) Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights meets
- b) EBU welcomes FRA’s new media toolkit
- c) Fundamental rights support to Italian authorities in migration hotspots
- d) Discussing child protection in migration
- e) UN human rights expert meeting seeks to promote inclusion and counter anti-migrant narratives
- f) Measuring hate crime data
Please find below the latest information.
- WHAT’S NEW
- Access to education failing many migrants
Asylum seekers and refugees in many parts of Europe risk being confined to a life of inequality and disadvantage due to gaps in their education and the lack of support in schools for trauma victims. These are some of the main concerns from the latest summary report of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on migration-related fundamental rights in selected EU Member States which assesses the educational prospects of migrants.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people suffer persecution in many places around the world. On this year’s International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) calls for greater efforts to provide sanctuary to LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees.
- Call for FRA scientific committee members
The Agency has launched a Call for Expression of Interest for its new Scientific Committee. The Scientific Committee is made up of 11 highly-qualified independent experts on fundamental rights (lawyers, social scientists, statisticians etc.). It guarantees the scientific quality of the Agency’s work across the full spectrum of fundamental rights. The term of the new Committee starts in June 2018 and ends in June 2023. The deadline for applications is 7 July 2017 at 13:00 CET. Members of the current Committee, many of them university professors, come from different disciplines and have held high-level positions, such as the Vice-President of the European Court for Human Rights, Chairpersons of National Human Rights Institutions, UN Special Rapporteurs, Members of international monitoring Committees, etc. (Contact: Afsheen Siddiqi)
- Strengthening ties with Finland
The Director of the Agency will travel to Finland on 22-23 May to meet with government ministers, officials, members of the Finnish parliament, representatives of human rights and equality bodies and civil society. While there he will discuss ways in which the Agency can support Finland on fundamental rights issues. He will make a speech at an event on implementing Finland’s National Action Plan on Fundamental and Human Rights. He will also visit a project on local engagement with Roma which is supported by the Agency. (Contact: John Kellock)
- Exploring the potential of cross-border cooperation in criminal justice
The Agency is co-organising a joint workshop on cross-border cooperation in criminal justice that will take place on 22 May in Vienna at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. It is one a series of workshops being held as part of the latest session of the UNODC’s Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. During the workshop, the Agency will feed findings from its work on the fundamental rights aspects of cross-border transfers when it comes to criminal detention and alternatives into the discussions. The workshop is being organised in cooperation with the governments of Ireland and Austria, the European Union External Action Service and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights. (Contact: Jonas Grimheden)
- Developing child rights indicators
On 24 May, the Agency will take part in a round-table discussion in Geneva on creating child rights indicators. The discussion is being organised by GlobalChild, a project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2016 – 2021). The project aims at building a comprehensive child rights platform under the auspices of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The central objective of the event of 24 May is to discuss the methodology of indicators’ development with representatives from various UN bodies. (Contact:Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos)
- The shrinking space for European civil society – what can be done?
FRA’s Director will give a public lecture on what we as a society, as well as the Agency, can do to support civil society during an event in Dublin on 26 May. The event is being hosted by Front Line Defenders in collaboration with UCD Centre for Human Rights and is being supported by Science Gallery Dublin. While in Dublin, he will also give the opening remarks at the FrontLine Defenders Award ceremony.
- Interoperability working group speaks at the European Parliament
On 29 May, the FRA Director will take part in a presentation of the results of the High-Level Working Group on Interoperability (HLEG) at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. The European Commissioner for Security, the European Data Protection Supervisor, and the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator will also speak at this event in Brussels. (Contact: Ann-Charlotte Nygård)
- Bridging the arts and human rights worlds
The Agency is organising a high level expert meeting on 29-30 May in Vienna, bringing together artists, curators, scholars, and human rights practitioners for an exploration of the intersection between artistic practice and human rights. The meeting aims to debate essential questions about the relationship between art and human rights; explore models of collaboration between arts and human rights actors; identify how FRA can support artistic freedom of expression; explore how arts may affect rights; and see how arts could contribute to the Fundamental Rights Forum 2018 and FRA’s work in promoting rights. (Contact: Aydan Iyigüngör)
- FEEDBACK FROM RECENT ACTIVITIES
- Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights meets
The Consultative Forum of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) convened from 16 to 17 May in Brussels. This time the focus was on child protection, third country cooperation and return operations. As permanent member of the Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights, the Agency joined discussions throughout the event. In the run up to the event the forum also published its annual report, covering the forum’s main activities of 2016 and its recommendations to Frontex senior management and its management board. The 2016 report focused on Frontex mandate under the new regulation and the fundamental rights dimension this entails. (Contact: Aydan Iyigüngör)
- EBU welcomes FRA’s new media toolkit
The Agency presented its new awareness raising project, the ‘media toolkit: from a fundamental rights angle’ on 12 May in Oslo to the European Broadcasting Union’s Intercultural and Diversity Group. Based on the former Diversity Toolkit, the new toolkit will be a ‘one-stop-shop’ of news examples, know-how tips and information sources for journalists covering news in which fundamental rights are at stake or questioned. The toolkit will be web-based, mobile friendly, and useful for community discussions in social media. The Intercultural and Diversity Group discussed its role as co-producers, expressing its commitment in supporting FRA in this project. (Contact: Blanca Tapia)
- Fundamental rights support to Italian authorities in migration hotspots
The Agency held a fundamental rights workshop for hotspots operators in Taranto on 11 May in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Interior, the European Commission migrants support team in Italy and in partnership with the UNHCR and International Organization for Migration. The workshop sought to share expertise and best practices among staff working in the hotspots. They looked at fundamental rights issues connected to the identification, treatment and referral of vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children as well as age assessments of children. The workshop addressed very practical and real life scenarios in order to streamline the implementation of the standard operating procedures in a fundamental rights compliant manner. A list of suggestions was compiled from the workshop for follow up discussions in Rome. The workshop brought together representatives from the Ministry of Interior, authorities in various Italian hotspots, European Commission migrants support team in Italy, EU Agencies such as Frontex, EASO and Europol, the UN, as well as NGOs, local health authorities, social assistants and cultural mediators. (Contacts: Adriano Silvestri / Massimo Toschi)
- Discussing child protection in migration
The European Commission’s interservice group on child rights met in Brussels on 11 May to discuss how to implement the recently adopted Communication on the protection of children in migration.Different Commission Departments, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and the Agency exchanged information on current and planned activities to implement the actions in the Communication. Those ranged from identifying unaccompanied children to providing adequate reception conditions for children and their families and finding a durable solution. (Contact: Monica Gutierrez)
- UN human rights expert meeting seeks to promote inclusion and counter anti-migrant narratives
The Agency took part in an expert and multi-stakeholder meeting in Geneva on 11 May organised by the UN Human Rights Office on building partnerships to promote inclusion and counter anti-migrant narratives. The Agency focused on the need to build on positive narratives supported by data and facts, dispelling myths, inaccuracies and misrepresentations of reality. Research and surveys by the Agency offer robust data about the real situation on the ground. They can support informed policy and public debates upholding human rights away from fear and demonization. They can also help encourage the active participation of migrants and their descendants in more cohesive EU societies. (Contact: Miltos Pavlou).
- Measuring hate crime data
The Agency gave a presentation to six OSCE missions in the South East Europe region as well as OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on 11 May on measuring and improving the collection of hate crime data. The presentation covered the Agency’s surveys, which have asked questions related to personal experiences of bias-motivated harassment and violence – for example, with respect to person’s ethnic or immigrant background, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. In terms of administrative data collection, there was reference to the subgroup on methodologies for recording and collecting data on hate crime. The subgroup, which FRA coordinates, is developing core elements for a methodology that can be used to record and collect hate crime data, while also bringing about better data comparability across countries. The OSCE missions in South East Europe are considering how FRA’s examples could be applied to improve data collection in the region. (Contacts: Sami Nevala / Niraj Nathwani).
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
1040 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 1 58030-0