FRA weekly 19-26 June

  1. WHAT’S NEW
  2. a) Global media forum focuses on identity and diversity
  3. b) Measuring the social and economic value of investing in children
  4. c) EU Council working party discusses child-friendly justice report
  5. d) Discussing the future of citizenship and human rights education
  6. e) Experts discuss political participation of people with disabilities
  7. f) EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies’ network meets
  8. g) UN expert workshop on racism in the context of counter-terrorism
  9. h) Human Rights Conference at WorldPride Madrid
  10. i) FRA annual activity report now available
  11. j) Joining up European human rights resources online

 

  1. FEEDBACK FROM RECENT ACTIVITIES
  2. a) FRA Director visits Greece to discuss fundamental rights in hotspots
  3. b) Council of Europe seminar explores business and human rights
  4. c) Training on fundamental rights and police ethics
  5. d) Reducing the risk of refoulement in external border management
  6. e) EU Court of Justice President and FRA Director exchange views
  7. f) Handbook seeks to identify children at risk at land borders
  8. g) Tackling discrimination of being Roma and LGBTI
  9. h) Presenting FRA’s immigration detention of children report
  10. i) FRA attends CoE meeting on immigration detention rules
  11. j) OSCE conference addresses violence against women
  12. k) Upcoming Estonian Presidency and FRA discuss areas of work

 

  1. WHAT’S NEW
  1. Global media forum focuses on identity and diversity

This year’s Deutsche Welle annual global media forum is dedicated to the themes of identity and diversity. The Agency will take part at the event in Bonn, from 19 to 21 June. The FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will speak on the panel ‘The significance of identity and diversity in a globalised world’. FRA will also present its forthcoming media toolkit for journalists covering fundamental rights issues. The forum attracts some 2,000 guests from over 100 countries, with leading professionals from the media, civil society, politics, and business among the participants. (Contact: Katya Andrusz)

  1. Measuring the social and economic value of investing in children

The Agency will attend a high-level expert meeting in Brussels on 20 June that will discuss developing a cost consequence analysis approach to measuring return on investment in children and families. The event is part of the Childonomics project, coordinated by EuroChild with financial support from the OAK Foundation. (Contact: Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos)

  1. EU Council working party discusses child-friendly justice report

The Agency will present its findings from the child-friendly justice report in a meeting of the EU Council’s Working Party on Cooperation in Criminal Matters in Brussels on 21 June. The working party handles legislative activities regarding cooperation between Member States in criminal matters. FRA’s report looked into the role of witnesses and victims of crime, roles that often receive less protection during judicial proceedings, but the findings further identify clear patterns independent from children’s roles in proceedings. (Contact: Astrid Podsiadlowski)

  1. Discussing the future of citizenship and human rights education

The Agency, the European Network of NHRIs (ENNHRI) and the Council of Europe will meet to discuss the future of citizenship and human rights education on 22 June in Strasbourg. It will bring together NHRIs active in the field of human rights education and citizens’ education to consider possible future cooperation activities and raise awareness of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. It will build on the conclusions of the Council of Europe’s ‘Conference on the Future of Citizenship and Human Rights Education in Europe’, the work of ENNHRI and its members and will be set in the context of human rights education and training under the Sustainable Development Goals. The meeting will take place at the fringes of the Council of Europe’s conference marking the fourth monitoring cycle of its Charter on Education for democratic citizenship and human rights education. In the run-up to the conference, the Agency will attend the Council of Europe’s HELP programme (HRE for legal professionals) which is partly integrated in the conference on the future of citizenship and human rights education. (Contact: Eva Sobotka / Thomas Schwarz)

  1. Experts discuss political participation of people with disabilities

The Agency will join experts convened by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to discuss the participation of people with disabilities in political and public life on 22 June. During the meeting in Skopje, the Agency will highlight some of the steps it has taken to mainstream the rights of people with disabilities into its work and activities. The meeting aims to exchange updates and discuss in greater detail the areas of work ODIHR plans to focus on in the future, including: participation of people with disabilities in national parliament and political parties; and strengthening consultation mechanisms between national governments and disabled people’s organisations. (Contact: Martha Stickings)

  1. EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies’ network meets

The Agency will take part in the second 2017 meeting of the network of EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Agencies from 20-21 June 2017 in Lisbon. Network representatives from the nine agencies and the Commission will come together to discuss joint actions – for example in the areas of migration and security – with the aim of delivering cross-agency advice and support to EU institutions and Member States. This is the second regular meeting of the network under the 2017 Chair of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). (Contact: Alice Hamilton)

  1. UN expert workshop on racism in the context of counter-terrorism

The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance has invited the Agency to take part in an expert meeting on 22 and 23 June. The meeting aims at discussing good practices and experiences and drawing on expertise on the issue of racism, xenophobia and discrimination in the current context of counter-terrorism measures and legislation. The meeting will feed into the Rapporteur’s 2017 thematic report to the General Assembly on the issue of racism, xenophobia and discrimination in the context of counter-terrorism. The meeting will gather about 20 experts from all over the world and will take place in Budapest. (Contact: Katerina Vyzvaldova)

  1. Human Rights Conference at WorldPride Madrid

The Agency will take part in an International Human Rights Conference which will take place during WorldPride Madrid 2017 on 26 June. This conference will focus on several aspects related to the human rights of LGBTI people including youth and education, the specific problems faced by intersex people and hostile environments around PRIDE festivals. FRA will speak on the situation in the EU during the opening session on the current situation of LGBTIQ human rights in the world. (Contact: Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos)

  1. FRA annual activity report now available

The Agency’s 2016 annual activity report, providing an overview of its activities and achievements during the course of the year, is now available. For example, it rearranged its priorities and stepped up its activities to meet the fundamental rights challenges arising due to the significant increase in refugees and migrants coming to the EU. It also continued to provide assistance as well as to formulate evidence-based advice in the form of opinions to the EU institutions and Member States which fed into their work.

  1. Joining up human rights resources online

One of FRA’s projects starting in 2017 seeks to facilitate access to existing human rights resources. Seeking to link up data, information and jurisprudence on EU Member States’ commitments and compliance with international human rights law, an online tool that boosts awareness, understanding and usage is on the drawing board. A first meeting is organised in Vienna on 20-21 June, which brings together representatives from the UN, Council of Europe, academia, business, and civil society, in order to explore visions, technical solutions, and possible coverage. (Contact: Jonas Grimheden)

 

  1. FEEDBACK FROM RECENT ACTIVITIES

 

  1. FRA Director visits Greece to discuss fundamental rights in hotspots

The FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty visited Greece from 13-15 June to discuss the situation in the migration hotspots. During his visit, he met with the Greek Minister of Migration Policy, with representatives of the Hellenic Police and of the European Commission, with the Greek Ombudsman, as well as with representatives of Greek NGOs dealing with asylum and migration. In addition, the Director visited the hotspot on the Greek island of Chios, where he had meetings with representatives of various protection and legal actors, EU agencies present in the hotspot, as well as with the Mayor of the island.

  1. Council of Europe seminar explores business and human rights

At an event in business and human rights in Strasbourg on 9 June, organised by the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Human Rights, the Agency spoke about its April 2017 Opinion on access to remedies in cases of business-related human rights abuse and what is needed for action. The high-level seminar took its starting point from the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation on human rights and business. Several speakers acknowledged the comprehensiveness of available instruments, while implementation still was lacking in many areas. FRA stressed three main points: 1) joining up the levels of governance better by more closely linking standards and recommendations; 2) better follow up on standards with monitoring and comparative overviews; and 3) step up implementation by states and the EU of its commitments and obligations. (Contact: Jonas Grimheden)

  1. Training on fundamental rights and police ethics

The Agency gave a presentation on hate crime and victims’ rights to a group of high ranking police officers and police trainers from EU Member States on 8 June in Slovenia. The Agency’s participation in police training courses organised by the EU’s Law Enforcement Training Agency is important for FRA to reach the key target group of police officers with key findings from its work. (Contact: Niraj Nathwani).

  1. Reducing the risk of refoulement in external border management

During a recent SHADE MED meeting from 8 to 9 June, the Agency shared some of its research findings and encouraged the use of its guidance on how to reduce the risk of refoulement in external border management when working in or together with non-EU countries. The meeting is a biannual event organised by the EU NAVFORMED, the EU naval operation in the Central Mediterranean, also referred to as Operation Sophia. Participants included the different forces operating in the central Mediterranean, the European Commission, EU and UN agencies as well as representatives from other authorities, NGOs, the shipping industry and academia. (Contact: Adriano Silvestri)

  1. EU Court of Justice President and FRA Director exchange views

On 8 June, the FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty met the President of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Professor Koen Lenaerts in Luxembourg. They exchanged views on the role of fundamental rights within the EU, including the topics of mutual trust and mutual recognition in the area of freedom, security and justice and the role of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. (Contact: Gabriel Toggenburg)

  1. Handbook seeks to identify children at risk at land borders

The Agency moderated a working group discussion on identification and registration of children during a Frontex workshop on 8 June in Warsaw. The workshop aimed at identifying gaps in terms of information provided in the draft version of its handbook for identifying children at risk at land borders. It covered such areas as general considerations when dealing with children, identification and registration, referral, asylum and protection as well as border checks and mass flows. The working group identified ideas for further strengthening of the content of the handbook, which were then presented to the Frontex project management team. (Contact: Katarina Lughofer)

  1. Tackling discrimination of being Roma and LGBTI

The Agency presented the legal aspects of intersectional and multiple discrimination at a conference on ‘Being Roma and LGBTI: at the crossroads of discrimination’ on 9 June in Strasbourg. The Council of Europe event brought together representatives of international organisations and NGOs working on multiple discrimination, as well as grassroots activists who have been building bridges between the Roma and LGBTI movements. The Agency confirmed the need for more in-depth research on the situation of LGBTI people belonging to ethnic minorities. (Contact: Patrycja Pogodzinska)

  1. Presenting FRA’s immigration detention of children report

The Agency presented preliminary findings of its report on immigration detention of children in the EU to European Commission and Member State experts in Brussels from 1 to 2 June. The presentation was given to the Contact Group ‘Return Directive’ chaired by the European Commission. The report will present the European and international legal framework on detention of children for migration management or asylum purposes and give an overview of such detention in EU Member States. The report will be published on 22 June. (Contact: Michal Nespor)

  1. FRA attends CoE meeting on immigration detention rules

On 31 May – 1 June, at the invitation of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Agency participated as one of the rapporteurs in the consultation meeting with National Preventive Mechanisms of CoE Member States. The aim of the consultation was to discuss the draft CoE rules on the administrative detention of migrants, which seeks to codify existing European rules and standards on that matter. The Agency has been taking part as an observer in the codification work carried out by the CoE since autumn 2016. A further public consultation of the civil society and key stakeholders on the first comprehensive draft instrument will take place on 22-23 June 2017 in Strasbourg. (Contact: Tamas Molnar)

  1. OSCE conference addresses violence against women

Joanna Goodey, Head of Freedoms and Justice Department, was a panellist in the working session on combating gender-based violence at the 2nd OSCE Gender Equality Review Conference in Vienna on 12-13 June. The session focused on the measures that need to be taken at the national level to implement existing commitments on combating and preventing violence against women, including the Istanbul Convention. Areas of discussion included the establishment of coordination mechanisms, standards and guidelines as well as data collection and analysis. (Contact: Joanna Goodey)

  1. Upcoming Estonian Presidency and FRA discuss areas of work

On 12 June FRA had working-level meetings with the upcoming Estonian Presidency of the Council officials in Brussels, both at the Council Secretariat and at the Permanent Representation of Estonia. The aim was to inform these officials about FRA’s work and co-operation with/support for the activities of the EU Presidencies of the Council of the EU and for the Council Preparatory Bodies. (Contact:Maria Amor Martín Estébanez)

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