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Arkiveringsdatum 210314:

Red Cross EU Office 21-03-03:

Protecting the humanitarian space to access and support migrants till sidans topp

The European Union (EU) and Member States are increasingly relying on humanitarian actors to address the consequences of current policy choices on the vulnerability of migrants. However, the space for civil society actors to provide them with support in accordance with humanitarian principles has been significantly compromised in recent years.

National Red Cross Societies in the EU would like to remind Member States of their commitments to ensure that staff and volunteers in different countries are able to deliver humanitarian assistance to all migrants based solely on needs, and to support their access to services as well as their obligations in this regard. With the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, Member States have reaffirmed their responsibility to uphold migrants' access to essential services, regardless of their status. When they are unable to do so, Member States need to facilitate the work of humanitarian actors. Despite this, National Red Cross Societies increasingly experience challenges to act in accordance with their fundamental principles when delivering services and supporting all migrants in accessing the necessary support to ensure their safety, dignity, protection and well-being.

Recommendations

National Red Cross Societies in the EU thus make the following recommendations to the EU and Member States to secure a conducive environment for humanitarian actors to address migrants' vulnerabilities and needs, as well as mitigate the risks they face.

1) Guarantee that all migrants, irrespective of status, have safe and effective access to assistance and protection, including when delivered by humanitarian actors.

2) Amend legislation that hampers or criminalises providing humanitarian assistance to migrants.

3) Make sure the EU budget enables a needs-based and principled migration response.

4) Closely cooperate with civil society in developing, implementing and evaluating migration policies and programmes.

5) Ensure adequate protection of personal data.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190703:

Picum 19-06-20:

Study shows a rise sharp in citizens being criminalised for helping migrants till sidans topp

The report provides the most in-depth list of cases of criminalisation of solidarity to date. It finds that between 2015 and 2019, at least 158 individuals have been investigated or formally prosecuted for offering humanitarian assistance to migrants and refugees across 11 European countries. The vast majority of cases occurred in France, Italy and Greece.

Despite a drop in migrant arrivals, the number of cases increased dramatically in 2018, with 104 individuals reported - twice as many as 2017. The criminalisation of solidarity does not only affect human rights defenders, volunteers and crew members rescuing people at sea, but also ordinary citizens, doctors, journalists, mayors and religious leaders.

Seán Binder, who spent 106 days in pre-trial detention for his humanitarian work as a coordinator of civilian rescue operations in Greece in 2018, added:

"Humanitarian response and asylum seeking are enshrined in the EU charter of fundamental rights and international law - humanitarians are engaged in both legitimate and legal activities. In fact, civilian humanitarianism is a highly skilled operation that works to complement the lifesaving of the authorities, instead of hampering them. For instance, in my case, we were the only actors who provided immediate medical services and interpreters where the authorities had none."

"Beyond the legal proceedings highlighted in the report, Caritas Europa is also deeply concerned by all the other means used to deter acts of solidarity. This includes examples of violence and harassment by the police towards volunteers and obstacles to food distribution to migrants", says Maria Nyman, Secretary General of Caritas Europa.

(...)

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OHCHR 19-06-20:

UN Human Rights Office urges EU States to stop criminalizing solidarity till sidans topp

On World Refugee Day, the UN Human Rights Office in Brussels called on EU member States to prioritize saving the lives of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Between 2014 and June 2019, at least 9,241 deaths have been recorded, as estimated by the International Migration Organization, national authorities and media sources, while at the same time in recent years, NGO boats trying to save the lives of those in trouble at sea have been increasingly removed or rendered unable to operate, and hundreds of Europeans have been arrested, investigated, or threatened with prison or fines for trying to help migrants and refugees.

As of 1 June 2019, only seven out of the 24 humanitarian rescue ships operated by civil society organizations in the Mediterranean were still active, as recorded by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.

The UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe urged EU member States to urgently strengthen search and rescue operations and ensure rapid and safe disembarkation in a coordinated manner. States have a heightened duty to protect the right of everyone to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution, the right to leave any country and the right to life, as established by international human rights and humanitarian law. Individual human dignity should be at the centre of reforms of the European Common Asylum System, currently being considered by EU member States. These should include setting up effective EU-wide systems that enable swift support for those in vulnerable situations, including victims of violence and trafficking for purposes of sexual or labour exploitation.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190209:

European Parliament Think Tank 18-12-21:

Fit for purpose? Facilitation Directive and criminalisation of humanitarian assistance till sidans topp

2018 update

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, aims to update the 2016 study "Fit for purpose? The Facilitation Directive and the criminalisation of humanitarian assistance to irregular migrants". It takes stock of and examines the latest developments that have taken place since 2016, specifically the legislative and policy changes, along with various forms and cases of criminalisation of humanitarian actors, migrants' family members and basic service providers. The study uses the notion of 'policing humanitarianism' to describe not only cases of formal prosecution and sentencing in criminal justice procedures, but also wider dynamics of suspicion, intimidation, harassment and disciplining in five selected Member States - Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary and Italy. Policing humanitarianism negatively affects EU citizens' rights - such as the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. When civil society is effectively (self-)silenced and its accountability role undermined, policies to combat migrant smuggling may be overused and give rise to serious breaches of the EU's founding values, notably the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights. Moreover, policing humanitarianism negatively affects wider societal trust and diverts the limited resources of law enforcement from investigating more serious crimes.

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Arkiveringsdatum 181204:

ECRE 18-11-30:

New reports highlight threat of anti- migration agenda to civil society till sidans topp

This week ReSOMA, the Research Social Platform on Migration and Asylum has released a Discussion Brief entitled "Crackdown on NGOs assisting refugees and other migrants", outlining how "the political and operational priority to tackle migrant smuggling" has impacted civil society actors that try to assist refugees and migrants.

NGOs, Search and Rescue operations, and volunteers have often been on the frontline of what has been called the 'refugee crisis' in Europe, providing food, shelter and legal advice and monitoring human rights situations faced by refugees and migrants on the ground. But research indicates that attempts to balance legitimate political objectives of countering and preventing organised criminal groups from smuggling migrants for profit, with the right of association and humanitarian assistance, are also provide an obstacle for the functioning of civil society actors.

The Brief discusses in further detail the criminalisation of NGOs and its facilitation by EU law, the harassment and policing of NGOs beyond formal criminalisation, the role of EU funding in this regard, and the potential impacts of the policies that have been adopted.

In a report released this month the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), present the result of an online consultation with its civil society network which looks at the challenges faced by civil society organisations (CSOs) in their day- to- day work, ranging from changes in the legal environment, challenges in finding and accessing resources, to obstacles in accessing policymaking, and threats and attacks. FRA concluded that the results of the consultation "confirm earlier messages and point to the need to provide civil society with the resources and the 'safe space' that it needs to flourish and operate".

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Källor: Informationen på denna sida är hämtad från följande källor (externa länkar): EU (kommissionen, ministerrådet, parlamentet och domstolen), Europarådet (mr-kommissionären, domstolen, kommittén mot tortyr), FN:s flyktingkommissariat UNHCR, FN:s kommitté mot tortyr m.fl. FN-organ, Sveriges Radio, SvT, andra svenska media via Nyhetsfilter och pressmeddelanden via Newsdesk, utländska media till exempel via Are You Syrious och Rights in Exile, internationella organisationer som Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ECRE, Statewatch och Picum, organisationer i Sverige som Rädda Barnen, Asylrättscentrum, Svenska Amnesty, FARR och #vistårinteut samt myndigheter och politiska organ som Migrationsverket, Sveriges domstolar, JO, Justitiedepartementet m.fl. departement och Sveriges Riksdag.

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