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Promoting Human Rights of Refugees in Europe

by Refugee Rights Europe
Promoting Human Rights of Refugees in Europe
Promoting Human Rights of Refugees in Europe
Promoting Human Rights of Refugees in Europe
Promoting Human Rights of Refugees in Europe
New report
New report

We hope this message finds you well! Here at Refugee Rights Europe, we've spent the last few months advocating for the rights of refugees and displaced people across Europe. We've outlined some of our key achievements below, which include some positive progress - none of which would have been possible without the support from generous individuals like yourself. Thank you for your invaluable support. 

New report highlights plight of children stuck in legal limbo 

After the recent UK-French ministerial ‘refugee crisis’ talks regarding asylum-seekers’ attempts to cross the English Channel, we released a new report with first-hand accounts from Calais and Dunkirk. 

Our field research highlights cases of extreme neglect and a failure to uphold a duty of care towards unaccompanied minors in the area. It calls for expanded safe and legal passageways and a commitment to relocating children from European locations to the UK.

New blog for World Humanitarian Day

On World Humanitarian Day, 19th August, RRE researcher, Elizabeth Hobbs, published a blog on the worrying rise of criminalisation of solidarity occurring across Europe. The blog highlights the cases of Sarah Mardini and Sean Binder who were both arrested in Greece in September 2018, after trying to save lives at sea. Read the blog here.

Committee Against Torture adopts RRE recommendations

The Committee Against torture released its recommendations for Greece following on from its review of Greece. We were pleased to see several of the concerns and policy recommendations raised by RRE and partners included in the 'concluding observations', along with a strong condemnation of the Greek government's current treatment of asylum seekers in detention, as well as its response to gender based violence and the criminalisation of solidarity. You can read the concluding observations here

French human rights authority responds to our concerns in northern France

Following a disconcerting meeting with individuals in detention in northern France earlier this year, we passed on their messages to the French human rights authority Jacques Toubon (Défenseur des droits), and asked him to take urgent action. 

We received a response from Mr Toubon who confirmed that our concerns have been addressed in both a report outlining health risks for asylum seekers, and in direct communications with the Ministry of the Interior.

EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee adopts RRE recommendations 

We were pleased to see our recommendations included in the final report of the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee on its inquiry on Brexit implications for refugee protection and asylum policy. 

Following our recommendations, in both our written and oral submissions, the Committee:

  • Urged the government to ensure that family reunion remains available once the UK leaves the EU and in the event of a no-deal scenario.
  • Called on the UK government to ensure that human rights considerations must be at the heart of any future agreements with third countries on readmission or cooperation.
  • Urged Ministers to moderate the language they use when discussing asylum issues.

Read our full submission here

Our new website 

Make sure to check out our new website, which contains new content and additional resources! www.Refugee-Rights.Eu 

As always, please don't hesitate to contact us should you like to receive any additional information or updates. Once again, on behalf of the entire Refugee Rights Europe team, thank you ever so much for your invaluable support!

Sincere regards,

Marta and the RRE team 

Our Executive Director and Chair of the Board
Our Executive Director and Chair of the Board
Greek islands - Photo credit Tessa Kraan
Greek islands - Photo credit Tessa Kraan
Youth Welfare Officer event in parliament
Youth Welfare Officer event in parliament

Dear friends,

The past three months have been busy here at the RRE headquarters! We are, as always, incredibly grateful for your support which makes all of our work possible.

Standing up for Young Asylum Seekers in the UK

In late June, RRE handed in an open letter to the Home Secretary signed by 38 cross-party MPs, 31 NGO’s, civil society organisations, and experts, calling for Youth Welfare Officers to be placed in asylum accommodation in the UK. This is a clear sign that our proposal is already gaining significant support.

New briefing on the Common European Asylum System (CEAS)

In the wake of the EU elections, we prepared and launched a new briefing outlining our key recommendations for the reforms of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Read our latest blog here and the briefing here.

RRE gave evidence to the House of Lords on asylum and migration

Our Advocacy & Policy Manager, Alice Lucas, delivered oral evidence to the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Subcommittee inquiry into the UK-EU relationship on asylum and migration post-Brexit. You can watch our oral evidence session here.

In other news 

We moreover submitted a joint report alongside Greek Helsinki Monitor and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) ahead of the Committee Against Torture’s review of Greece. We also co-signed an open letter alongside 16 actors across civil society and academia, calling for urgent action on the unsuitable conditions in places of detention in Greece.

As part of our work relating to Northern France, we sent an appeal to the French Defender of Human Rights and the General Controller of Places of Deprivation of Liberty, asking them both to investigate the situation in the detention centre in Northern France, and to take a firm human rights stance vis-a-vis the French government.

Last but not least, we were delighted to join the Detention Forum, a network of civil society organisations calling for an end to indefinite detention in the UK, and the Lift the Ban coalition alongside over 80 civil society organisations calling for asylum seekers to be given the right to work in the UK.

Thank you!

We would like to thank you once again for your invaluable support, and we hope you're having a wonderful summer!

Links:

We hope you're doing well and enjoying the spring time! We're writing today to share the latest updates of our work. We've had another fruitful few months here at Refugee Rights Europe and we're excited to share our updates with you.

Since we last wrote to you, we’ve launched our Vision for Change. This is a document which outlines the concrete change RRE deems to be crucial in order to alleviate human suffering and widespread human rights violations unfolding in three key geographical areas in Europe, namely: (a) the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, which are doomed by a harmful containment policy; (b) the dire bottle-neck scenario at the French-Italian border, and; (c) the violent and precarious British border zone in Northern France. We believe that meaningful change can and must be accomplished in Europe in the immediate term, in anticipation of wider reforms, and we look forward to working collaboratively across civil society to achieve meaningful change.

Over the past period, we have also published two research reports, which serve as powerful tools as we continue to advocate for human rights centered policy change at national and European levels. The first of our new reports, launched by the Baobab Women’s Project and Refugee Rights Europe, alongside several frontline organisations working with refugee and asylum seeking women in the UK, highlights the shortcomings in the UK’s fulfilment of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and ensures the representation of asylum seeking women in the UK at the highest policy levels. Our collective of civil society organisations were moreover represented at the UN headquarters in Geneva, to raise the voices of women which are far too seldom heard or considered.

The second report published over the last period shone a light on displaced individuals arriving via the Western Mediterranean route. Entitled ‘On the Western doorstep’, the report contains a combination of desk and field research findings regarding displaced people’s lived experiences on Moroccan soil, in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, during the sea crossings, upon arrival in Spain, and at the French-Spanish border. In the context of increasing European ‘externalisation’ of borders, the report presents a number of recommendations anchored in universal human rights.

We’ve also been able to disseminate our human rights centred advocacy messages through several blogs published on different platforms. One of the blogs addressed child mental health among displaced children in Greece, and was published by our partners Terre des Hommes. Another one dealt with the UK’s response to asylum-seekers arriving by boat across the Channel from France, while a third blog looked at the complex challenges facing young asylum-seekers as they arrive in Britain.

We were also really pleased to see our report, 'In Dangerous Transit', on the French-Italian border, cited by the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings' (GRETA) report on the situation in Italy. The report contains strong, concrete recommendations to the Italian government to urgently ensure that the situation on the border is addressed and that specialist support is offered to victims of trafficking, particularly women and unaccompanied children.

None of our human rights advocacy work would have been possible without generous supporters like yourself, and we are immensely grateful the support. Keep watching on our InstagramFacebook, or Twitter pages for upcoming reports, events, and information!

To support our work please consider making another small donation via GlobalGiving. With your help, we can continue our efforts to promote the human rights of some of the world’s most disadvantaged groups.

Thanks again for your continued support, and please feel free to drop us a line if you would like any further feedback about our work.

Warmest wishes,

Marta and the RRE team  

Links:

We hope that you're doing well and that everyone had a great holiday season! We're writing today to share the latest updates of our work. We've had another busy few months at Refugee Rights Europe and we're excited to share our work with you.

In November, we published our new report in collaboration with Meena Centre for Women and Children and the Baobab Women's Project. Our report 'Finally Safe?' looked at asylum accommodation for asylum-seeking women in the UK and found that much remains to be done by the Home Office and its contractors to ensure safe, hygienic and dignified housing for asylum-seekers. You can find the full report here.

Released on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 'The State of Refugees and Displaced People in Europe' is our latest summary report of our key research findings from 2017-2018. The report paints a harrowing picture of human rights for refugees and people in displacement throughout Europe, documenting chronic police violence, lack of access to information, substandard living conditions, gender-based violence and absence of child safeguarding structures. On December 13th, we hosted an event at Amnesty International to launch our summary report with our researchers and a panel of partner organisations to discuss advocacy successes and prospects for 2019 and beyond.

In 2018, Refugee Rights Europe has continued to stand up for the human rights of refugees and displaced people across Europe, calling on decision-makers to uphold their international and national commitments. In early January, we published our 2018 Annual Report that details our impact and successes for the past year. You can also view our 2018 summary video here.

In 2019, we will continue our advocacy work at the international, EU, and national level and collaborate across civil society to create a strong, unified voice for long-term, structural change. None of this work would have been possible without generous supporters like yourself, and we are immensely grateful the support. Keep watching on our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter pages for upcoming reports, events, and information!

To support our work please consider making a small donation here. With your help, we can continue our efforts to promote the human rights of some of the world’s most disadvantaged groups.

Thanks again for your continued support, and please feel free to drop us a line if you would like any further feedback about our work.

Warmest wishes,

Krystal Garvin and the Team

December 2018 Event
December 2018 Event
2018 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report

We hope that you're doing well!  We're writing today to share the latest updates of our work.  We've had another busy few months at Refugee Rights Europe and we're excited to share our work with you. 

Refugee Rights Europe is very excited to announce that we have published two new human rights reports! In late August, we published ‘An Island in Despair,’ our report on the human rights situation on Lesvos.  Our research highlighted the sub-par living conditions in which thousands of refugees and displaced people are currently trapped following the 2016 implementation of the EU-Turkey deal.  The report highlights the living conditions on the island, characterised by severe overcrowding, lack of security, and high rates of mental and physical health issues among the residents.  You can read the full report here

Following the success of our Lesvos report, we launched ‘Left In-Between’ in September which sheds light on the situation in Brussels, Belgium for refugees and displaced people.  We found that the majority of people currently live on the streets and lack access to medical care and asylum information. The report highlights a number of human rights abuses occurring in Europe and Al Jazeera has published a summary of our findings.

We’ve continued our campaign to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to highlight the lived experiences of refugees and displaced people across Europe through written pieces on the human rights situation, culminating on International Human Rights Day in December.  In August, we focused on the right to adequate housing conditions.  We published a guest blog with Refugee History that focused on the living conditions in Lesvos.  In September, we focused on the lack of access to information available to displaced people in Europe by publishing an info sheet on our website.  In October, we focused on the lack of access to healthcare.  With Art Refuge UK, we looked at the mental health crisis among displaced people and we co-authored a blog with Choice for Youth and Sexuality on access to sexual and reproductive healthcare based on our research findings in Greece.

In honor of #GivingTuesday, Refugee Rights Europe will be launching our final crowdfunding campaign of the year on 27 November.  All of the funds raised will go towards our field research and advocacy work that will enable us to continue fighting for the rights of refugees and displaced people throughout Europe.  Please watch our social media channels on 26 November and we’d greatly appreciate it if you’d consider making a donation and sharing our work with your friends!

None of this work would have been possible without generous supporters like yourself, and we are immensely grateful the support.  We are currently finishing our joint report with the Meena Centre in Birmingham on the conditions facing women in asylum accommodation.  Keep watching on our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter pages for its release date!

Thanks again for your continued support, and please feel free to drop us a line if you would like any further feedback about our work.

Warmest wishes,

Krystal Garvin and the Team

Sleeping on the streets in Brussels
Sleeping on the streets in Brussels
Overflowing rubbish bins on Lesvos
Overflowing rubbish bins on Lesvos

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Refugee Rights Europe

Location: London, Greater London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Refugee_RE
Project Leader:
Marta Welander
London, United Kingdom

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