Last press releases
Solidarity with refugees should not be a crime !
20 June 2017 – A little over two years ago, at the outset of 2015, Europeans were stupefied to see hundreds of thousands of people making their way into Europe, by the most reckless and perilous of means, in order to seek asylum.
AEDH and Euromed Rights are concerned by the restrictive law adopted by the Hungarian Parliament
16 June 2017 - This Tuesday 13 June, the Hungarian Parliament adopted a law restricting further the work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in Hungary. This law requires for NGOs receiving more than 24,000 Euros (7.2 million HUF) annually from a foreign source, to disclose their foreign donors. In addition, NGOs will need to publicise the donors’ labels on all publications (website, advertisements, etc.). Those who fail to do so will receive a preliminary warning and could be fined or suspended from operating for at least five years.
AEDH calls for respect for democracy and human rights throughout Europe
29 May 2017 - The European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) follows with great concern the violations of civil and political rights in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. It is a concern over the long-term process of promoting democratic reforms from 1989 to the present. Unfortunately, today these countries are faced with a new challenge for democracy and fundamental rights. In Romania but also across the region, increasing in numbers and well-organised groups erode the democratic foundations of the societies.
Joint letter to the European Parliament to adopt resolution on the situation in Hungary
25 April 2017 - In view of the situation in Hungary, AEDH with Amnesty International, FIDH, Human Rights Watch, Open Society European Policy Institute and Reporters Without Borders calls on the European Parliament to adopt resolution to support civil society, press freedom, academic freedom, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Europe.
London, March 2017 and fight against terrorism : the end, whichever it is, does not justify the means - Press release
27 March 2017 - Yet again, the acts of death willed by terrorists has struck. The European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) expresses all its compassion and solidarity to the victims and their families
Sign-Up Letter calling for Full Lobby Transparency Now !
17 March 2017 - Initiated by ALTER-EU, Civil Society Europe and Transparency International EU, more than 100 civil society organisations have decided to co-sign the letter addressed to Vice President Sylvie Guillaume MEP and Danuta Hübner MEP, chair of the Constitutional Affairs committee who will represent the European Parliament in negotiations for a reformed lobby transparency register...
Joint statement in support of the French corporate duty of vigilance law
9 March 2017 - Civil society organisations, unions, investor groups, consumer groups and academics express their support for the French corporate duty of vigilance law and ask the French Constitutional Council to reject objections brought against the new law by a minority of French legislators.
Open letter : 160+ NGOs call on the EU to lead by values, not fear, in migration response
8 March 2017 - 160 + civil society organisations, which are supported, collectively, by hundreds of thousands of people across Europe, working with those less fortunate to alleviate poverty, provide essential aid and defend people’s rights. With xenophobic populism on the rise across Europe and the globe, this is an appeal for leadership to uphold the rights and values that have been founding principles of the European Union for 60 years. Together, we need to prevent legitimate concerns about migration management from being hijacked and used to derail the European project...
Yes, women’s rights are definitely as important today as ever !
8 March 2017 - This year’s International Women’s Day on the 8th of March has been dedicated by the UN to the topic “Women in the Changing World of Work : Planet 50-50 by 2030”. On this occasion, the governments of member states are invited to make specific commitments to put an end to gender inequality through a series of new measures ranging from legislation and policy, to appropriate action plans and investments on a national basis.
Civil society organisations : new EU Commission plans on returns and detention will create more harm and suffering
3 March 2017 – Bowing down to political pressure to be “tough” on irregular migration, the European Commission has turned its back on the full implementation of human rights safeguards in its Returns’ Directive and is actively pushing member states to lower the bar.
AEDH position on EES - letter addressed to the members of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home affairs
27 February 2017 - To members of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs : you are about to vote on the Proposal for a Regulation of Procedure of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Entry/Exit System (EES) to register entry and exit data and refusal of entry data of third country nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States of the European Union and determining the conditions for access to the EES for law enforcement purposes and amending Regulation (EC) No 767/2008 and Regulation (EU) No 1077/201. This text contains many provisions which violate the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection
Joint statement : Libya - Focus on anti-smuggling policies and cooperation with Libyan authorities will expose people to ill-treatment and arbitrary detention
Joint Statement : Asylum down the drain - Intolerable pressure on Tunisia
21 February 2017 - Lately, Tunisian authorities have been the target of intolerable pressure by Germany and Italy. Within a week, they have been forced to clarify their opposition to the German as well as to the Italian authorities which were allegedly planning to send migrants and refugees back to Tunisia. Domestic security issues appear as a cornerstone in the cooperation framework imposed to Tunisia albeit being attached to a domain which is clearly distinct from it : the right of asylum.
Open Letter to the College of Commissioners regarding the situation in Poland
16 February 2017 - Initiated by Amnesty International, FIDH, Human Rights Watch, Open Society European Policy Institute and Reporters Without Borders, more than 70 organisations have decided to support the initiative and co-sign the letter.
The European travel document : Yet another step to deport by all means
7 February 2017 - Mid-way in the Valletta processes, and as African and European high officials are meeting in Malta on 8/9 February 2017, the European Union is crossing a step further in its attempts to limit mobility of migrants and imposes its rule on countries where most of migrants originate from through the use of the “European travel document”, a document adopted last October 2016 and almost unnoticed.
Joint statement on Safe and Legal Channels for Refugees
25 January 2017 - The increasing number of people in need of international protection perishing on their way to safety is a sinister reminder of the limitations of the current international protection regime. Entitlements to the rights recognised by international and regional protection systems, including under the EU’s Common European Asylum System (CEAS), are accessible only to those who manage to reach the physical borders of the host state. Left without any accessible legal alternatives and confronted with ever stricter border controls reaching far beyond European territory, those in need of international protection are forced to resort to irregular ways to access it. The absence of legal channels for refugees to come to Europe has led to a boom of smuggling in human beings and is exposing refugees and migrants to abuse and exploitation. This is illustrated by the increasing number of migration-related deaths and disappearances at sea. According to the latest UNHCR and IOM statistics, more than 5,000 persons were reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean alone in 2016, thus remaining the deadliest migratory sea route worldwide in 2016.
Berlin, last image of a terrifying year
23 December 2016 - This Monday 19 December, the German capital has had its turn for a horror scene, of which Paris and Brussels in Western Europe, and Istanbul, Karachi, Beirut and so many others, were the previous theatres. Right until the end, in Aleppo, Ankara, Berlin, the year 2016 well deserves the qualifier of bloody.
Rights of migrants : "Always less !"
Brussels, 18 December 2016 - “On International Migrants Day, let us commit to coherent, comprehensive and human-rights based responses guided by international law and standards and a shared resolve to leave no one behind.” This was the message of the UN Secretary-General in December of last year. The same message has been repeatedly proclaimed since Migrants Day by the UN General Assembly in 2000. The day commemorates the adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of all Migrant Workers and their families. However, the reality, is that it has been ratified only by 49 states, by no EU member state of the European Union and by almost no Northern country.
Joint NGO statement : EU leaders can save lives this winter if they change migration policies
AEDH has signed a joint statement with 31 NGOs addressed to the European Council, ahead its meeting of 15 December. Strengthening the framework for legal migration, expanding safe and legal routes for refugees and protecting the rights of everyone who arrived in Europe, should be the priorities of European migration policies.
10 and 16 December : Rights are not the problem, they are the solution !
10 December 2016 - On the eve of the commemorations of the 68th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December 2016 as well as of the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the International Covenants, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on 16th December 2016, the European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) wants to point out that rights are not the problem, but the solution. While they are often put into question, they must never be turned off.
Supporting whistleblowers means acting for the freedom of information
The European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) expresses its solidarity with the whistleblowers that have been charged and sentenced in the LuxLeaks trial. AEDH supports the call to demonstrate on 12th of December launched by the Support Committee to Antoine Deltour, the Luxembourgian Committee of solidarity with the accused of the trial “Luxleaks” and the Platform tax and legal havens.
Europol : a massive data breach revealing the risks
2 December 2016 - The European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) notes with concern the data breach at Europol, the European Police Office. On Wednesday, Europol, reacting to the story of a Dutch public TV broadcaster, has admitted that some secret files concerning terrorist activities have been posted online as a result of a “human error”.
Statement : Violence against women has to be opposed with the means of rights
25 november 2016 - 33 % of women in the European Union are victims of violence at one point in their life and in the course of the 12 preceding months, 13 million women have experienced physical violence, 3.7 million sexual violence and 9 million have experienced stalking according to a survey of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU published in 2014.
Joint Declaration : European parliament must address the agreement between the EU and Afghanistan
Arrest of the president of the Belgian human rights league : AEDH, FIDH join LDH to lodge a complaint against X
A reinforced Frontex agency, EU turns a deaf ear to NGO’s warnings
More powerful than ever and enjoying complete impunity, the EU border management agency has a new name with a reinforced mandate. The European Union has indeed opted for an increase in the means allocated to deportation, control and external cooperation activities, with no regard for the rights of migrants and refugees.
ILMR’s Carl von Ossietzky Medal 2016 to SOS Méditerranée and the documentary photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer
The Board of Trustees of the International League for Human Rights is announcing that the Carl von Ossietzky Medal 2016 will be awarded to SOS Méditerranée and Kai Wiedenhöfer for their courageous Human Rights activism. “Their extraordinary commitment has raised awareness for the desperate situation many refugees face today and the circumstances that have caused the search for asylum and migration”, the Board stated in their decision.
Turecký výjimečný stav a my - Petr Uhl
Petr Uhl - 06.08.2016 - Turecko musí být demokratickým právním státem. Požaduje to i skupina významných evropských a tureckých občanských spolků, jejichž společné prohlášení zde zveřejňujeme spolu s výpravným komentářem Petra Uhla.
Joint declaration on the state of emergency in Turkey
Brussels, Paris, Ankara 5/8/2016- EuroMed Rights, AEDH, FIDH, IHD and HRFT express deep worries over the state of emergency declared in Turkey for a period of three months following the July 15 coup d’état attempt in which hundreds of civilians, soldiers and police officers lost their lives. The state of emergency allows the president and the Council of Ministers to rule by decree, therefore bypassing the parliament and undermining democratic standards. It also "partially or entirely" suspends the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including Turkey’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Paris, Brussels, Nice, but also Beirut, Baghdad, Istanbul, Orlando and so many others…
18 July 2016 - The European Association for the Defence of Human Rights condemns what can only be considered as a horrific crime. AEDH expresses its solidarity and commiseration with the victims and their relatives. Violent offenses against fellow human beings are and remain unjustifiable, wherever and whenever they are committed.
The new mandate of Frontex agency - The EU obsessed with waging a war against migrants and refugees
7 July 2016 - In the past three years, the joint campaign Frontexit has denounced the incompatibility of the Frontex agency with the respect of fundamental rights. The establishment of a new European border guard body to replace Frontex, which the European Parliament approved last 5 July, is yet another step further in the war waged by the European Union (EU) against migrants and refugees.
Call to the heads of governments participating in the Western Balkan Summit: “Violations of the right of asylum must stop!”
4 July 2016 - At the occasion of the third Western Balkans Summit, today in Paris, AEDH, EuroMed Rights and the FIDH denounce the complete denial by the head of States in relation to the issue of the dignified reception of migrants and refugees travelling on the Western Balkan route.
Joint NGOs Statement following the arrest of the President of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey
29 June 2016 - The undersigned organizations, members of the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN), express their deep concern about the recent arrest of the President of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT), Ms. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, together with MM. Erol Önderoğlu (journalist and Turkey representative of Reporters Without Borders) and Ahmet Nesin (journalist and writer).
Statement ahead of the European Council of 28 – 29 June 2016: After the Brexit, the European Union has to return to its founding values
28 June 2016 - To leave or not to leave: the question will not be asked anymore. The United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union. The European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) considers that beyond the outcome of the referendum – that has given necessarily a binary answer – the problems persist.
Joint NGO statement ahead of the European Council of 28-29 June 2016 : NGOs strongly condemn new EU policies to contain migration
27 June 2016 - At the upcoming European Council, European Union (EU) leaders will discuss the European Commission’s Communication on a new Partnership Framework with third countries. The Communication proposes an approach which aims to leverage existing EU and Member States’ external cooperation instruments and tools in order to stem migration to Europe. The undersigned organisations express their grave concern about the direction the EU is taking by making deterrence and return the main objective of the Union’s relationship with third countries. More broadly, this new Partnership Framework risks cementing a shift towards a foreign policy that serves one single objective, to curb migration, at the expense of European credibility and leverage in defence of fundamental values and human rights.
The European Union’s lists of "safe countries": a denial of the right of asylum
26 May 2016 - The AEDH, EuroMed Rights and the FIDH wish to warn of the dangers of using the concept of safety in processing asylum applications (see analysis). No country may be deemed "safe". By adopting such a list, the European Union (EU) and its Members States would institutionalise at European level a practice by which the Member States could refuse to fully comply with their responsibilities towards asylum seekers, in violation of their international obligations.
Coercion and exclusion do not make an equitable asylum policy! The Commission’s « propositions » for a reform of asylum are either unacceptable or unrealistic
4 May 2016 - In a note published today, AEDH observes that the European Commission is offering to organise the regression of the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, in a bid to seek the support of Member States and stem the flow of people entering the European territory with the hope of finding protection there.
Frontex 2.0: The European Union’s armed wing Further reinforced and still untouchable
27 April 2016 - By August 2016, the European institutions aim to replace Frontex by a new coast guards and border-guards agency which will further jeopardise the rights of migrants and refugees. This new mandate reinforces the serious concerns expressed by the FRONTEXIT campaign since its establishment: deter, control and keep away men, women and children deemed undesirable while they are exerting their right to leave any country and the right to seek asylum.
Refugees : the countries of the EU delegate their responsibility (and their money) to Turkey to take care of them
17 April 2016 - Joint press release of AEDH , ALOS- LDH, action Luxembourg ouvert et solidaire - Human Rights League, ASTI, Association for the support of immigrant workers, Cercle de Coopération, and MSF, doctors without borders. Our organisations criticize the current EU migration policies in the aftermath of the EU-Turkey deal and call on EU member states to base their reaction to the "refugee crisis" on solidarity.
The Member States would rather “send” police than “relocate” refugees - Press release 8 april 2016
There is no doubt that, faced with the massive presence of migrants in its territory, Greece needs a helping hand from its European partners. The plan that the European Commission published in May 2015 was justified by the tragedies that had been playing out in the Greek islands for three years already.
Brussels: police against democracy
4 April 2016 - AEDH expresses its support for the President of the Belgian League of Human Rights (LDH), Alexis Deswaef, who was arrested by police on Saturday 2 April at Place de la Bourse in Brussels. AEDH urges the Home Affairs Minister and the Mayor of Brussels to fully investigate police behaviours and excesses.
Brussels: What place for human rights when facing terrorism?
31 March 2016 - Interview with Dominique Guibert, President of AEDH, realised by Café Babel Brussels about the verbal attacks the association faces on social networks in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, due to its positions against authoritarian and security excesses.
AEDH declaration on the Brussels’ attacks
Let’s make of the 8 March a daily event
8 March 2016 - The struggle of women has led to the conquest of rights and progress towards gender equality. On the 8th of March, AEDH honours these struggles at the International Women’s Day for women’s achievements worldwide. In our societies, women are everywhere but equality still needs to be conquered!
The Turkey/European Union agreement : externalising borders to end the right to asylum
16 March 2016 - Joint press release of the network Migreurop and AEDH : At a further summit meeting in Brussels on the 17 and 18 March, the EU and Turkey will adopt an agreement intended to resolve what is wrongly described as the ‘migrant crisis’. This is a plan above all that will allow the European Union to push refugees back beyond EU borders, and to subcontract its obligations to Turkey. Thus will members states flee their responsibilities in defiance of the right to asylum.
JOINT CIVIL SOCIETY STATEMENT - Counter-terrorism: The EU and its Member States must respect and protect human rights and the rule of law
Brussels, 1st March 2016. The 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere - and the assertion by States that there is an elevated terrorist threat in the European Union (EU) - have led to a new set of counter-terrorism measures at both EU and national levels. The undersigned organisations recall that counter-terrorism measures must always comply with the rule of law and human rights obligations under European Union and international law.
The collapse of Polish democracy
18 February 2016 - The European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) and its Polish member organization, Otwarta Rzeczpospolita, condemn the political decisions made by the Polish government against freedoms and democratic life.
Commemorating 10 years of the Data Protection Day: celebrating while remaining vigilant:
28 January 2016 - For the past 10 years, the Data Protection Day is celebrated every January 28 at the initiative of the Council of Europe. At each occasion it is an opportunity to recall the importance of this right which is a necessary legal counterweight in view of the proliferation of technological tools whose invasive potential is continuously increasing.
Call for EU action to safeguard democracy and fundamental rights
27 January 2016 - Civil society Europe, of which AEDH is a member, is expressing its concerns about the proposed legislation of the Polish government on the judicial and media powers and calls on the European Institutions to protect the fundamental rights of Polish and European citizens.
Rejecting migrants and refugees in Denmark: do not pass law L-87!
Copenhagen/ Brussels/ Paris, 27 January 2016 – the Danish parliament and government is about to adopt, today, 26 January, a very controversial law on the entry and sojourn of foreigners, which provides for confiscation of asylum seekers’ valuables. EuroMed Rights, the European Association for the defense of Human Rights and the International Federation for Human Rights are appalled by the closure policy of the Danish authorities, which goes against the human rights of migrants.
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