COUNCIL OF EUROPE ISSUE PAPER
The right to leave a country, including one’s own, is a necessary prerequisite to the enjoyment of a number of other human rights, most notably the right to seek and enjoy asylum and to be protected against ill-treatment. States are entitled to place restrictions on the right to leave, if they are in compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights case law.
A number of measures taken or envisaged in recent years by some Council of Europe member states in the Western Balkans pose serious challenges to the right to leave a country, enshrined in the 1963 Protocol No. 4 to the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as to the right to seek and enjoy asylum. The situation is of particular concern to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights given that these restrictive, migration-related measures have been adopted at the instigation of EU member states in pursuance of their immigration and border control policies, and have been tainted by discrimination as they have targeted and affected, in practice, the Roma.
This Issue Paper examines the right to leave a country and what it means both as a right in international human rights instruments and as interpreted by European courts and UN treaty bodies. It focuses on six major themes: the right to leave a country, including one’s own; the right to seek and enjoy asylum; non-nationals’ right to leave a country; prohibited discrimination as regards the right to leave a country; the situation in the Western Balkans; and the impact of the EU externalisation of border control policies on the right to leave a country. The conclusions highlight the need for European states to examine or re-examine their migration laws and policies in order to fully align them with the European Convention on Human Rights
CommHR thematic website on migration: http://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/thematic-work/migration
SVR POLICY BRIEF
Dear Sir or Madam,
The number of people seeking asylum in the European Union is on the rise – and refugees continue to be confronted with widely diverging standards in the individual member states, be it in terms of reception conditions or the asylum procedure itself. Moreover, the burdens of the EU’s common refugee policy are very unevenly distributed. Countries like Sweden and Belgium take in significantly more asylum-seekers than other larger member states such as Germany, the United Kingdom or Poland in relation to the size of their population. The asylum systems in Greece, Malta and Cyprus are so overloaded that the reception and processing conditions do not even meet the minimum standards set forth by EU law. Still, the member states have not been able to agree on specific criteria by which to determine a fair and equitable distribution of responsibility.
As a possible way forward, this SVR Policy Brief – published jointly with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs – proposes a multi-factor model which takes into account the economic strength, population, size of territory and unemployment rate of individual EU countries. When comparing model outcomes with countries’ actual intakes it becomes evident that Sweden, Belgium, Greece and Austria, in particular, received far more asylum applications than mandated under the quota. Cyprus, Malta, France and the Netherlands were also disproportionately affected.
According to the model, most of the other EU countries did not receive their fair share of asylum applications. These include “old” member states such as Italy, Luxembourg and Spain, as well as new members like Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Romania. The multi-factor model proposed here is capable of calculating a fair reception quota for every member state based on publicly available official data. The model can be seen as a contribution to an urgently needed political debate on the distribution of burdens and responsibilities in European refugee protection: Fair quotas could serve, on the one hand, as a basis for a more equitable distribution of asylum-seekers. On the other hand, they could help develop a system of financial compensation as well as a mechanism to identify when individual member states are overburdened.
We are pleased to provide you with the study.
The Policy Brief can be downloaded here in English (http://bit.ly/JalbeV) and in German (http://bit.ly/ICzckW).
Dr. Jan Schneider
Head of the SVR Research Unit
About the Expert Council’s Research Unit
The Expert Council´s Research Unit conducts independent, practice-oriented research projects in the field of integration and migration. The project-based studies focus on emerging trends and issues with education as one of the main research focal points. The Research Unit complements the work of the Expert Council. The core funding is provided by the Stiftung Mercator.
The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration is based on an initiative of the Stiftung Mercator and the VolkswagenStiftung. The initiative further includes:
Bertelsmann Stiftung, Freudenberg Stiftung, Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung, Körber Foundation, Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and Vodafone Foundation Germany. The Expert Council is an independent nonprofit, monitoring, evaluating and advisory committee on integration and migration policy issues that provides action-oriented policy recommendations.
For additional information, please visit: www.svr-migration.de/Research-Unit
DANISH REFUGEE COUNCIL: MIXED MIGRATION IN LIBYA
Danish Refugee Council has recently released a report on mixed migration in Libya. You can read the report “We risk our lives for our daily bread: Findings of a DRC Study of Mixed Migration in Libya” at http://drc.dk/news/news/artikel/new-report-on-mixed-migration-in-libya-reveals-serious-protection-gaps/
For further queries please contact:
Senior Programme Officer, Danish Refugee Council Libya email@example.com
EUROPEAN NETWORK ON STATELESSNESS GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE
Please see below ENS’s inaugural publication Statelessness Determination and the Protection Status of Stateless Persons: a Summary Guide of Good Practices and Factors to Consider when Designing National Determination and Protection Mechanisms:
This is released as part of the recently launched ENS Campaign to Protect Stateless Persons in Europe: http://www.statelessness.eu/node/417
The Guide draws on good practice examples from those states that already have dedicated statelessness determination procedures in place, and is intended to provide practical support to states considering the establishment of such a specific mechanism, or who wish to improve their existing system. The Guide also seeks to serve as a tool for civil society organisations and other stakeholders advocating for improved protection for stateless persons. It addresses six key areas which states should consider in the process of building a national determination and protection regime for stateless persons. The issues cover the entire spectrum of determination and protection, from basic questions of structure and access through to procedural factors, evidentiary assessment, and finally appeal and status related considerations.
ENS has chosen to launch this publication to mark Human Rights Day and you can read our public statement on our website: http://www.statelessness.eu/node/434
Please disseminate the Guide as widely as possible, and a print copy can be obtained by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Nash – ENS Coordinator
Register at http://www.statelessness.eu/sign-up to subscribe to the ENS Newsletter and other information updates