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European Association for the Defence of Human Rights
 
 
 
FEBRUARY - MARCH 2018
 
 
 
 
Low clouds and dark omens over Europe
 
Information when it comes to the future in Europe and especially for this unique construction that is the European Union is not good. Not only, democracy and the defense of rights are the least of the concerns of the authorities in many EU Member States, but in addition, peoples themselves have difficulty in distinguishing what added value brings “Europe” and they give some credibility to extreme right-wing, xenophobic and nationalist, even downright racist and / or fascist political parties.
 
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
AEDH NEWS
 
  • In solidarity with Civil Society in Hungary
  • 4th European Forum on Migration: focus on the integration of migrants into the labour market
  •  8 March, International Day for Equal Rights for Women: they took the floor, they will keep it!
  •  AEDH contributions to the European Commission’s public consultations on EU funds post 2020
  • Conference 'Leaving the EU - Impact on Human Rights'
 
AREAS OF FOCUS
 
Democracy & Citizenship
  • European democracy: the big challenge. What’s left for democracy with security and defence setting the agenda? 
 
Data Protection
  • GDPR: the clock is ticking! 
 
Asylum & Migration
  • Member States Face Five Persistent Challenges 
  • In Greece, unspeakable material conditions, legal uncertainty, … one more year.
  • Albania, scout for the protection of South-East borders of the EU
  • Has the European Union achieved a “control of migratory flows”? 
 
Economic, social and cultural rights
  • Free trade agreements: and the lessons of History? 
 
MEMBER NEWS
 
  • Kisa –The miserable conditions at Kofinou expression of the wrong reception policy for asylum seekers
  • LDH - France - The Asylum-Immigration Law: an unbalanced project that worries associations
  • Hungarian Helsinki Committee wins lawsuit against cabinet office over Stop Soros national consultation
  • LDH- France – A new step towards a UN treaty binding multinationals to respect human rights
 
 
 
 
 
 
In solidarity with Civil Society in Hungary
 
19 February 2018 - On 13 February 2018, the Hungarian government tabled to Parliament a proposed legislative pack of three laws, commonly referred to as “Stop Soros”. The newly proposed legislation would further restrict Hungarian civil society ability to carry out their work, by requiring organizations that “support migration” to obtain national security clearance and a government permit to perform basic functions. The proposed law would also require organizations to pay a tax of 25% of any foreign funding aimed at “supporting migration”.
 
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8 March, International Day for Equal Rights for Women: they took the floor, they will keep it!
 
8 March 2018 - This year, March 8 will be celebrated around the world in the new context of a global liberation of women’s speech. Denunciations of harassment and sexual violence against women is a real explosion. They took the floor and nothing will be “as before”: what was “banal” and what so many people were used to, is no longer accepted.
 
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4th European Forum on Migration: focus on the integration of migrants into the labour market
 
6-7 March 2018 - For the 4th consecutive year, the European Forum on Migration, a platform for dialogue between civil society, institutions and authorities, was held in Brussels. This year, the Forum focused on the challenges and opportunities involved in integrating migrants into the EU's labour markets.
Present at this event organised jointly by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee, AEDH stressed that before even talking about integration of migrants into the labour market, Member States must first and foremost regularise undocumented workers and offer asylum seekers with the possibility of exercising a professional activity while awaiting for the processing of their file.
 
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AEDH contributions to the European Commission’s public consultations on EU funds post 2020
 
9 March 2018 - Read AEDH contributions to the European Commission’s public consultations on EU funds in the field of migration and in the field of values ​​and mobility.
 
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Conference 'Leaving the EU - Impact on Human Rights'
 
16 March 2018 - AEDH and New Europeans continue their collaboration started in November 2017 on Brexit with a conference taking place in London on 16 march 2018. Organised together with Britain in Europe and Brunel University Knowing Our Rights project, the event will assess the Brexit impact on a number of individual rights related among others to disability, equality, family life, data protection, work, etc. Join us! 
 
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European democracy: the big challenge. What’s left for democracy with security and defence setting the agenda?
 
19 February 2018 - AEDH has been invited to intervene at the European Civic Forum event #MEGA – MAKE EUROPE GREAT FOR ALL. Represented by its Secretary General, Claude Debrulle, AEDH focused on the following issue 'What is left for democracy with security and defence setting the agenda?’
 
Read the report
 
 
GDPR: the clock is ticking!
 
22 February 2018 - On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) must be applied in all EU member states. However, until now, only Austria and Germany countries have adopted a law implementing this regulation. Now is the time to review this regulation, recall its principal contributions and its main weaknesses, and to return to the “Computer, Privacy & Data Protection” (CPDP) conference attended by AEDH in late January and during which the GDPR was often addressed.
 
Read the report
 
 
Member States Face Five Persistent Challenges
 
15 February 2018 - In February, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published a report outlining its vision of the “Top five migration issues that need urgent action“. Based on two years of observation, in its recent report the FRA draws attention to: the overly strict management of borders difficulties in accessing the asylum procedure, inadequate living conditions in reception centres, vulnerability of unaccompanied minors and problems with the placement of migrants in retention. These are the five major challenges facing EU countries.
 
Read the report
 
 
In Greece, unspeakable material conditions, legal uncertainty, … one more year.
 
19 February 2018 – In Greece, for the third consecutive year, migrants and refugees have to face the rigours of winter in substandard material conditions, while their legal precariousness seems limitless.
 
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Albania, scout for the protection of South-East borders of the EU
 
20 February 2018 – On the occasion of a visit by the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos to Tirana on 11 and 12 February, a draft status agreement for operational cooperation between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX) and Albania, represented by its Minister of the Interior, Fatmir Xhafaj, was initialled.
 
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Has the European Union achieved a “control of migratory flows”?
 
20 February 2018 - According to the first statistical publications of the year, 2017 would have registered a 60% decrease in irregular crossings of the EU external borders (FRONTEX) and 43% fewer asylum applications (EASO). There is no doubt that the European institutions will not fail to consider these results as a success of the European immigration control policy … at least if it is reduced to a numerical question.
 
Read the report
 
 
Free trade agreements: and the lessons of History?
 
12 March 2018 - Free trade agreements have a hidden face. A hidden face that does not question the existence of currents of exchange which offer significant benefits for many people. But agreements that regularly endanger the foundations of democracy, the rights to a healthy environment, equal access to healthcare and many others. must be questioned. In AEDH’s scope of action, it is a question of testing the free trade agreements signed by the European Union on behalf of its member states.
 
Read the report
 
 
 
 
 
Kisa –The miserable conditions at Kofinou expression of the wrong reception policy for asylum seekers
 
17 February 2018 – The tragic situation that dominates at the Reception Center for Asylum Seekers in Kofinou has made first page news in the media due to the inhumane living conditions and sanitation and their effects on the health of the refugees hosted there, especially small children and other vulnerable persons. KISA believes that both the living conditions and other not visible serious problems at the Center at Kofinou are caused due to three basic factors: a lack of governance in the center due to the action of the Ministry of Interior, the refusal of the Ministry to cooperate and consult with the NGOs, independent authorities and international supervisory institutions, and the absence of a complete and effective policy of reception and integration of asylum seekers.
 
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LDH – France – The Asylum-Immigration Law: an unbalanced project that worries associations
 
21 February 2018 – LDH-France and 20 other civil society organisations are calling on parliamentarians to make major changes to the asylum-immigration law presented by the Government in the Council of Ministers. While some measures are positive, the text mainly contains measures that will degrade the asylum procedure and the social support proposed by the associations, in a context where all the asylum seekers cannot be accommodated, due to an insufficient number of places.
 
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Hungarian Helsinki Committee wins lawsuit against cabinet office over Stop Soros national consultation
 
28 February 2018 – The Metropolitan Court of Budapest in its first instance ruling found that in the ‘National Consultation’ questionnaire, the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister had violated the Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s right to good reputation. The court found that the statements in Question 5 of the questionnaire related to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) are false and misrepresent the human rights organization. The Court called on the government to issue an apology as well as pay the HHC HUF 2 million for damages. The ruling is subject to appeal.
 
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LDH- France – A new step towards a UN treaty binding multinationals to respect human rights
 
9 March 2018 – The UN Human Rights Council reviewed on 8 March 2018 the report of the 3rd session of the Intergovernmental Working Group (GTIG) that is in charge of establishing an international legally binding instrument for multinationals to be accountable for the human rights and environmental abuses they commit. A new milestone has been reached that will allow the negotiation process to continue further with a new session in October 2018, with the support of civil society and a majority of states, France included. The European Union’s intervention was particularly expected, as it has repeatedly tried to obstruct the process since 2015: it finally announced that it would participate constructively. This change of attitude of the European Union, and the pro-active role of France in the EU, follow an important mobilisation of the civil society and the French parliamentarians who were nearly 250, across political parties, to write to President Macron to support the initiative of this treaty.
 
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Have contributed to the issue:
 
Dominique Guibert, Catherine Teule, Maryse Artiguelong, Claude Debrulle, Angélique Hardy, Margaux Rundstadler, Ninon Michelis, Thomas Otuszewski and Althea Williams
 
 
 
 
 
Together, we can turn Europe into a place of respect for human rights!
 
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