30

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Policy area
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Date

Human rights in Ukraine and the EU response, including relevant activities of the European Parliament

07-02-2018

The present study provides an overview of how the European Union and the European Parliament (EP) contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights in Ukraine. The analysis adopts an institutional approach, separately addressing the role of the various EP bodies involved, such as the plenary itself and the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI). The actions of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee (PAC), a parliamentary body created by the Association Agreement, as well as those ...

The present study provides an overview of how the European Union and the European Parliament (EP) contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights in Ukraine. The analysis adopts an institutional approach, separately addressing the role of the various EP bodies involved, such as the plenary itself and the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI). The actions of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee (PAC), a parliamentary body created by the Association Agreement, as well as those of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the PAC are included in this analysis. The territories controlled by the Ukrainian government and those that are temporarily occupied, namely Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine, are addressed separately in the study. In terms of thematic focus, the EP’s activities aimed at human rights promotion have been dominated by the issue of the Crimean Tatars, the Ukrainian political prisoners illegally held in Russia, and the human rights situation in eastern Ukraine. The most significant conclusion is that the more entrenched the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity becomes, the wider the spectrum of human rights issues extends, in protection of which the EP is able to step to the fore and take action. A summary of the contents of relevant EP actions can be found in the Annex to the study, together with a graphical visualisation of key data.

External author

András RÁCZ, Narine GHAZARYAN, Sergiy GERASYMCHUK.

Plight of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar/Burma

15-09-2017

The brutal military crackdown since October 2016 in Myanmar/Burma's Rakhine State has highlighted the tragic situation of Muslim Rohingya, often described as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Deprived of citizenship and basic freedoms at home, those who risk their lives to escape can at best hope for a precarious existence abroad. This text updates an earlier 'at a glance note', published in February 2017 - PE 599.257.

The brutal military crackdown since October 2016 in Myanmar/Burma's Rakhine State has highlighted the tragic situation of Muslim Rohingya, often described as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Deprived of citizenship and basic freedoms at home, those who risk their lives to escape can at best hope for a precarious existence abroad. This text updates an earlier 'at a glance note', published in February 2017 - PE 599.257.

Towards a comprehensive EU protection system for minorities

30-08-2017

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the added value of developing a democratic rule of law and fundamental rights-based approach to the protection of minorities in the EU legal system, from an ‘intersectional’ viewpoint. It presents the state of play regarding the main challenges characterising the protection of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in a selection ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines the added value of developing a democratic rule of law and fundamental rights-based approach to the protection of minorities in the EU legal system, from an ‘intersectional’ viewpoint. It presents the state of play regarding the main challenges characterising the protection of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in a selection of 11 European countries, in light of existing international and regional legal standards. Minority protection has been an EU priority in enlargement processes as a conditional criterion for candidate countries to accede to the Union. Yet a similar scrutiny mechanism is lacking after accession. The study puts forward several policy options to address this gap. It suggests specific ways in which a Union Pact for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, could help to ensure a comprehensive EU approach to minority protection.

External author

Sergio CARRERA, CEPS(Coordinator), Brussels, Belgium Elspeth GUILD, CEPS, Brussels, Belgium Lina VOSYLIŪTĖ, CEPS, Brussels, Belgium Petra BARD, National Institute of Criminology/ Central European University (CEU)/ ELTE School of Law, Budapest, Hungary

International Roma Day

28-03-2017

Since 1990, 8 April has been marked every year as International Roma Day, providing an opportunity both to discuss the situation of Roma, and to celebrate Romani culture.

Since 1990, 8 April has been marked every year as International Roma Day, providing an opportunity both to discuss the situation of Roma, and to celebrate Romani culture.

Discrimination(s) as emerging from petitions received

28-02-2017

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions (PETI), focuses on several issues stemming from a sample of forty petitions received. Whilst all petitions are related to anti-discrimination law, they are quite heterogeneous in terms of the respondent entity, the grounds of discrimination and the legal sources invoked. Recommendations are made to assist the PETI Committee and the EP ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions (PETI), focuses on several issues stemming from a sample of forty petitions received. Whilst all petitions are related to anti-discrimination law, they are quite heterogeneous in terms of the respondent entity, the grounds of discrimination and the legal sources invoked. Recommendations are made to assist the PETI Committee and the EP in replying to petitions received in this field.

Plight of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar/Burma

06-02-2017

The brutal military crackdown since October 2016 in Myanmar/Burma's Rakhine State has highlighted the tragic situation of Muslim Rohingya, often described as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Deprived of citizenship and basic freedoms at home, those who risk their lives to escape can at best hope for a precarious existence abroad.

The brutal military crackdown since October 2016 in Myanmar/Burma's Rakhine State has highlighted the tragic situation of Muslim Rohingya, often described as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Deprived of citizenship and basic freedoms at home, those who risk their lives to escape can at best hope for a precarious existence abroad.

Parliamentary elections in Jordan

15-09-2016

Jordanians will go to the polls on 20 September 2016 to elect a new parliament, at a time of unprecedented regional upheaval, an increasingly challenging domestic economic situation and high levels of public discontent. A new electoral law introduces multi-member districts and elections using a list system, replacing the 'one-person, one-vote' rule. This has prompted the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the main opposition party, which had boycotted the 2010 and 2013 elections, to participate in the election ...

Jordanians will go to the polls on 20 September 2016 to elect a new parliament, at a time of unprecedented regional upheaval, an increasingly challenging domestic economic situation and high levels of public discontent. A new electoral law introduces multi-member districts and elections using a list system, replacing the 'one-person, one-vote' rule. This has prompted the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the main opposition party, which had boycotted the 2010 and 2013 elections, to participate in the election. Reducing the number of seats in the parliament from 150 to 130, the new legislation also provides for better representation of Jordan's largest cities while retaining quotas for women and minorities, including Christians, Circassians and Chechens. The IAF’s participation in the elections increases their legitimacy. However, in view of the strength of the monarchy, few expect the composition of the new parliament to significantly alter the country's domestic or foreign policies.

Human rights in Russia

14-09-2016

Russia is a signatory to several international human rights treaties and, as a member of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights. Its constitution directly guarantees the human rights of Russian citizens, which are also protected by institutions such as a Human Rights Ombudsman and a Presidential Council. However, the human rights situation in Russia is increasingly difficult. Repressive legislation adopted over the last few years has severely curtailed human rights by targeting ...

Russia is a signatory to several international human rights treaties and, as a member of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights. Its constitution directly guarantees the human rights of Russian citizens, which are also protected by institutions such as a Human Rights Ombudsman and a Presidential Council. However, the human rights situation in Russia is increasingly difficult. Repressive legislation adopted over the last few years has severely curtailed human rights by targeting freedom of expression and human rights activism. Western criticisms are dismissed by the Kremlin as interference in Russian domestic affairs. Human rights observers have compiled an extensive catalogue of abuses in Russia. These range from extrajudicial killings and inhuman treatment including torture, to confiscation of private property. A dysfunctional justice system denies Russians the right to a fair trial; ethnic minorities, women and LGBT persons are heavily disadvantaged, in practice and in some cases also in law. Some of the worst abuses in all these areas have occurred in the North Caucasus and Crimea, for example due to repression of the Crimean Tatar minority.

EYE 2016 – We are not afraid!

28-04-2016

The year 2015 confirmed once again that terrorism is a serious threat to international security. The EU plays an active role in supporting Member States' measures to ensure security, be it through strengthening the control of firearms, securing borders or using new technologies. Security, however, needs to be balanced with the respect for fundamental rights. Communities also have an important part to play in preventing terrorism. This note has been prepared for the European Youth Event, taking place ...

The year 2015 confirmed once again that terrorism is a serious threat to international security. The EU plays an active role in supporting Member States' measures to ensure security, be it through strengthening the control of firearms, securing borders or using new technologies. Security, however, needs to be balanced with the respect for fundamental rights. Communities also have an important part to play in preventing terrorism. This note has been prepared for the European Youth Event, taking place in Strasbourg in May 2016. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

The Situation of National Minorities in Crimea Following its Annexation by Russia

13-04-2016

National minorities in Crimea have been subject to systematic violations of their rights since the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March 2014. Documented violations have occurred in the areas of freedom of expression, conscience, and religion; the right to peaceful assembly and association; freedom of the media and access to information; the right to a fair trial and effective remedy; the right to education in one’s native language; and linguistic and cultural rights. The de facto authorities ...

National minorities in Crimea have been subject to systematic violations of their rights since the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March 2014. Documented violations have occurred in the areas of freedom of expression, conscience, and religion; the right to peaceful assembly and association; freedom of the media and access to information; the right to a fair trial and effective remedy; the right to education in one’s native language; and linguistic and cultural rights. The de facto authorities in Crimea have neglected to investigate cases of grave violations of the rights to life, liberty, security, and physical integrity. The response of the international community has been limited. While Western countries pursue non-recognition policies towards Crimea, international sanctions introduced in response to the occupation of Crimea are weak, and there have been no measures taken to address the international humanitarian law and human rights violations in Crimea. Limited support is available to human rights organisations focused on or working in Crimea, and human rights monitors still cannot gain access to Crimea. The European Union, and the European Parliament, in particular, should actively advocate for the establishment of an international human rights monitoring presence in occupied Crimea. Tailor-made support programmes should be offered to Ukrainian government agencies and civil society working towards the protection of the rights of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea. The European Parliament should continue raising the issue of human rights violations in Crimea and monitor individual cases. Furthermore, the Council of the European Union should consider imposing sanctions for the violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in occupied Crimea.

External author

Natalia SHAPOVALOVA (CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research, Poland), Olga BURLYUK (Centre for EU Studies, Ghent University in association with Policy Association for an Open Society, Czech Republic)

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