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The military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation has pushed hundreds of thousands of people to flee the country and seek shelter in neighbouring countries. With each passing hour, the humanitarian situation is deteriorating both within and outside the country. Several Ukrainian cities have reportedly lost access to water, heating, electricity and basic supplies, while the civilian population is subject to shelling and violence. While outside Ukraine's borders, the international humanitarian ...

The Holocaust ('Shoah' in Hebrew) – the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and mass murder of Jews, whom the Nazi regime and its collaborators sought to annihilate along with other persecuted groups, such as Roma and Sinti – took place in Europe. It is therefore not surprising that a trend to address negationism – i.e. unfounded theories questioning certain historical events – by means of criminal law, originated in Europe. With time, the scope of criminalisation has been extended to cover not ...

The European Union's objectives in the field of external border protection are to safeguard freedom of movement within the Schengen area (an area without internal borders) and to ensure efficient monitoring of people who cross the EU's external borders. To strengthen its external borders and prevent irregular migrants from reaching EU territory, the EU has focused on extending its partnerships with third countries as well as on reinforcing and providing its border agencies with stronger means and ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, explores the concept of “Rights of Nature” (RoN) and its different aspects in legal philosophy and international agreements, as well as in legislation and case-law on different levels. The study delves on the ideas of rights of nature in comparison with rights to nature, legal personhood and standing in court for natural entities, and analyses ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, assesses the possible strengthening of the cooperation of the European Union with the Council of Europe. It examines, on the one side, the participation of Council of Europe bodies in the EU Mechanism on Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, and, on the other, the accession of the European Union to Council of Europe Treaties, and ...

The prohibition of discrimination, and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of the provisions dealing with this issue is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare ...

The European Union is strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances, and fighting it is a foremost priority of its external human rights policy. While most countries in the world have abolished capital punishment, death sentences continue to be handed down and carried out in a number of countries. The Union uses its diplomatic and political weight to encourage these countries to join the abolitionist ranks, or at the very least to respect international minimum standards. It funds campaigns ...

Combating anti-Muslim hatred in the EU

Auf einen Blick 28-11-2018

Discrimination against minorities is against EU values and principles. However, research shows that discrimination against Muslims is becoming more common, and that it is increasingly supported by some political parties. EU secondary legislation on the issue is limited, and even grounds and areas of discrimination that are already covered need more work to ensure comprehensive protection. Nonetheless, several key legislative proposals are not making any progress, much to the regret of the European ...

Seventy years after its adoption, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has achieved all of the significance its drafters hoped it would. It has served as a foundation for the codification of human rights at global, regional and national level. Even though non-binding, many of its provisions enjoy such undisputed recognition as to be considered part of customary international law and therefore universally obligatory. In the absence of universal ratification of the human rights treaties, the Declaration ...

Council of Europe

Auf einen Blick 05-09-2018

The Council of Europe (CoE) is the oldest of the intergovernmental organisations set up in post-World War II Europe, and the one that has the most member states. Since its creation in 1949, the CoE has shared strong links with other European organisations, such as the European Coal and Steel Community and the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation; it now has close links with the European Union. Over time, the CoE has specialised in human-rights promotion and in monitoring the effective implementation ...