Let’s speak about the migrants’ right to information!

Migrants’ access to information regarding their rights

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) from Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovenia and Ukraine joined forces to monitor and evaluate migrants’ access to information regarding their rights, in several detention and reception centres throughout Europe. Based on the data collected by these NHRIs in 2017, ENNHRI has drafted a set of recommendations for national policy makers.

The report containing the recommendations will be presented on the 17th of October, during an event at the European Parliament, co-hosted by MEPs Tanja Fajon, Ana Gomes, and Judith Sargantini. Under the title “Migrants’ right to information: from key findings to evidence-based recommendations for policy makers”, European NHRIs, relevant policy makers, and academics will discuss the findings and recommendations of the report.

The report includes promising practices from different countries, such as: longer intake interviews for minors, or providing both oral and written information, but also showcases the need for improving some aspects, in particular the access to professional interpreting and translation services. ENNHRI believes that sharing accurate and up to date information is essential for filling the existing gaps and ensuring that the practice on migrants’ access to information on their rights fully complies with the European legal framework.

The importance of NHRI monitoring of migrant detention was also recognised in the Belgrade Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Refugees and Migrants (November 2015). Indeed, NHRIs and especially those who are National Preventative Mechanisms (NPMs), are well placed to understand and analyse the human rights implications of detention in the context of migration and asylum. As a matter of fact, full access to information on their rights is paramount to ensure that the rights of migrants and asylum seekers in detention and reception centres are respected.

This work was supported by the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement for Human Rights and the Leo Nevas Family Foundation.