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100 million reasons why migration is a key theme at the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021

Jonathan Stutz@, 2021

In the last decade, more than 100 million people have been forced to flee persecution, conflict and violence, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

That is more people than the combined population of Germany, Czechia and Austria. And around 40% of those forcibly displaced people are children.

Covid-19 has made their situation even more difficult, as it led to border closures and travel restrictions, cutting routes for legal migration and restricting refugee support programmes.

Everyone agrees forced migration is a human tragedy. Yet uniting around a solution remains elusive.

The 2020 Parlemeter found around half of Europeans (47%) believe migration and refugees is the main area of disagreement between their national government and the EU.

“Migration is normal – migration has always been here, migration will always be here,” said EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson in a speech introducing the EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum in autumn 2020. 

The Pact aims to overhaul the current system and set out a new coherent approach to migration. EU institutions and EU countries continue to discuss the Pact and many questions remain still open.

Do you want to become part of the solution? Join the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 this October!

The Forum is your space to lead dialogue on the most pressing human rights challenges facing the EU today. Migration is a key part of the Forum’s theme ‘People on the move’.

Under this theme, the Forum will explore ways to deal with migration, asylum application and integration of migrants and refugees in Europe.

One thing is clear - respecting people’s fundamental rights has to be central to these efforts. 

As part of the rights-based approach to migration, the Fundamental Rights Agency’s recent publication offered a practical 10-point guide to help border staff better respect the rights of migrants. It said:

  1. Treat every person with dignity and in a professional, respectful manner
  2. Do not use force and do not confiscate property unless necessary, proportionate and justified under national, EU and international law to achieve a legitimate aim
  3. Pay attention to fundamental rights risks when cooperating with neighboring third countries
  4. Identify asylum applicants and protect them from refoulement
  5. Protect victims of crime
  6. Protect children at risk of abuse or violence
  7. Respect procedural requirements and safeguards
  8. Take all necessary precautions to protect personal data
  9. Cooperate with human rights monitoring bodies and humanitarian actors
  10. Take time for learning and development

If you have an idea how to help protect the rights of migrants and refugees, we are looking forward to seeing you at the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021 this October.

The programme will be available soon. In the meantime, stay tuned and sign up for updates.

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