4 March 2016

Amnesty International’s 2015/2016 Report was released in February, documenting the state of human rights in 160 countries across the globe. The report depicts a bleak situation for human rights around the world, including in Europe where the year was marked by the plight of over a million people seeking protection on the continent’s shores. In response to this unprecedented challenge, EU leaders failed “to come up with a coherent, humane and rights-respecting response,” increasingly focusing instead on measures to keep refugees and migrants out and outsourcing EU migration controls to third countries.

“As governments across the world seem hell bent on demolishing human rights protection, and at a time when the world needs human rights champions most, the EU is shirking its obligations and commitments to protect people’s basic freedoms at home and abroad” said Iverna McGowan, head of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.

At the end of 2015, “the EU was no closer to finding sustainable, rights-respecting solutions for those seeking sanctuary within its borders than at the start of the year,” Amnesty International concludes.

Across the globe, freedom of expression was restricted in over 100 countries, more than 150 human rights defenders were killed or died in detention in 2015, over 120 countries tortured or ill-treated people, and at least 30 countries illegally pushed back refugees to countries where they were potentially in danger. 

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This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 4 March 2016. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.