Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 275

Posts Tagged ‘rights’

EP launches training to promote children’s rights

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 7 giugno 2019

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, European Parliament’s Coordinator on Children’s Rights, launched today “The Rights of the Child in EU policy-making” training initiative.
Introducing the initiative – organised jointly by the EP and the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency – Anna Maria Corazza Bildt said: “I am very proud to launch this programme, as a cornerstone of mainstreaming children’s rights in the European Parliament’s internal and external action. I trust that the protection and promotion of children’s rights will be at the heart of the work carried out by this House in the next legislative term”.
As European Parliament Coordinator on Children’s Rights, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt seeks to ensure that the institution recognises children as rights holders and endeavours to ensure that EU law and policy respects, promotes and protects these rights in all of the Parliament’s work. In order to meet this commitment, it is therefore timely to raise awareness and build capacity in the European Parliament. At the launch, Mrs Corazza Bildt outlined her plans to build upon the foundations laid. “I am committed to offering this training to Members of Parliament, their assistants and political groups on a regular basis. I also plan to expand this training programme to all interested European institutions, thanks to the valuable expertise of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency”.
“The Fundamental Rights Agency wholeheartedly welcomes putting child rights centre stage of the EU policy making process,” said FRA Director, Michael O’Flaherty. “We are honoured to support the European Parliament. We look forward to cooperating closely with the European Parliament as it shapes future EU policies for the protection of child rights.”

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Promoting rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 21 gennaio 2019

EP wants to triple the budget for the Rights and Values Programme Fast-track procedure to support democratic dialogue where EU values are at risk The EU should do more to promote democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights across the EU, including through support to civil society organisations.MEPs endorsed on Thursday the position of the Civil Liberties Committee to triple the funds allocated in the long-term EU budget (2021-2027) for the Rights and Values Programme, up to 1.834 billion euros (the European Commission had proposed €642 million).
Parliament’s mandate to start negotiations with EU ministers was approved with 426 votes to 152 and 45 abstentions.With a general objective to protect and promote the rights and values enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty through support to civil society organisations at local, regional, national and transnational level, the Programme seeks to promote equality and non-discrimination, encourage citizens’ engagement and participation in the democratic process, and fight violence.MEPs decided to specifically mention the protection and promotion of democracy and the rule of law as the main aim, as these are a prerequisite for protecting fundamental rights and for ensuring mutual trust among member states and of citizens’ trust in the European Union, says the text.Regarding the activities to be funded with EU money, Parliament suggests awareness-raising campaigns on European core values and the rights and obligations derived from EU citizenship. Initiatives to reflect on the factors that lead to totalitarian regimes occurring and to commemorate their victims were also suggested. MEPs also want to support town-twinning projects, human rights defenders and whistle-blowers, measures countering hate-speech and misinformation, and protection of victims of violence, among others.
MEPs agreed that, in exceptional cases, when there is a serious and rapid deterioration of the situation in a member state and the founding values are at risk, the European Commission may open a call for proposals, under a fast-track procedure, to fund civil society organisations to facilitate and support the democratic dialogue in the country.

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Victims’ Rights Directive: MEPs call for better enforcement

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 1 giugno 2018

Parts of the Victims’ Rights Directive have been properly enforced by some EU countries, but more must be done to help victims of violence and terrorism. In a resolution adopted in Plenary on Wednesday, by 517 votes in favour, 74 against and 72 abstentions, MEPs criticise the fact that the EU Victims’ Rights Directive, designed to strengthen victims’ rights irrespective of where an offence took place, their nationality or residence status, still hasn’t been transposed into national legislation by all EU member states.
MEPs note that some member states have successfully implemented certain provisions (inter alia the right to interpretation and translation, to be heard and the protection of child victims), but point out important shortcomings, notably the complexity of procedures to access supports services, the lack of clear information in more than one language and of legislative foot-hold in cross-border cases.
MEPs call on member states to promote easy access to justice and adequate, free-of-charge legal aid, and to provide free translation and interpretation services.They recall the vital importance of conducting the first contact with the victim properly, especially in the case of victims of gender-based violence, and call on member states to transpose into their legislation timely individual assessments of the victims, which are crucial to empowering them by informing them of their rights.They also urge the European Commission and members states to provide gender-sensitive training programmes for all professionals involved in dealing with victims of crime (law practitioners, police officers, prosecutors, judges, social workers…).Regarding terrorism, in the context of the numerous attacks that have hit Europe over recent years, MEPs calls on member states to establish, when an attack occurs, a coordination centre providing information support and practical services to the victims and their families.
They add that victims should be provided with personalised, specific and relevant information in accordance with their needs, via the creation of a one-stop shop, an emergency phone line and a web portal offering free-of-charge and easily accessible support services, including information as well as psychological, legal, practical and administrative assistance.Co-rapporteur Angelika Mlinar (ALDE, AT) said: ‘‘The report is important to concretely improve the rights of all victims of crime and intensify the fight against all forms of gender-based violence and abuse. The member states must do much more to end the impunity that allows these human rights violations to continue. The victims deserve to be provided with all the support in order to rebuild their lives, such as access to justice, shelters and adequate health care. Our group has from the very beginning been pushing the Council to adopt this ambitious Directive; now the member states have to live up to their commitments, for the sake of all victims and especially women and girls.’’
Co-rapporteur Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio (EPP, ES) said: ‘‘More than ever, the European Union stands firm to help victims of crime, to treat each victim equally with respect and dignity and in accordance with their specific needs. This report also includes tailored and efficient measures to help, support and protect victims of terrorism.’’

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Peacekeeping and Fundamental Rights: Responsibilities of the UN.

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 maggio 2018

Milano Martedì 29 maggio ore 18.00, ISPI – Palazzo Clerici, Via Clerici 5 la Fondazione Internazionale Balzan organizza una tavola rotonda sul tema del diritto internazionale. Ospite principale sarà Rosalyn Higgins, Premio Balzan 2007 per il diritto internazionale dopo il 1945 e prima donna ad essere stata Presidente della Corte internazionale di Giustizia dell’Aja.
Di somma rilevanza storica e urgente attualità, il tema sarà svolto, insieme alla giurista britannica, da alcuni dei suoi maggiori esperti: Sergio Romano (diplomatico e storico), Marco Pedrazzi (Università di Milano) e Fausto Pocar (giurista, già Presidente del Tribunale penale internazionale per la ex-Jugoslavia). Il presidente della Fondazione Balzan Enrico Decleva introdurrà l’incontro.Durante la tavola rotonda sarà anche illustrato il trattato di diritto internazionale Oppenheim’s International Law – United Nations appena pubblicato da Oxford University press, curato da Rosalyn Higgins con i giovani giuristi Philippa Webb, Dapo Akande, Sandesh Sivakumaran (presenti alla discussione) e James Sloan. Opera autorevole e completa della pratica giuridica delle Nazioni Unite, realizzata grazie alla metà del Premio Balzan di R. Higgins destinata ai progetti di ricerca, rappresenta uno studio completamente nuovo, ma in diretta continuità con le edizioni dello storico e fondamentale trattato di diritto internazionale di L.F.L Oppenheim.
Dame Rosalyn Higgins è stata Giudice alla Corte Internazionale di Giustizia all’Aja dal 1995 e Presidente dal 2006 al 2009, già professoressa di diritto internazionale all’Università del Kent a Canterbury e alla University of London (London School of Economics), membro della UN Human Rights Committee (1984-1995). Fra le sue onorificenze figurano l’ordine del Dame Commander of the British Empire (1995), il Chevalier d’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (1988) e il Premio Balzan che le fu attribuito nel 2007 “per i suoi fondamentali contributi allo sviluppo del diritto internazionale a partire dalla Seconda Guerra Mondiale, sia come scienziata che come giudice e presidente di tribunale; per i suoi libri, raccolte di documenti, articoli e decisioni giuridiche chiari e precisi, ragionevoli e costruttivi, e allo stesso tempo innovativi e impegnati nella difesa dello stato di diritto e dei diritti umani; per il suo ruolo guida nel rafforzamento e nell’affermazione del diritto internazionale moderno”.

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Voting rights at risk

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 30 agosto 2017

trump11One of the most significant milestones in our nation’s journey to equality was the passage of Voting Rights Act.This journey was not an easy one. For decades, African Americans were subjected to widespread voter intimidation efforts and laws designed to keep them from the polls. But they refused to accept injustice.Civil rights activists organized protests and courageously endured unspeakable acts of violence by those who wanted to disenfranchise them. Then in 1965, African Americans’ heroic activism ushered in change. President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory voting practices and put protections in place to stop any attempts at discrimination in the future. It’s been 52 years since the Voting Rights Act became law. Yet sadly, we still can’t take this fundamental right for granted. In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted a key protection in the Voting Rights Act.Congress has the power to restore it, but President Trump has made it clear to his party that addressing voter suppression is not a priority. Instead, President Trump and his commission on “election integrity” prefer to investigate made-up claims of voter fraud. He wants to give the GOP justification for passing restrictive voting laws that unfairly target minorities. Generations of civil rights activists risked their lives to secure the right to vote for all Americans. As a Veteran, I fought to defend this country and the democratic principles it was built on. We can’t let our efforts be undermined.

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New Asylum Agency to ensure respect of EU asylum rules and fundamental rights

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 2 luglio 2017

european parliamentThe new EU Asylum Agency will ensure that EU countries respect rules on asylum, following a deal with Council. It will also monitor respect of fundamental rights.The informal, preliminary agreement reached on Wednesday covers all the main elements of the legislation, but inter-institutional talks will continue under the Estonian Presidency to finalise the text.The proposal to strengthen the current EU Asylum Support Office (EASO), turning it into a new EU Agency for Asylum equipped with the means and resources to assist Member States in crisis situations and to monitor compliance with EU legislation, is linked to the wider review of the Common European Asylum System currently under way.
MEPs ensured that the Agency will be in charge of regularly assessing all aspects of the common asylum policy, such as reception conditions, respect for procedural safeguards, the right to legal aid and access to interpretation, and whether financial and human resources are sufficient or not. It will also carry out “ad-hoc” monitoring checks when the situation in a specific country raises concerns.A new “asylum intervention pool”, formed by 500 national experts, will be set up and at the immediate disposal of the Agency. They will be deployed in cases where the asylum and reception systems of an EU country are under “disproportionate pressure”.
The Agency will also have a Fundamental Rights Officer, in charge of managing the newly-created complaint mechanism and monitoring and ensuring respect for fundamental rights in all the Agency’s activities.The Executive Director will be able to suspend or terminate the deployment of asylum support teams if a host Member State is found to be in serious breach of fundamental rights.Péter Niedermüller (S&D, HU), Parliament’s rapporteur for the proposal, said: “Our aim was to turn EASO into a fully-fledged Union Agency working with the Member States, but independent from them. The Agency will act as a watchdog of CEAS, an essential element for the EP. Increasing the Agency’s operational and technical capacities to make it more responsive to the current challenges, and ensuring respect for fundamental rights was also crucial”.

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American Women’s Rights and Suffrage from 1848 to 2017

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 23 maggio 2017

Roma Mercoledì 24 Maggio 2017, ore 16:30 Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche Via Chiabrera 199 Conferenza di Ellen DuBois, University of California, LA American Women’s Rights and Suffrage from 1848 to 2017

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Big Data: Parliament calls for better protection of fundamental rights and privacy

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 16 marzo 2017

european parliamentStrengthened transparency of algorithms, special attention to data used for law enforcement and more investment in digital literacy needed to safeguard fundamental rights in the digital era, MEPs say in a non-legislative resolution passed on Tuesday.
The non-legislative resolution drafted by Ana Gomes (S&D, PT) on the fundamental rights implications on Big data looks at how the increasing use of Big data impacts on fundamental rights, namely privacy and data protection.Big data is growing by 40% per year and has the potential to bring undeniable benefits and opportunities for citizens, businesses and governments, but also entails significant risks with regard to the protection of fundamental rights as guaranteed by the EU Charter and Union law. The resolution stresses the need to avoid discrimination based on the use of such data, including in law enforcement, as well as the need to ensure security of data.
MEPs want the Commission, the member states and the data protection authorities to take “any possible measures” to minimise algorithmic discrimination, including price discrimination, where consumers are given different prices of a product based on data collected from their previous internet behaviour, or unlawful discrimination and targeting of certain groups or persons defined by their race, colour, ethic or social origin, religion or political view or being refused from social benefits.”It is not just a question of data protection. These algorithms do have a real impact on peoples’ private lives because they can actually provoke what is happening and they can actually call into question and put at risk our fundamental rights through social media”, said Parliament’s rapporteur Ana Gomes in the debate ahead of the plenary vote.MEPs also emphasise the need for greater accountability and transparency of algorithms with regards to data processing and analytics by both private and public sector and warn that low quality of data or low quality procedures could result in biased algorithms.
The increase in data flows imply further vulnerabilities and new security challenges, MEPs say. They call for the use of privacy by design and by default, anonymisation techniques, encryption, and mandatory privacy impact assessments. They also stress that special attention should be given to the security of e-government systems.Special attention should also be paid to data used in for law enforcement purposes which should always be assessed by a human being, MEPs say. They call on the Commission, the European Data Protection Board and other independent supervisory authorities to issue guidelines and best practises for further specifying the criteria and conditions for decisions based on the use of big data for law enforcement purposes.MEPs urge the EU institutions and member states to invest in digital awareness raising of digital rights, privacy and data protection among citizens, including children. This education should foster an understanding of how algorithms and automated decision-making work and how data is collected for example from social networks, connected devices and internet searches.

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Fundamental rights in Hungary discussed in Civil Liberties Committee

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 1 marzo 2017

ungheriaCivil Liberties Committee MEPs discussed the fundamental rights situation in Hungary with Justice Minister László Trócsányi and civil society representatives on Monday afternoon. Several MEPs raised the issue of refugees and migrants, asking for clarifications on a draft law proposing that any asylum-seeker be automatically detained for the entire duration of their application.Some members asked about the independence of the Constitutional Court and media pluralism, while others demanded answers on a government plan to force non-government organisation (NGO) leaders to declare their personal assets in the same way as MPs do.MEPs also put questions on measures to relieve the overcrowding of prisons and on the situation of women in the context of the Istanbul Convention, which Hungary is expected to ratify soon. The government of Hungary was represented by Justice Minister László Trócsányi. Civil society speakers were: Miklós Szánthó Director, Center for Fundamental Rights; Tódor Gárdos, Researcher, Amnesty lnternational; Stefánia Kapronczay, Executive Director, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and Márta Pardavi, Co-Chair, Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

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A decade of human rights protection

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 1 marzo 2017

box-eubidrag“The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights can be justifiably proud of what it has achieved in its first 10 years,” said FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “However, we are well aware of the challenges we face in upholding the values that are the foundation of our shared societies. Respect for human rights can never be taken for granted, as we can see from the high levels of intolerance, lack of respect and discrimination around the EU. We must find ways of renewing our commitment to the fairness, justice and equality on which our societies were built.”
“In these times of change we sense that old certainties are crumbling, but we have not yet found new solutions to help us face the challenges before us,” said Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen. “This uncertainty makes it all the more important to stand up for the fundamental principles on which our societies are based: that the human rights to freedom and dignity are universal and inalienable. 10 years ago, the European Union demonstrated its profound commitment to human rights by establishing the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. The Agency’s work is now more vital than ever.”
“The European Union is founded on our common values. It has and will always stand for our basic democratic values, for freedom,for tolerance and the rule of law,” said Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. “It is the 10th anniversary of the Fundamental Rights agency which has worked hard to promote fundamental rights in the EU. At the same time, I’m deeply concerned that in Europe and beyond, fundamental democratic freedoms are questioned. We all know where isolationism and nationalism have led us in the past. I am convinced that protecting fundamental rights and the rule of law is the only response.”In 2017 and beyond, the Fundamental Rights Agency will focus on today’s most urgent human rights quandaries, from migration and asylum, through xenophobia and discrimination, to the very contemporary challenges of privacy, surveillance and hate speech in the digital age. At the same time, the Agency is increasing its efforts to boost public awareness and rekindle support for the protection of human rights; the rights of every individual living in the European Union.

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Civil liberties MEPs call for better monitoring of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 5 ottobre 2016

giustizia europeaA binding EU mechanism, based on objective, evidence based and non-political criteria, should be set up to monitor the state of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in EU member states on an annual basis said Civil Liberties MEPs in a report voted on Monday night. They call on the European Commission to submit a proposal by September 2017.The new mechanism would be designed to ensure that the values enshrined in the EU Treaties are respected throughout the Union. “Recent cases in different member states have shown there is a need for stronger and more objective tools for the enforcement of agreed rules and standards”, says lead MEP Sophie In’t Veld (ALDE, NL).“Instead of responding to incidents, we need to put in place a systematic mechanism to ensure the respect for democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in all member states and EU institutions, fostering a culture of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights”, she adds.
Whereas “failure of a candidate country to meet the required standards, values and democratic principles” results in a delay in accession to the Union, the failure of a member state to meet these same standards “has little consequence in practice”, the draft report says.
To remedy this shortcoming, the new mechanism would establish a policy cycle and a monitoring mechanism, similar to the model known from the Economic Semester.The European Commission should on an annual basis, and in consultation of a panel of experts, draw up an assessment report which also looks at possible risks, breaches and violations and gives country specific recommendations.This report would be made public and serve as a basis for an inter-parliamentary debate. If a member state falls short of fulfilling one or more of the benchmarks set, the Commission should immediately start a dialogue with the country and may also decide to launch a “systemic infringement” action under article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union and Article 258 TFEU, explains the text. The mechanism will also set clear benchmarks on when article 7 should be invoked.
The legislative initiative report on the establishment of an EU mechanism on democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights is scheduled for a plenary vote in Strasbourg at the end of October. The European Commission will have to give a reasoned response to the proposal once approved by the European Parliament.

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Making asylum fingerprinting rights compliant

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 25 ottobre 2015

fingerprintingThe swift identification and registration of asylum seekers is an important measure to ensure their protection. Under EU law, registration procedures also include taking fingerprints. To help authorities ensure fingerprinting practices do not violate fundamental rights, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has produced a 10-point checklist for rights compliance in its latest Focus paper.
Under EU rules, all asylum seekers and irregular migrants caught crossing borders unauthorised must provide fingerprints for Eurodac, the EU’s large-scale fingerprinting database set up for the smooth running of the Dublin system – a mechanism established to determine the Member State responsible for examining asylum applications.Member States are obliged to take fingerprints, but there are limitations on how to enforce such obligation so as not to violate fundamental rights. FRA’s Focus paper, ‘Fundamental rights implications of the obligation to provide fingerprints for Eurodac’, contains a checklist to assist authorities and officers who have to take fingerprints for Eurodac to comply with fundamental rights.Elements in the checklist include:providing easy-to-understand information about why fingerprints are being taken;
training on identifying victims of torture, human trafficking, sexual or gender-based violence, or other serious crime;
giving effective opportunities to comply with fingerprinting requirements without resorting to force;
refraining from arbitrary deprivation of liberty and from using physical or psychological force to obtain fingerprints;
paying special attention to vulnerable people such as children.
The paper also examines the impact of refusing to give fingerprints on the principle of of not sending migrants back to life-threatening situations (non-refoulement), the right to liberty and security, and the protection from disproportionate use of force.
FRA is also working on the wider fundamental rights implications of inserting, storing and using biometric data in large-scale information technologies systems focusing on the EU’s three large-scale systems: Eurodac, SIS II (Schengen Information System) and VIS (Visa Information System). (photo: fingerprinting)

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Mass surveillance: EU citizens’ rights still in danger, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 15 ottobre 2015

Too little has been done to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected following revelations of electronic mass surveillance, say civil liberties MEPs in a resolution passed on Tuesday. They urge the Commission to come up immediately with alternatives to Safe Harbour, following the ruling by the european court justice. They are also concerned about the surveillance laws in several EU countries.
“The European Parliament’s inquiry into the revelations by Edward Snowden of electronic mass surveillance was the most comprehensive investigation completed to date. Not only did the report call for an immediate end to indiscriminate mass surveillance practices by intelligence services both in the EU and the US, but it also set out a roadmap for further action in this area. Following this inquiry, there is widespread agreement that something has gone wrong with the way that intelligence agencies and others have acted. Work needs to continue to ensure that civil liberties are defended on the internet too,” said the civil liberties committee chair and rapporteur on mass surveillance, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK).The resolution takes stock of the action (or lack of action) by the European Commission, other EU institutions and member states to follow up the recommendations set out by Parliament in its resolution of 12 March 2014 on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens.
MEPs welcome the 6 October ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Schrems case, invalidating the Commission’s decision that Safe Harbour provides sufficient protection for the data of EU citizens when it is transferred to the US, thus vindicating Parliament’s long-standing concerns about the agreement. The Commission must immediately take the necessary measures “to ensure an effective level of protection” equivalent to the protection ensured in the EU, they say.They protest that Parliament has received no formal feedback from the Commission regarding the implementation of the 13 recommendations for a “safer” Safe Harbour, and stress that “it is now urgent that the Commission provide a thorough update on the negotiations thus far and the impact of the judgement on the further negotiations.”They also invite the Commission to reflect “immediately” on alternatives to Safe Harbour and on the “impact of the judgement” on any other instruments used for the transfer of personal data to the US and report on it by the end of 2015.
MEPs consider the Commission’s reaction to Parliament’s 2014 resolution “so far highly inadequate” given the extent of the revelations of mass surveillance. “EU citizens’ fundamental rights remain in danger” and “too little has been done to ensure their full protection,” MEPs say.They call on the Commission “to act on the calls made in the resolution by December 2015 at the latest”, reserving “the right to bring an action for failure to act or to place certain budgetary resources for the Commission in a reserve until all recommendations have been properly addressed”.MEPs are concerned by “some of the recent laws in some member states that extend the surveillance capabilities of intelligence bodies”, including in France, the UK and the Netherlands. They are also worried about the revelations of mass surveillance of telecommunications and internet traffic inside the EU by the German foreign intelligence agency BND in cooperation with the US National Security Agency (NSA).On the US side, the committee welcomes the recent legislative and judicial decisions to limit mass surveillance by the NSA, such as the adoption of the USA FREEDOM Act and the ruling of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on the NSA’s telephone record collection programme. It regrets, however, that “these decisions focus mainly on US persons while the situation of EU citizens remains the same”.

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Fundamental rights: MEPs highlight effects of deterring migrants and austerity

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 settembre 2015

European CommissionThe fundamental rights of asylum seekers in the EU could be infringed by reception centre conditions, “hot returns”, barbed wire and other deterrence measures, say MEPs in a non-binding resolution voted Tuesday. The text also states concerns about the impact of austerity measures on EU citizens’ economic, civil, social and cultural rights and calls on the European Commission to set up a “scoreboard” to monitor democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in EU member states.The non-legislative resolution, approved by 360 votes to 291, with 58 abstentions, addresses the fundamental rights situation in the EU in 2013-2014.
The EU and its member states should put solidarity and respect for fundamental rights of migrants and asylum seekers at the core of EU migration policies, MEPs say. The EU and its member states should take “energetic and compulsory measures to prevent further tragedies at sea”, they add, also calling for “the establishment of an effective and harmonised EU asylum system for the fair distribution of asylum seekers among member states”.MEPs express concern about “hot return” procedures, migrant reception and detention centres in member states and negative stereotypes and misinformation about migrants. The resolution also condemns security measures at EU borders “which now sometimes even take the form of walls and barbed wire”, and calls for “fundamental rights-sensitive border controls”.
MEPs deplore the way in which the financial, economic and sovereign debt crisis along with budgetary restrictions has “negatively affected economic, civil, social and cultural rights”.When deciding and implementing corrective measures and budget cuts, the EU institutions and member states should do fundamental rights impact assessments and guarantee that sufficient resources are made available to safeguard fundamental rights, MEPs say. They add that “minimum essential levels of civil economic, cultural and social rights”, in particular for the most vulnerable and socially disadvantaged groups, must be ensured.
The Commission should set up a scoreboard using “common and objective” indicators by which “democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights will be measured”, says the text. . This scoreboard should provide the basis for constant monitoring and a “system of annual country assessment”, it adds.“We see basic violations of these fundamental rights across the face of Europe on a daily basis”, said lead MEP Laura Ferrara (EFDD, IT), in Monday’s plenary debate, adding that “we have to know what is happening in EU member states, because that would mean that the European institutions could take the necessary steps to protect those fundamental rights”.

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The rights of intersex people are too often overlooked

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 12 maggio 2015

stagisti europeiOften the fundamental rights of intersex people are not respected as they remain largely unrecognised in European societies. The mainstream approach, which recognises people as either male or female, impacts on law and policy, finds the latest research from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). The results, presented in a new FRA Focus paper, show that there is a need to review laws and practices across the EU that can result in discrimination, and violations to the physical and psychological integrity of intersex people especially when young.“The rights of intersex people have been largely overlooked by policy makers and legislators across the EU over the years,” says FRA interim Director Constantinos Manolopoulos. “FRA’s work points to some of the urgent challenges that need addressing to break down the discriminatory barriers that persist and to alleviate the unnecessary suffering from medical interventions.”The paper examines the situation of intersex people from a fundamental rights perspective. Intersex people vary in their chromosomal, hormonal and/or anatomical which do not match strict medical definitions of male or female.To date, intersex issues have been largely treated medically. However, at both EU and national level institutions and civil society are beginning to be more aware of the fundamental rights implications. This paper focuses on three of these issues:Registration of sex at birth: Many Member States legally require births to be certified and registered as male or female. This puts pressure on those concerned with registration, particularly parents and health professionals to choose the sex of the new-born child and to intervene medically. However, at least four Member States allow birth certificates to be registered as sex neutral and two allow birth certificates to be issued without a sex identifier. Gender markers in identity documents and birth registries should therefore be reviewed to better protect intersex people.
Medical treatment of intersex children: In at least 21 Member States, medical interventions are carried out on intersex children to impose a sex on them. In 8, legal representatives can give consent and 18 require patient consent. However, involving children in such decisions is a grey area as factors such as age determine when the child can decide, when parents should decide and opens up the question what happens when there are disagreements between the intersex child and parents over the decisions made. It should also be noted that non-medically essential surgery without consent is viewed by international law as inhumane, cruel and degrading. Member States should therefore avoid non-consensual ‘sex-normalising’ medical treatments for intersex people.
Protection from discrimination: Intersex discrimination is better covered by sex discrimination rather than discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity as it is the determination of the sex that gives rise to inequalities. Given intersex covers a large variation of sex characteristics, cases will probably be approached differently ways, even within the same legal system, in the absence of specific protective legislation. Legal and medical professionals should therefore be made aware of the fundamental rights of intersex people, particularly children.The paper draws on evidence from FRA’s third update of its comparative legal report on homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and now covers intersex. The update is based on data collected until mid-2014 across the EU and will be published later this year.

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No gender equality without sexual and reproductive health and rights says IPPF report

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 17 marzo 2015

new-yorkUnited Nations, New York: Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is not possible without sexual and reproductive health and rights. This was the message given by speakers from the Permanent Missions of Uruguay, Denmark and Costa Rica to the United Nations, UN Women and UNFPA at a high-level panel event organised by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) today.The event held in New York on the 20th anniversary of the Beijing+20 Platform for Action during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), launched IPPF’s report “ Sexual and reproductive health and rights- the key to gender equality and women’s empowerment.”The new report sets out specific recommendations to governments, multilateral organisations and the donor community including:
• Making sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality a reality: Sexual and reproductive health and rights must be included in the post 2015 sustainable development framework and in governments’ national plans within gender and health ministries.
• Sustaining the success of sexual and reproductive health interventions: Investment in the full range of sexual and reproductive health and rights services must be continued and increased and the post-2015 sustainable development financing framework must prioritize the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls.
• Engaging men and boys as partners in gender transformative change: Men and boys must be involved as partners in programmes on sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
• Measure the things that matter: Governments must invest in the collection of robust data. This includes working with UN agencies to increase data collection and disaggregate data by sex and age and increase examination of links between sexual and reproductive health and rights and the empowerment of women and girls.
• Eliminating sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls: Domestic laws to protect women and girls from sexual and gender based violence in line with international obligations must be enforced. Sexual violence must be addressed as part of women’s political participation, peacebuilding and post conflict reconstruction.Opening the event, IPPF Regional Director for the Western Hemisphere, Carmen Barroso said, “We can tackle inequalities and change things. This goes to the very heart of poverty eradication and development goals. Sexual and reproductive health and rights give women the ability to control their fertility which, in turn, affects many other aspects of their lives – employment, education, family life, and social and economic participation. It’s the freedom from which all other freedoms flow.”Talking on Uruguay’s prioritization of gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights, Honorable Gonzalo Koncke, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Uruguay said, “Furthering policies on sexual and reproductive health is the only way to achieve higher levels of happiness, freedom and well-being so people can enjoy a fuller life.”Stefan Kovacs, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Denmark, said in his speech, “Denmark has a long history for supporting and promoting women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights. The right to sexual and reproductive health is key to women’s ability to take charge of their own lives.” Preethi Sundaram, IPPF Policy and Advocacy officer, and author of the report said: “The report assesses what we have long suspected – that sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are the cornerstone of gender equality. When women are able to realize their sexual and reproductive rights, their lives can be transformed.”

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FRA recognised for its outstanding work on combating violence against women

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 14 ottobre 2014

sexual violenceThe Spanish Observatory against domestic and gender violence has awarded its prestigious annual prize to the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights for its outstanding work to help end violence against women. “For too long, violence against women was regarded as a private problem that should and could not be discussed in public, and women who were abused by their partners or by strangers were expected to suffer in silence,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “This is changing, thanks to the many developments in European society and in EU legislation and policy over the last few decades; but there is still a long way to go.” FRA has been awarded the prize this year for its efforts in fighting violence against women, notably for its work on the world’s biggest-ever survey on violence against women. The survey revealed the extent of abuse suffered by women at home, work, in public and online across the EU. The award ceremony took place on 14 October in Madrid in the presence of high-ranking representatives of the Spanish government. The Observatory is a government institution headed by the Spanish General Council of the Judiciary made up of representatives from the Spanish ministries of the interior, justice, equality, the State General Prosecutor, Spain’s general law council as well as the Spanish regions. This is the 10th time the prize has been awarded. FRA is sharing this year’s award with Thelma Aldana, the Attorney General of Guatemala, in recognition of her efforts to create an observatory on sexual violence and femicide in her country.

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A “letter of rights” to ensure fair trials across the EU Citizens’ rights

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 14 dicembre 2011

The official emblem of the European Parliament.

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A “letter of rights” to ensure fair trials across the EU Citizens’ rights
Anyone suspected or accused of having committed a crime in the EU must be promptly informed of his or her procedural rights in easy-to-understand language, says a new EU law adopted by Parliament on Tuesday. Any suspect who is then arrested or detained must also be given a written “letter of rights”, adds the text, to which MEPs added the right to remain silent, the right to urgent medical care and the right to contact relatives. The new directive, already agreed with Member State governments, provides EU-wide minimum standards to ensure the right to information in criminal proceedings.Today, citizens arrested and charged with a criminal offence cannot be certain that they will be properly informed of their rights everywhere in the EU. In some Member States, they receive only oral information about their procedural rights, whilst in others the information is given in writing, but is technical, complex and provided only on request.”The new directive is an important cornerstone in ensuring that suspects and accused persons across the EU have a fair trial, thanks to the development of equal standards. The rights of our citizens are being strengthened. Individuals may exercise their rights to defence only if they know what these rights are. Parliament has been able to extend the list of rights on which it is important to give information, for example, medical care, contacts with family members, etc”, said Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur, Birgit Sippel (S&D, DE).

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Rights of the Palestinian People

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 20 agosto 2011

Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (We...

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The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is deeply alarmed by the upsurge in illegal Israeli settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including occupied East Jerusalem, since the beginning of August.
The Bureau strongly condemns these illegal and provocative acts by the occupying Power, undertaken with the aim to encircle and separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory behind a wall of settlements. They also cement Israeli control over the West Bank by fragmenting it in ways which would render a viable, contiguous and sovereign Palestinian State impossible to achieve in accordance with the two-State solution on the basis of the pre 1967 borders. The Bureau calls on Israel to immediately cease and reverse these unilateral actions, freeze all settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the so-called “natural growth”, and dismantle outposts erected since 2001, obligations Israel undertook in accordance with the Road Map.
While welcoming the recent expressions of concern by the Quartet and other members of the international community, the Bureau calls for credible and decisive action to compel Israel to abide by its legal obligations and to protect Palestinian civilians under prolonged military occupation from the damaging effects of settlements and settlers. The Security Council and the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions bear a special responsibility in this regard.

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Migrants´ rights are European fundamental rights

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 16 dicembre 2010

Vienna 17th from 15.00 – 19.00 h.  and 18th December 2010 representatives of churches from across Europe will meet to review achievements, challenges and future perspectives of the Year of European Churches responding to migration 2010. The conference, which on 18th December commemorates International Migrants Day, will analyse contemporary achievements and challenges in the area of migrants´ rights in Europe. At the same time it will highlight activities of churches from across Europe during the Year of European Churches responding to migration.
On 17th December the meeting will be opened by the President of the Conference of European Churches, H.E. Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, and the Moderator of the Churches´ Commission for Migrants in Europe, Rev. Arlington Trotman, with reflections on how “migration is at the heart of the Churches´ agenda in Europe”.  On the same day the Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights Morten Kjaerum will present his assessment of migrants’ rights as European fundamental rights. His input will be complemented by a presentation on the access of long-term resident migrants to permanent residence status – a central campaigning issue of the churches’ migration year. Participants from locations as diverse as Norway, Latvia, Romania or Italy will present how their respective churches have addressed the issue of migration and advocated for migrants’ rights over the last 12 months.
On 18th December the meeting will discuss a set of recommendations for future work of European churches on the issue of migration. “With this conference we are not only underlining that migration is a key issue for churches in Europe, but also highlighting that migrants´ rights cannot be separated from European fundamental rights”, CCME General Secretary Doris Peschke commented.
The year of European Churches responding to migration 2010 shall make visible the churches’ commitment to strangers, responding to the message of the Bible, which insists on the dignity of every human being, in order to promote an inclusive policy at European and national level for migrants, refugees and ethnic minority groups.

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