Commission joins European network calls for urgent EU-wide response to refugee crisis

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has today led calls from its network of sister Commissions for a coordinated EU-wide response to the current refugee crisis.

As Chair of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI), the Commission has written to all its members within the EU, urging them to demand their governments “step up to meet in full their human rights responsibilities”. The letter identifies initial actions that all EU governments should be urged to agree at the Extraordinary Council of Interior Ministers on 14 September. 

Stressing the right to seek asylum enshrined in international human rights treaties, the letter calls for action by governments to uphold their human rights obligations when it comes to rescue operations, emergency relocation, preventing loss of life and improving support for people during the process of seeking asylum.

Read the letter in PDF format.

Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Commission and Chair of ENNHRI, said:

“Europe is experiencing its gravest humanitarian crisis for over sixty years. The need for action becomes more urgent with each passing day and with each loss of life.

“The Scottish Human Rights Commission has joined the Scottish Government and others in making clear this country’s collective will to do what we can to provide refuge for those who have fled war and persecution. People who have arrived at Europe’s border after perilous journeys, often at the mercy of people traffickers, not only deserve our help and support – they have a human right to it. 

“We fully support the Scottish Government’s call on the UK Government to join a coordinated EU-wide response to providing safety, support and relocation for the refugees arriving at Europe’s borders. Today, with our sister Commissions around Europe, we join a collective call on all EU governments to take urgent action before more lives are lost and before more human misery is allowed to continue.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Scottish Human Rights Commission is an independent public body with a statutory remit to promote and protect all human rights for everyone in Scotland. The Commission is accredited as an ‘A Status’ national human rights institution within the UN system.
  2. The European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI)  is made up of over 40 human rights institutions from all over Europe. Its current Chair is the Scottish Human Rights Commission.