Migrants' dignity: Brutality, deadly borders and the future of human rights in Europe?
Debate with Rachel Towers from DIGNITY and Nikolas Feith Tan from the Danish Institute for Human Rights
In 2020 some 100.000 people crossed the sea irregularly to reach the shores of the EU. Although this is a relatively small number, the media has been full of reports depicting how people try to reach Europe in life-threatening boats and how refugees are kept in terrible and inhumane conditions. The refugee camp in Moria on the Greek Islands is among the worst in the world. Despite these shocking images, EU leaders were reluctant to help. Today, illegal pushbacks are taking place on the Greek border to Turkey, the Croatian border to Bosnia, in the Central Mediterranean and in Hungary. Over many years, different Italian governments, as well as EU institutions, have even cooperating with Libyan militias guilty of torture to prevent migrants from reaching Europe.
Europe has thus stopped being a model for the rest of the world. How close are we to a situation in which the Refugee Convention and the European Convention of Human Rights is just a mere piece of paper? What role can civil society institutions play to convince governments to uphold these Conventions? How can EU member states bring about a different migration and refugee policy? Which central human rights principles, such as forms of ill-treatment, the principle of non-refoulement, are the most at risk?
Denmark is a small and wealthy EU member state with 5 million inhabitants and among the happiest nations in the world. What role does Denmark play in the European migration debate? How does the Danish government perceive the migration crisis?
We are looking forward to discussing these questions and more with the researcher Nikolas Feith Tan from the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the legal advisor Rachel Towers from the Danish Institute Against Torture. They are both experts on International refugee law, asylum and human rights law. If you are curious to learn more about the migration crisis and the role of civil society institutions in convincing governments to implement more humane policies, then join us next Wednesday, the 27th of January from 14:00-15:30 for an interesting debate!