Blog Series: EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum (VI)

Migration, Asylum and Solidarity: Sorry, is that a euphemism? 

By Mariangela Veikou


Photo taken from The Foreigner’s Home, a film documentary (2018) on Toni Morrison’s 2006 exhibition she guest-curated at the Louvre titled: “The Foreigner’s Home”.


This blog brings together perspectives of race and the politics of solidarity in the New Migration and Asylum Pact (New Pact). Furthermore, this contribution makes some room for analogies to be drawn between such events as the renewed discussion on the criminalization of migration and the recent impositions on rights and liberties that governments are imposing upon citizens since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted.


Decent work for Migrant Domestic Workers: An Unrealised Promise?

Decent work for Migrant Domestic Workers: An Unrealised Promise?

By Natalie Alkiviadou

International Slavery Museum - Albert Dock - Liverpool - Legacies of slavery - Migrant domestic workers and Kalayaan at the May Day Rally 2007

"International Slavery Museum - Albert Dock - Liverpool - Legacies of slavery - Migrant domestic workers and Kalayaan at the May Day Rally 2007" by ell brown 


In 2019, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that there were approximately 11.5 million migrant domestic workers (MDWs) around the globe, 8.5 million of whom are women.  The entrance of women into the labour market and ageing populations have been central factors contributing to the rise in the demand of cheap female migrant domestic workers (FMDWs). FMDWs fill the gaps in ineffective systems of social welfare, which cannot support, inter alia, an ageing population. In this ambit, FMDWs are caught at the ‘the intersection of care work exploitation with gender, ethnic and migrant oppression in the context of a globalising world.’ This piece is based on research conducted on the situation of FMDWs in Cyprus and seeks to set out the international legal framework that exists to protect this group of workers.  


Blog series: EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum (V)

The EU Migration and Asylum Pact’s muted position on protecting low-skilled migrants in the labour market

By Amy Weatherburn 

"Sealey Warehouse" by toolstop, licensed under CC BY 2.0

The European Union’s priorities are clearly laid out in the new Asylum and Immigration Pact with a focus on externalisation, return and the fight against migrant smuggling. The emphasis on the fight against migrant smuggling is linked to the “[exposure] of those staying illegally to precarious conditions and exploitation by criminal networks’ and one proposed solution is the development of legal pathways as a means of “reducing irregular migration.”


Blog series: EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum (IV)

The New Pact on Migration and Asylum and the recommendations of the EU Commission on legal pathways to protection in the European Union

By Tihomir Sabchev
\\srv-hrl-03v\homedir$\lhl\Mijn Documenten\PhD\promotietraject\memberships etc\NNHRR\WGMB\WGMB-Tilburg EU Pact discussion\Human Rights Here\Tihomir Sabchev\picture through Flickr Sebastien Bertrand .jpg

Source: Sebastien Bertrand through Flickr

At the end of September 2020, the European Commission adopted its
New Pact on Migration and Asylum. Among other objectives, the Pact aims at promoting sustainable and safe legal pathways for people in need of international protection. This blog outlines the main aspects of the Commission’s recommendations in this regard. 

It should be noted from the very beginning, that each Member State has the right to determine the volume of admission for people from third countries. In other words, the Commission cannot oblige Member States to admit people in need of international protection, but it can only try to influence their decisions through recommendations, funding, capacity building, coordination of existing efforts, etc. On the basis such soft instruments, the Commission included in the recently published Pact its “Recommendations on Legal Pathways to Protection in the EU”, focusing on the promotion of three main channels of admission of people in need of protection: resettlement, humanitarian admission and complementary pathways

Blog series: EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum (III)

Screening at the borders of the EU: Challenging the territoriality principle!

By Conny Rijken
Source: Markus Spiske

The border procedure as proposed in the European Union’s (EU’s) New Pact on Migration and Asylum (New Pact) consists of three elements:  pre-entry screening, asylum procedure at the border and return. This blog focuses primarily on the pre-entry screening and briefly touches upon the asylum procedure and return.


Blog series: EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum (I)

Returns in core of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum and the leading role of Frontex

By Mariana Gkliati 
                                Credit: Jonathan Stutz/ Fotolia, European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

In September 2020, the European Commission presented the new European Union (EU) Pact on Migration and Asylum. This following reflects what we can expect to see in the coming years with respect to returns and the role of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCG). In the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, the Commission reaffirms returns as one of the main priorities of migration management. The proposed initiatives aim at further efficiency and intensification of returns with Frontex playing an ever more active role in this field.


Blog series: EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum

Blog series: EU New Pact on Migration and Asylum

Introductory blog

By Lynn Hillary
    Credits: By EmDee - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Dear reader of Human Rights Here,

In September 2020, the European Commission unveiled the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, a series of long-awaited measures to reform the EU migration regime. On November 23rd the Migration & Borders Working Group of the NNHRR gathered with migration scholars of Tilburg University to discuss several aspects of the EU New Pact.

The pact aims to ‘rebuild trust between Member States and to restore citizens' confidence in our capacity to manage migration as a Union.’ Commission President von der Leyen also stressed that ‘[i]t is now time to rise to the challenge to manage migration jointly, with the right balance between solidarity and responsibility.’


Human rights is a marathon (part II)


Interview with Nils Muižnieks


International Human Rights Day 2020

Part II

By Silan Celebi and Felisa Tibbitts

The first part of the Human Rights Here interview with Nils Muižnieks, the Regional Director for Europe of Amnesty International, was published on International Human Rights Day, December 10th, 2020. In this second part of the interview, he presents his opinions on current human rights issues in Europe.

Source: The London Free Press



Listen to children and young people to make their rights reality

Source: Étienne Godiard via Unsplash

Interview with Majorie Kaandorp, UNICEF Netherlands on the occasion of

World Children's Day 2020

By Janna Beijers & Stephanie Rap


Can you explain what you do at UNICEF NL? What is your central focus/passion in your work?

Currently, I am the manager of a team that focuses on a number of themes concerning children's rights in the Netherlands. This includes the mental well-being of teenagers, the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Netherlands, i.e. NGO reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child,  and on migration and refugees. We also look at the impact of the corona crisis on children. Education and participation specialists who create educational material on children’s rights and organise participation projects are also part of the team.

In May this year UNICEF published a report about the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the Netherlands. What were the most important impacts you found?

We drafted this report in cooperation with Leiden University. Within this report we looked at several critical points that were influenced by Covid-19: poverty, violence, education, migration, mental health, youth care, youth criminal law, and the situation on the Dutch Caribbean islands.


Local remedies for the EU’s protracted migration policy crisis

Painting by the children of the 13th Primary School in Trikala (Greece), which won the 1st prize in the contest 'Opening hearts and minds to refugees' organised by UNESCO Associated Schools Network. Source: Municipality of Trikala


Tihomir Sabchev

Utrecht University/University College Roosevelt

In the context of recent failures to protect refugees’ human rights, how can EU Member States develop a more effective approach to manage the consequences of forced migration?

In the very beginning of his book ‘The Global Migration Crisis: Challenge to States and Human Rights’, the political scientist Myron Weiner notes that “the number of people fleeing to escape violence or persecution, to find employment, or to improve their own lives and those of their family members is greater than it has ever been” (pp. 1-2). The author describes some of the major migration policy changes in Europe in light of the “recent massive influx of migrants and refugees from the east” (p. 47). More concretely, he argues that “with the rise of antimigrant right-wing parties […], European governments have virtually halted migration and made entry difficult for refugees from Third World countries” (p. 145).