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UN expert on human rights of migrants to visit Brussels

GENEVA (30 January 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Brussels from 2 to 5 February 2015 as follow-up to a study he carried out in 2012 on the management of the external borders of the European Union.

“2014 saw unprecedented numbers of migrants and asylum seekers risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea in the hope of a better life in Europe. Thousands did not survive the journey,” he said. “And these unprecedented numbers come at a time when there have also been strong public political debates about migrants and asylum seekers in Europe.”

“The purpose of my visit to Brussels is to continue my assessment of EU border mechanisms and approaches from a human rights perspective, looking at the impact of policy developments made in Brussels and EU Member States on those migrants who arrive in Europe,” Crépeau added.

During his four-day visit to Brussels, the independent expert will meet with a range of EU officials responsible for border management, EU Member State representatives, international organisations and civil society organisations, to discuss the complex management of the EU border, focusing particularly on the issue of migrants and asylum seekers arriving by boat.

Crépeau’s visit to Brussels is the third and final component of his follow-up study on the management of the EU external borders. In December 2014, he visited Italy and Malta, both key entry points for migrants in Europe.

At the end of the mission, the UN Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions at a press conference on 5 February 2015 at 11h00, at the United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC), Wetstraat / Rue de la Loi 155, 1040 Brussels.

The Special Rapporteur will present a country mission report and a thematic report on EU border management to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2015.


François Crépeau (Canada) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council, for an initial period of three years. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Mr. Crépeau is also Full Professor at the Faculty of Law of McGill University, in Montréal, where he holds the Hans and Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law and is scientific director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/migration/rapporteur/index.htm

Check the Open Letter by the Special Rapporteur on EU border management:

Read the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cmw.htm

For more information and media requests, please contact:
Elizabeth Wabuge (+41 79 201 0122 / ewabuge@ohchr.org)
Christophe Verhellen (Tel: +32 2 788 84 54, Mob: +32 475 90 63 60 / benelux@unric.org)

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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en