ENNHRI high level webinar “Strengthening human rights accountability at borders”
On July 6, 2022 the Romanian Institute for Human Rights participated in the high-level webinar “Strengthening human rights accountability at borders”.
Together, with ENNHRI’s support, NHRIs have worked to understand the reasons for the current insufficient accountability at borders. They have identified shortcomings in five key areas: structural gaps, gaps in investigations, gaps in access to justice, gaps in revisions and prevention, gaps in promoting a culture of human rights. They are detailed in the report on “Gaps in Human Rights Accountability at Borders” (December 2021). The report recommends various courses of action that national and regional authorities can address.
During the webinar, solutions were explored to eliminate these gaps, by analysing some examples of good practices according to the specific mandate of each national institute. There was an exchange of views on the obstacles and opportunities for ensuring accountability for violations of human rights at borders and possible ways of cooperation were discussed.
The discussions during the first session focused on how different institutions with responsibilities in the field can contribute to achieve and ensure greater responsibility for monitoring human rights at borders.
The lessons learned from recent experiences of forced displacement due to the situation in Ukraine were discussed. The European Parliament representative emphasised that Member States must act in compliance with fundamental rights with regard to forced returns to borders. The crucial role of non-governmental organizations and journalists who report such cases to the public was also highlighted. In the second part, representatives of NGOs spoke about human rights violations at the borders on the Balkan route.
At the debate session, representatives of the Romanian Institute for Human Rights highlighted the need to allocate financial and human resources to human rights defenders, national institutions and non-governmental organisations in order to strengthen their role in ensuring respect for human rights.