July


29 July 2021

UK: Home Office data strategy: digital infrastructure for 'law and order'

The UK Home Office plans to maximise the gathering, matching and processing of personal and other data, making it possible to deploy "automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence" for the purposes of law enforcement, border control, customs and various other activities.

28 July 2021

Switzerland: Federal Intelligence Service has spied on migrants' rights group for 15 years

The Swiss Federal Intelligence Service has been monitoring the activities of Solidarité sans frontières (SOSF), an organisation that advocates for the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers, since 2006, papers obtained by SOSF show. SOSF is one of many such groups that the FIS keeps tabs on.

28 July 2021

Bulgaria, Denmark and France condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for asylum and border policies

Bulgaria, Denmark and France have all recently been found to have violated human rights by Europe's top court: Bulgaria for pushing back a journalist to Turkey; Denmark for making a refugee and his family wait almost three years before permitting their reunification; and France for detaining a young mother and her baby for 11 days whilst they tried to deport them both to Italy.

28 July 2021

In the wake of the Pegasus revelations, states must halt the use and export of surveillance technology

States must place an "immediate moratorium on the sale, transfer and use of surveillance technology," says an open letter signed by over 150 human rights organisations (including Statewatch) and more than 30 independent experts in response to the Pegasus Project revelations, which have shown how spyware developed by the NSO Group has been used against some 180 journalists.

27 July 2021

Frontex: newly-published document highlights parliamentary inquiry's limits

The Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) published its final report of a four-month fact finding investigation into alleged violations of fundamental rights on 15 July. This annex to the report highlights the limitations of the investigation.

27 July 2021

EU: Rule of law: reports of Council hearings of Hungary and Poland

On 22 June the Council held hearings of Hungary and Poland as part of the Article 7 procedure concerning the risk of a breach of the EU's founding values. The Council's summary reports, published here, give an overview of what was discussed.

27 July 2021

Europol on anarchism: more information is needed on an "increasing and evolving" threat

Europol has called for authorities to gather more information on "violent left-wing extremism and anarchism" due to an "increasing and evolving" threat, at the same time noting that "no organisation or group can be considered to pose an imminent threat".

23 July 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Proposed cooperation with North Africa received with "interest"; external cooperation "state of play"

Two internal EU documents circulated in the Council: one containing the former Portuguese Presidency's assessment of North African states' responses to a proposed "enhanced political dialogue" on justice and home affairs issues; the other, the Commission's overview of "the main external migration dialogues and processes since 2019."

23 July 2021

EU: Spying on foreign nationals: member states want to stay in the driving seat

Member states want to take hold of proposed new powers that would step up the surveillance of third-country nationals in the Schengen area, in a blow to the European Commission’s plans to increase the role of EU policing agency Europol.

19 July 2021

UN: Agenda towards transformative change for racial justice and equality

"Prepared pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 43/1 and in recognition of the unprecedented opportunity for change, the present comprehensive report—to be read in conjunction with an accompanying conference room paper—presents an agenda towards transformative change for racial justice and equality."

19 July 2021

Interview: “European border control degrades migrants by ruining their life expectations”

An interview with Julien Jeandesboz, expert on border control, about the nature of “zoopolitics”, changes to the Eurodac biometric database, the development of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, and vaccination passports.

15 July 2021

EU: Communications data retention: Commission seeks member state views on the way forward

The European Commission is seeking the views of EU member states on how to frame a possible new EU law on the retention of telecommunications metadata, in a way that is compatible with the various court rulings that have severely restricted the ability of the authorities to undertake data retention measures.

15 July 2021

Frontex has failed on fundamental rights, says European Parliament scrutiny group

EU border agency Frontex failed both to prevent human rights violations and to reduce the risk of future violations, says the report of the European Parliament's Scrutiny Group looking into allegations of Frontex's involvement in breaches of fundamental rights.

15 July 2021

EU: New Statewatch series examines the strained relationship between Frontex and fundamental rights

The first of a four-part series looking into the activities and operations of EU border agency Frontex is published today, examining the evolution of the agency’s search and rescue obligations since it was founded in 2004.

13 July 2021

EU: Tracking the Pact: Presidency proposals on determining state responsible for an asylum claim

The Council of the EU is continuing discussions on the proposed Asylum and Migration Management Regulation. A paper circulated amongst member state delegations by the Slovenian Presidency on 6 July makes proposals on the sections of the text dealing with the criteria and mechanisms for determining the state responsible for an asylum application.

13 July 2021

Ireland: New report highlights devastating effects of delays in the asylum process

A new report from the Irish Refugee Council examines the human cost of delays in Ireland's asylum procedure, where thousands of individuals have been waiting for longer than a year - and in many cases longer than two years - for an outcome to their request for international protection.

13 July 2021

European Parliament: unlawful internal border controls must be halted and rights upheld at external borders

The European Parliament's resolution on the functioning of the Schengen Area calls for an end to illegal internal border controls imposed by EU member states, the upholding of individual rights at the external borders of the Schengen area, and calls for more stringent evaluation of the operational activities of Frontex and close oversight of the implementation of the security and law enforcement provisions in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

13 July 2021

Over 2,000 people die on migration routes to Spain so far this year

2,087 people died on migration routes towards Spain in the first half of 2021, says a new briefing from the organisation Caminando Fronteras, an increase of 526% when compared to the first half of 2020.

12 July 2021

Polish and Hungarian pushbacks violated human rights, court rules

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Polish and Hungarian authorities violated the prohibitions on torture and collective expulsion and breached the right to an effective remedy in two separate pushback cases.

08 July 2021

UK: Parliamentarians say there is "no case" for amending the Human Rights Act

The Joint Committee on Human Rights, made up of members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, says that there is "no case" for amending the Human Rights Act, something that has long-been part of government plans as part of the effort to limit accountability measures and undermine protections for individuals.

 

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