A family walking on a railroad track with few luggages
Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Dilemmatic Adjudication: Europe’s Refugee Crisis and the Question of Migrant Rights

While recently making major headlines, the arrival of substantive numbers of asylum seekers to Europe has been a pressing political issue for a longer time. This presentation will discuss the role of law in this context as being torn between, on the one hand, increasingly restrictive migration policies and, on the other hand, difficult individual situations…
Poster of the Scholars at Risk Network Global Congress

Universities in a Dangerous World

  Join us for the Scholars at Risk Network 2016 World Congress. The SAR Network 2016 Global Congress will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network and the collective efforts of network members and partners protecting scholars and promoting academic freedom worldwide. Over the years, the network has grown from fewer than two…

Trump : le décret anti-immigration provoque la consternation partout dans le monde

Entrevue de François Crépeau à la Première Chaine de Radio-Canada
31 January, 2017

François Crépeau a donné une entrevue à Michel Desautels à son émission « Desautels le dimanche » sur le décret anti-immigration et la situation des obligations internationales des États-Unis en matière des droits des réfugiés.

Pour écouter son entrevue, veuillez visiter la page de l’émission sur ce thème, ou cliquer ici. Vous pouvez également écouter la baladodiffusion de l’émission du 29 janvier en entier ici.

  The Christmas market in Berlin, which reopened three days after a deadly attack on Monday. Photo Credit Clemens Bilan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images on the NY Times website

Petrified Unity in Terror-Struck Berlin

Op-Ed in NY Times by Anna Sauerbrey
29 December, 2016

“It has been almost a week since a truck plowed through a Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring dozens. In the following days, the city, the country — all of Europe — were gripped by the Continent-wide manhunt for the suspect, Anis Amri, who was shot and killed by the Italian police on Friday.

Certainly, sadness prevails in Berlin. At Breitscheidplatz, many have left flowers and candles. Some cry. “I just don’t get it,” said a man who lives nearby.

“We have helped so many. Why do they attack us?””

Out of the senseless violence of the past years, this sentence expresses what I fear most. Who are “they”? Probably Muslims. Daesh and its victims all put in the same bag, without distinctions. Just like, in the 30s and 40s, German Jews and North American citizens of Japanese origin were too often associated with the enemy and collectively considered suspicious. Just like gay men, in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, were often indiscriminately considered responsible for its dissemination. This is the most terrifying prospect of the populist onslaught: treating everyone with only one identity marker, thus seeing only a threatening throng, an unindividualised mass.

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  Cover page of the Amnesty International Report on Human Rights violations related to the EU hotspot system.

New Amnesty International report on the human rights violations linked to the EU hotspot system in Italy

6 November, 2016

Amnesty International published yesterday a new report on the human rights violations linked to the EU hotspot system in Italy. The report demonstrates that a host of human rights violations are taking place in Italy, including excessive use of force by police, arbitrary detention and collective expulsions, and details serious allegations of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. The Italy-Sudan recent readmission agreement is also discussed in detail.

The full report is available here.

  A boy rides his bicycle in the Calais migrant camp. Photo Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

New fears for 1,000 lone children in Calais refugee camp

Article in The Guardian
24 September, 2016

“In May, David Cameron announced that Britain would accept as many as 3,000 unaccompanied minors. James Brokenshire, immigration minister at the time, said Britain had “a moral duty to help”.  

However, Home Office figures reveal that by mid-September, only 30 children had arrived under the scheme. The Home Office did not respond to queries over whether it intended to help lone child refugees once the Calais camp was destroyed.

On Monday President François Hollande is expected to visit Calais and confirm that the refugee camp will be demolished. Details emerged last week when refugee organisations were told that alternative accommodation elsewhere in France would be supplied for 9,000 adults and families.

However, because of a supposed lack of emergency capacity for unaccompanied minors, at least 850 children will be made homeless.”

The UK government being so reluctant to help children reunite with family in the UK and the French government using the misery of hundreds of children to force the hand of another government are disgraceful political behaviour. Housing isolated children and reuniting them with family members should be a priority of the first order for any politician concerned. And it should be done quickly.

To read the full article in The Guardian, please click here.

  Illustration by Kaye Blegvad

When a Swimsuit Is a Security Threat

Op-ed in NY Times on the infamous "burkini"
24 August, 2016

“According to France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, the suit is part of “the enslavement of women.” In a newspaper interview, the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, said: “The burkini is the uniform of extremist Islamism, not of the Muslim religion.”

These explanations may seem ludicrous, but Mr. Valls and Mr. Lisnard perfectly summed up the two contradictory public order rationales that European courts all the way up to the European Court of Human Rightsuse when dealing with Muslim women in religious garb. According to Europe’s highest court of human rights, Muslim women in head scarves and burqas are simultaneously victims, in need of a government savior, and aggressors, spreading extremism merely by appearing Muslim in public.”

From a human rights perspective, “ludicrous” is an understatement, but, in the present political context, it’ll take years before the ECtHR changes its case law. From an integration perspective, the ban is totally counterproductive: sales of burkinis have increased 200% since the first ban. Thank Heaven, the Canadian human rights policy and practice could inspire the French Republic: the RCMP will allow female Muslim officers to wear the hijab, after it allowed over twenty years ago male Sikh officers to wear the turban (the first such officer is now head of intelligence!)

To read the full Op-Ed in the NY Times, please click on the following link.