© Università degli Studi di Padova - Credits: HCE Web agency
On the 46th session of the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, made a statement on recent human rights issues in more than 50 countries.
Ms. Bachelet underlined that at the time of COVID-19 crisis, solid public participation, official accountability through oversight institutions and a free press are most needed, to devise policies that can navigate shocks most effectively.
Regarding European countries, including Italy, the High Commissioner expressed her concerns about the restrictive measures against the organisations that protect migrants' rights. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency has identified “some 50 criminal or administrative proceedings initiated by Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and Spain since 2016, against humanitarian actors involved in search and rescue in the Mediterranean. Most have been in Italy, and the majority have occurred since 2019”. The Office of the UN High Commissioner has repeatedly expressed concerns regarding such measures, as well as related acts of intimidation, harassment, obstruction or denial of access.
The full statement is consultable at the link below.