Posts Tagged ‘Brussels’

One-day Training Workshop on lobbying for HRD protection in the EU context

June 3, 2019

Chris Collier, Human Rights Consultant, is organising a Training Workshop “Lobbying for HRD protection by the EU, EU member states and like-minded countrie”.  The date is 18 June 2019, 09:30 – 17:00 at EuroMed Rights, Rue des Comédiens 22, 1000 Brussels.

This is a one-day, participatory training workshop for HRDs and staff of European and international human rights organizations.

Participants will:

  • Discuss current guidelines and (good) practices of the EU, EU member states and like-minded countries (Norway, Canada, Switzerland) in HRD protection
  • Learn what kind of action to ask the EU, EU MS and like-minded countries to take in different situations and how to approach them to take such action
  • Create action plans to get the EU, EU MS and like-minded countries to take action on specific HRD issues or cases they are dealing with

The training addresses situations in which HRDs face stigmatization, threats, physical attacks, trumped-up charges, unfair trials and other violations.  It covers action by EU/like-minded countries such as public statements, trial observation, raising cases with authorities, public recognition, visits to HRDs offices/areas of work and visas/temporary relocation. [see also an earlier course: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/01/24/training-workshop-on-protection-of-hrds-by-foreign-governments/]

The language of the workshop is English.  The workshop fee is €300.  Participants are responsible for all costs of participating in the workshop such as travel, accommodation and meals.  The maximum number of participants in the workshop is 10.

Please contact Chris Collier directly if you would you be interested in participating in this workshop or in receiving further information:  tel. +31-(0)6-34936026
mail@chriscollier.nl
http://www.chriscollier.nl

Rasmus Alenius Boserup new Executive Director of EuroMed Rights

May 21, 2019

On 16 May 2019 the NGO EuroMed Rights announced that it has appointed Rasmus Alenius Boserup as its new Executive Director. He will assume the position on 1 June, 2019, succeeding Marc Schade-Poulsen, who will take up a position as consultant and research fellow at the University of Roskilde.

A Danish national, Rasmus Alenius Boserup has a background in social science research and organisation management. Until 2019, he worked as Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies focusing on power and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to this, he served as Executive Director of the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute in Cairo from 2008 to 2011. An expert and opinion writer in Danish and international media, Boserup holds a doctoral degree in culture and civilisation from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and a PhD degree in Arabic Studies from the University of Copenhagen.

Boserup said: “I look forward to take up the position with EuroMed Rights. I have followed the network since its creation in 1997 and have collaborated with several of its outstanding member organisations in the South and in the North.”  “Today we face numerous worrying trends in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The crumbling of the liberal order and rise of international authoritarianism add fuel to populism and illiberalism in Europe. And it further emboldens repressive and autocratic leaders in the Middle East and North African. Under these urgent conditions, I look forward to engage fully in promoting and defending human rights and democracy as a part of a prestigious organisation like EuroMed Rights.”

EuroMed Rights President Wadih Al-Asmaradded: “We are pleased to have Rasmus on board and look forward to leveraging his expertise in steering EuroMed Rights forward. Our network has grown to occupy a strategically important position while Marc Schade-Poulsen held the position of Executive Director and we are eager to capitalise on this with Rasmus Alenius Boserup”.

https://mailchi.mp/euromedrights/euromed-rights-appoints-new-executive-director?e=1209ebd6d8

How anti-illegal migrants rules in the EU threaten human rights defenders

March 26, 2019

immigrants
An African at a temporary camp for immigrants seeking entry to Europe, in Melilla (Spanish autonomous city in North Africa), 12 October 2005 (EPA/Chema Moya)

Lizan Nijkrake published on 25 March 2019 an excellent piece under the title Should it be a crime to help illegal immigrants?” She describes how European defenders of migrants are being prosecuted for aiding illegal immigrants. EU states had a choice to exempt humanitarian aid from criminal charges but most didn’t take it. And those who did are not always following the rules.

Take the UK as an example: The United Kingdom’s Institute for Race Relations, which has been tracking criminal cases, reported that 81 people were prosecuted for assisting immigrants in 2018, compared with 20 in 2017. “Things escalated in 2018,” says Anya Edmond-Pettitt, a researcher at the Institute of Race Relations. “People got charged with serious crimes, linked to terrorism and membership of a criminal organization.

Why is this happening?

In 2002, the EU adopted a directive that requires all EU member states to impose sanctions on citizens who intentionally help illegal immigrants secure unauthorized entry into, transit across or residence within in the EU — thus making it illegal to offer aid in the form of free rides or overnight stays. The directive says its objective is to “combat the aiding of illegal immigration” to further the EU’s goal of creating “an area of freedom, security and justice.” But in a study for the European Parliament, the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), a Brussels-based think tank, concluded that the EU rules are not in line with the United Nations Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.

The UN protocol stipulates that assisting a migrant can be a crime only when there is a clear aim of making money or other material gains. While the EU directive says offering overnight stays is illegal only if it is done for profit, CEPS reported last December  that 13 out of 28 member states have criminalized free sleepovers. Out of 28 EU countries, CEPS says that only four have laws that adhere fully to UN protocol: Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal.

The EU directive allows member states to exempt individuals from sanctions for helping illegal immigrants enter or move across EU territory if done for reasons of “humanitarian assistance,” such as giving food, shelter and first aid to people in need. Nine member states have included some types of exemption in their national laws, according to the European Commission.

But the CEPS said states should be required to make such an exception. “And even in the European nations that have exempted humanitarian acts, we still see prosecutions happening, for example in Italy,” said CEPS researcher Lina Vosyliūtė.

Lizan Nijkrake’s piece gives concrete examples of how the laws and the application in practice are affecting those who try to help.

But no change is expected any time soon. The European Commission has consistently said there’s no need to change the law. In early 2018, Nijkrake wrote that it should be left to judges in the countries themselves to decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to prosecute citizens. It has noted that few people have been convicted. While most of those charged have been acquitted, in the case involving Van Gestel and Berghe (in Belgium), seven of the defendants were convicted and given suspended sentences of 12 to 24 months.

More than 170 organizations have launched an initiative, “We are a welcoming Europe – let us help!” (#WelcomingEurope), with the goal of securing a million signatures on a citizens’ petition that calls for migration policy reforms, including the decriminalization of deeds of solidarity.

 

Front Line Defenders seeks advocacy officer for its EU office

January 14, 2019


 

 

 

FRONT LINE DEFENDERS has an opening at its EU OFFICE for an Advocacy Officer at Front Line Defenders’ EU office in Brussels

Contract: Full time position, indefinite (permanent) contract under Belgian law

Responsibilities

The Advocacy Officer helps develop the work of Front Line Defenders at European Union level as part of a small 2-person team in Brussels. This work includes the following tasks:

  • Responsibility for sending appeals on cases of human rights defenders at risk to EU/Member State authorities and to Norway/Switzerland to press them for action in accordance with the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and beyond;
  • Tracking results achieved, and compiling detailed data on responses for analysis and for reporting to headquarters;
  • Analysis, in coordination with Front Line Defenders’ Protection Coordinators, on the impact of EU action on Human Rights Defenders, and development and updating of strategies on maximising EU/MS response and impact on HRDs;
  • Preparing, in coordination with Front Line Defenders’ Protection Coordinators, briefings on HRDs for input into EU meetings;
  • By delegation of the Head of Office, participating in EU briefing and debriefing meetings, and advocate on HRD issues and individual cases;
  • In coordination with the Head of Office, initiating and undertaking advocacy actions, in particular through the development of contacts with EU/Member State officials;
  • Organising and coordinating events, including visits of human rights defenders, awareness-raising workshops, etc.;
  • Leading and participating in coordination activities with other NGOs;
  • Assist with fundraising and advocacy on financial matters;

Desired profile and required qualifications

  • Minimum two years of relevant experience as advocacy/political officer, and sound knowledge of the functioning of the EU Institutions, EU human rights instruments, policy and practice, and international human rights standards;
  • Dedication to the protection of human rights defenders and to the promotion of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders;
  • Knowledge of civil society and experience of human rights NGO work and/or work within the EU institutions (EEAS, Devco, EP) preferable;
  • Experience of advocacy and campaigning;
  • Strong organisation and time-management skills;
  • Excellent communication, relational and diplomatic skills, both oral and written in English and French;
  • Computer skills (office applications, database updating);

Salary €3050 per month gross. Conditions are according to Belgian legislation including the legal ability to live and work in Belgium.

If you feel you meet our criteria, and feel inspired by the objectives and challenges of the position, please send a letter of motivation and a CV to euoffice@frontlinedefenders.org by midnight on Sunday 27 January 2018 (strict deadline).

Interviews are planned to take place on 11-18 February. The position will start on 15 May.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted – thank you for your understanding.

http://jobs.euractiv.com/job/advocacy-officer-179212

First MAJALAT Civic Forum launched in Brussels

November 16, 2018

Euromed Rights announced on 15 November 2018 that representatives from over 150 civil society organisations, the majority of which coming from the South of the Mediterranean region, will gather in Brussels on November 20-21 for the First Majalat Civic Forum in order to debate four regional themes: Good Governance; Security and Countering Violence; Migration; Economic Development and Social Dialogue.

After its launch in Jordan last September, Majalat will move to the heart of the European Union in order to initiate a three-year cycle of regional dialogues, in the presence of the Commissioner at the European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.

Majalat is thus the first civil society run process of this kind. The word itself stands for ‘spaces, opportunities, fields and domains’. Supported by the EU, the project aims at promoting structured dialogue between civil society in the South Mediterranean region and the EU institutions. It also aims at enhancing regional exchanges between civil society in the region.

The project has been coordinated and set up by six partner organisations: Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), Arab Trade Union Confederation (ATUC), EuroMed Network France (REF), EuroMed Rights, Forum for Alternatives Morocco (FMAS) and SOLIDAR.

The whole process will be facilitated by an Interactive Digital Platform.

In addition to the six partners, six organisations with a regional scope are invited to sit in the Steering Committee: Arab Campaign for Education for All, Arab Network for Human Rights Information, Disabled People International, Maghreb Observatory on Migration Transparency International and Syrian Citizens’ League.

For the programme see: Programme

https://mailchi.mp/euromedrights/majalat-first-ever-eu-south-mediterranean-forum-with-civil-society-in-lead-to-be-launched-in-brussels-enarfr?e=1209ebd6d8

ProtectDefenders is seeking an experienced manager for its Brussels office: 15 October deadline!

October 9, 2018

ProtectDefenders.eu is the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism, established to protect Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) at high risk and facing the most difficult situations worldwide. The mechanism is implemented by a Consortium of 12 international NGOs with the support of the European Commission. The EU HRD mechanism began its operations on 1st October 2015 for a duration of 36 months, this project has been extended by another year, with the possibility of renewal for 3 years in 2019.

ProtectDefenders.eu is seeking to recruit an experienced manager to run the Secretariat of the mechanism in Brussels and to ensure coordination of the project implementation and all related financial and narrative reporting. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced manager with strong communication skills who will play a crucial role in the successful implementation of the project.

…..

  • Tasks & General Responsibilities:

    The HoS reports directly to the Chair of the Board of ProtectDefenders.eu. She/He works under the supervision and management of the Board with the assistance of other Secretariat staff members: she/he coordinates effectively all elements of the mechanism so as to help deliver the commitments of the Consortium in an efficient and effective manner; provides overall representation of, and coordination between, Consortium members; ensures liaison with the EU Commission, EEAS, EP and other external actors; manages the Secretariat and its staff.

……

  • Experience/knowledge:
    •   Masters Degree in International Relations, Human Rights, Law or other related field
    •   Minimum of five years of successfully managing the implementation of complex projects, ideally

      EU funded projects, preferably with an international NGO

    •   Demonstrated experience in developing and managing large budgets, with preference for previous

      experience with a Consortium or a network.

    •   Experience in working on projects funded by major international donors, with preference for

      previous experience with EU.

    •   Strong coordination/negotiation skills with the ability to effectively coordinate among partner

      organisations and with diverse partners and stakeholders

    •   Understanding of the security and protection of human rights defenders around the world.

      Skills:

    •   Excellent oral and written English language skills, French or Spanish requested
    •   Strong management skills
    •   Strong analytical skills
    •   Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

      This position will be available to begin from November 2018. The initial contract is a fix-term contract up to December 2019. The Head of Secretariat will be based in ProtectDefenders.eu Secretariat in Brussels. The Head of Secretariat should have the necessary permit to work in the EU. The gross monthly salary for the position is €4.100 with lunch vouchers, transportation costs, health insurance coverage and retirement plan.

      Applications comprising a CV with at least two references and a cover letter should be sent by email to recruit@protectdefenders.eu by October 15th 2018. Interviews will be planned in the week of the 22nd of October.

Euromed Rights announces its General Assembly for 23-24 June 2018

June 20, 2018

Euromed Rights [formerly known as the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN)] announced that on 23 and 24 June, 2018, more than a hundred representatives from 80 organisations working on Human Rights on the two shores of the Mediterranean are expected to head to Brussels to attend the 11th General Assembly of EuroMed Rights. As the Euro-Mediterranean region is consumed by the migrants’ impasse, a deep social-economic crisis, the deterioration of international conflicts and the restauration of authoritarian regimes, meetings like this one are more meaningful than ever. Being the only regional organisation that gathers human rights defenders and organisations from both sides of the Mediterranean, EuroMed Rights has a crucial role to play in order to tackle the deterioration of human rights in the region with a strong, common voice.

{The General Assembly is the supreme body of EuroMed Rights and gathers every three years to elect the new President and the new Executive Committee members. The President and the Executive Committee are elected for a period of three years which could be renewed for two further terms. The Executive Committee members are also appointed as political referents for different focus areas.}

https://euromedrights.org

 

Front Line seeks advocacy officer for its Brussels office

June 29, 2017

is looking for an Advocacy Officer for its EU office in Brussels, Belgium

 

The Advocacy Officer helps develop the work of Front Line Defenders at European Union level as part of a small 2-person team in Brussels. This work includes the following tasks:

  • Responsibility for sending appeals on cases of human rights defenders at risk to EU/Member State authorities and to Norway/Switzerland to press them for action in accordance with the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and beyond;
  • Tracking results achieved, and compiling detailed data on responses for analysis and for reporting to headquarters;
  • Analysis, in coordination with Front Line Defenders’ Protection Coordinators, on the impact of EU action on Human Rights Defenders, and development and updating of strategies on maximising EU/MS response and impact on HRDs;
  • Prepare, in coordination with Front Line Defenders’ Protection Coordinators, briefings on HRDs for input into EU meetings;
  • By delegation of the Head of Office, participate in EU briefing and debriefing meetings, and advocate on HRD issues and individual cases;
  • In coordination with the Head of Office, initiate and undertake advocacy actions, in particular through the development of contacts with EU/Member State officials;
  • Organise and coordinate events, including visits of human rights defenders, awareness-raising workshops, etc.;
  • Assist with fundraising;
  • Assist the Head of Office in administrative tasks, as appropriate.

Desired profile and required qualifications

  • Relevant academic background;
  • At least two years of relevant experience, and sound knowledge of the functioning of the EU Institutions, the EU human rights instruments and the international human rights standards;
  • Dedication to the protection of human rights defenders and to the promotion of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders;
  • Strong organisation and time-management skills;
  • Excellent communication, relational and diplomatic skills, both oral and written in English and French;
  • Very good computer skills (office applications, database updating);
  • Experience of fundraising;
  • Availability for meetings early in the morning or late in the afternoon once or twice a week, upon coordination with the Head of Office. The position also requires very occasional international travel.

Salary €3050 per month gross. Conditions are according to Belgian legislation including the legal ability to live and work in Belgium.

Please send a letter of motivation and a CV to emma@frontlinedefenders.org by midnight on Monday 10 July 2017.

Interviews are planned to take place on 24-25th July. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted – thank you for your understanding.

 

http://www.eurobrussels.com/job_display/130644/Advocacy_Officer_Front_Line_Defenders_Brussels_Belgium

ProtectDefenders.eu seeks Head of Secretariat of its office in Brussels

May 8, 2017

ProtectDefenders.eu is the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism, established to protect Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) at high risk and facing the most difficult situations worldwide. The mechanism is implemented by a Consortium of 12 international NGOs with the support of the European Commission. The EU HRD mechanism began its operations on 1st October 2015 for a duration of 36 months. ProtectDefenders.eu is seeking to recruit an experienced manager (Head of Secretariat – HoS) to run the Secretariat of the mechanism in Brussels and to ensure coordination of the project implementation and all related financial and narrative reporting.

The mission of ProtectDefenders.eu is to:

  • operate a permanent and rapid response mechanism to provide emergency support and material assistance to human rights defenders in danger;
  • manage a support programme of temporary relocation for human rights defenders at risk to relocate inside their country, within their region or abroad in case of urgent threat;
  • support and coordinate an exchange platform for organisations and stakeholders working on temporary relocation for human rights defenders including through the EU Temporary Relocation Platform;
  • provide training, support and capacity-building to human rights defenders and local organizations;
  • monitor the situation of human rights defenders and advocate for a protection agenda for Human Rights Defenders at local, regional and international level;
  • promote coordination between organizations dedicated to support for human rights defenders, EU institutions and other relevant actors.

For earlier posts on this entity: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/protectdefenders-eu/ Read the rest of this entry »

Video of the “Defending Human Rights is not a Crime” meeting now available

April 24, 2017

This 5 minute video of the ProtectDefenders.eu 2016 Annual Beneficiaries’ Meeting, held in Brussels on the 29 November 2016 is now available on Your Tube. The motto was “Defending Human Rights is not a crime – #DefendersNotCriminals”.