On 10 December every year, we celebrate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We remind each other that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights – but also that there are many challenges in the world that continue preventing many people from the full enjoyment of their human rights.
An increasing flow of migrants are undertaking perilous and dangerous journeys to reach European shores. So far this year, more than 165,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean, compared to 60,000 last year, and over 3,000 have died or are missing at sea.
On 16 and 17 October 2014, OHCHR’s Regional Office for Europe organized in Brussels its fifth annual event dedicated to “Forgotten Europeans” – groups of rights holders who are often left out of mainstream human rights discussions.
On 26 and 27 May, OHCHR Regional Representative for Europe Jan Jařab visited Portugal at the invitation of the outgoing Portuguese High Commissioner for Migrations, Rosário Farmhouse. The main aim of the mission was to make an in-depth evaluation of Portugal's policies concerning migrants and Ciganos (Roma).
On 16 and 17 January, OHCHR’s Regional Office for Europe organized its second “Chatham House rule” colloquium on Roma rights – this time in Madrid, hosted by the Government of Spain, on the issue of Roma segregation in housing.
European Development Days (on 26-27 November 2013) focused more than ever on the links between human rights and development. OHCHR maintained an information stand during the entire two days of the event, attended by some 6000 stakeholders.
On 17-18 June 2013, to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Regional Office for Europe of OHCHR and the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission held a joint regional symposium entitled “Preventing abuse and neglect of older persons in Europe”. It brought together representatives of EU Member States and European Union institutions, civil society organizations as well as representatives of other international and regional organizations (UNECE, OECD and the Council of Europe). It was the first such collaboration on the part of the European Commission and the Regional Office for Europe of OHCHR.
Representatives of 24 EU Member States participated in a seminar on the recommendations of international human rights mechanisms, organized in Brussels by the Regional Office for Europe of the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR) on 18 and 19 April 2013.