At Refugee Rights Europe, our work focuses on six overarching themes:
Based on these themes and the findings of our independent field research, we have developed a list of human rights-centred policy recommendations, which are summarised in each info sheet.
Women in Displacement
Refugee Rights Europe has documented the situation for many women in displacement, raising concerns about the striking lack of safeguarding measures and adequate camp design, coupled with a lack of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, including during pregnancy and following rape, which not only allows high levels of sexual and gender-based violence to unfold but also exacerbates the consequences of such violence.
Children in Displacement
Refugee Rights Europe’s research has documented a worrying number of untreated health concerns amongst children and unaccompanied minors, who often lack access to education and information alongside safe and secure shelter. The lack of legal advice and guidance and adequate safeguarding mechanisms for displaced children in Europe puts them at heightened risk of exploitation and abuse and often leads them to take life-threatening journeys or falling into the hands of traffickers.
Across Europe, refugees and displaced people are often denied access to basic shelter and adequate sanitation facilities. Many are living in sub-par, unsanitary conditions in overcrowded reception centres at the ‘hot-spots’ in Greece and Italy, or in complete destitution at transit-points such as Calais, Ventimiglia, and the streets of major cities such as Paris.
Health and Access to Medical Care
Large numbers of displaced people have experienced health problems since arriving in Europe, often due to unhealthy living environments or the experience of violence. Mental health issues are widely reported, ranging from insomnia and anxiety to suicidal tendencies among respondents. In light of this, it is alarming that only a small proportion of displaced people appear to have access to medical care on European soil.
Across Europe, Refugee Rights Europe has documented a number of worrying reports of police violence in the form of physical violence, verbal abuse, the excessive use of tear gas and reports of arbitrary detention, including of unaccompanied minors. In many locations, this violence is reported to take the form of dangerous or life-threatening forms.
Information and Education
Refugee Rights Europe has documented a striking absence of accessible information available to refugees and displaced people on their rights and opportunities, as well as information on European asylum law. This lack of information risks leading to a situation in which rumour spreads and may cause refugees to jeopardise their claim or take life-threatening journeys. It may also increase the length of time spent in harmful environments.