Final Document on the sessions

on the violation of human rights of migrants and refugee people

Brussels – European Parliament, 9th April 2019


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Read below the Conclusions and recommendations:

Based on its findings and judgments, the PPT has concluded that taken together, the immigration and asylum policies and practices of the EU and its Member States constitute a total denial of the fundamental rights of people and migrants, and are veritable crimes against humanity: even though they may not be personally ascribable to individual perpetrators according to commonly agreed criminal law definitions they must be recognised as “system crimes”.

This definition requires the European Union to take responsibility for simultaneously changing its economic and asylum and migration policies and regulations, on a strictly interactive basis, and to adopt public and transparent procedures for concluding treaties and conventions, fully involving the European Parliament. Secondly, being system crimes does not relieve the EU and each of its Member States of their specific liability for failure to comply with the obligation to offer assistance, for complicity in murder, torture and inhumane and degrading treatment, and for the other serious violations of human rights resulting from by pushback.

The PPT is adamant that, in order to be effective and rational, every necessary and rational measure to regulate migration and reallocate the migrants must be taken by the European Union as such, since individual Member States tend to pander to sovereigntist tendencies and fuel fear and public sentiment caused or aggravated by the lack of effective reception policies, whereas only the Union itself can adopt and sustain a raft of policies to deal with the root causes of migration, and ensure compatibility between the rights of those already living in the European countries and the rights of the migrants, particularly with regard to the right to asylum, opening communities to foreign residents, appreciating the value of cultural diversity, taking care of vulnerable people, and humanising social relations.

It is urgently necessary to impose a moratorium on all the agreements which, like the EU-Turkey and Italy-Libya agreements, lack any public oversight and render the parties jointly liable for violations of the fundamental human rights of migrants. These agreements must be radically renegotiated and amended.

Consistently with the positions adopted by the relevant United Nations Agencies, the PPT deems it essential to put an end to any hostilities and criminalization against the NGOs engaged in rescuing shipwrecked persons and migrants in difficulty. To ensure compliance with the duty to protect paramount human rights, any measures designed to obstruct any individual and collective actions by civil society solidarity organisations, in any way whatsoever, must also be suspended. And decisive action must be taken to counter any practices that fuel xenophobia and hatred and create a hostile environment.


The PPT’s sessions have been convened as a forum for listening to the migrant and refugee people, and they have also given voice to the grief caused to families of the countless, and nameless, dead and missing persons. The institution of an international observatory, independent and organised with the widest participation of the families, with the mandate of the recuperation, whenever possible, of the bodies of the victims and, in any case, of the reconstruction of the identity of the disappeared would be a minimal token response to the right to be remembered, to truth, and to grieve, which is an essential component part of all human civilisations.

According to the tradition of the PPT, this document is first of all the voice of the victims and of their families and communities. It represents however also the voice of the hundreds of organizations, which together with the countless testimonies, have been the true protagonists of the process opened in Barcelona in July 2017: they did not simply share the sufferings of the victims, but have declared their willingness and readiness to continue their active solidarity with those who choose Europe as the place where their legitimate life projects could become a reality.

The PPT has presented today the results of its work to the highest institution of democratic representativeness of the Europe of the Rights, with the wish that they could be received as a contribution to the activities of the Parliament emerging from the forthcoming elections.

It has become dramatically urgent to give an identity and visibility to the migrant people, as one way of sensitising our collective awareness of the close linkage between the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees, and the future of our democracy.


The panel of judges (bios) for this hearings at the European Parliament is integrated by:

Bridget Anderson (UK)

Perfecto Andrés Ibáñez (Spain)

Luciana Castellina (Italy)

Mireille Fanon Mendes France (France)

Franco Ippolito (Italy)

Claire-Marie Lievens (Belgium)

Luis Moita (Portugal)

Patricia Orejudo (Spain)

Philippe Texier (France)