• In the face of a political and economic crisis affecting the European Union and many of its member states, protection of human rights is rarely a priority – especially when those negatively affected were marginalized or unpopular groups, such as Roma, migrants, and asylum seekers. Despite deteriorating rights in Hungary and elsewhere, EU institutions largely failed to live up to the promise of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, with the European Council particularly reluctant to hold member states to account for abuse.

     

  • European Union flags fly in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. © Reuters 2012
    The European Union and its member states should do more to help the thousands of Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach Europe as the Syrian crisis worsens and winter sets in.

Featured Content

Reports

Human Rights in the European Union

  • Feb 25, 2015
    On the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa stands a graveyard filled with simple wooden crosses. We don’t know the names and stories of those buried there, except that they perished at sea trying to reach Europe, fleeing conflict in Syria, human-rights abuses in Somalia and Eritrea, poverty in West Africa.
  • Feb 22, 2015
    The House of Lords should amend the Modern Slavery Bill to restore the right for migrant domestic workers to change employers, Human Rights Watch and the United Kingdom charity Kalayaan said today. The bill is being considered in the House of Lords, the UK’s upper chamber of parliament, during the week of February 23, 2015.
  • Feb 22, 2015
    The European Union special representative for human rights should use his visit to Azerbaijan beginning February 23, 2015, to insist that the authorities release dozens of activists and journalists imprisoned on politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch, International Partnership for Human Rights, and Front Line Defenders said today.
  • Feb 20, 2015
    “Aman.” a 29-year-old Eritrean, had just described his arduous journey to Europe when I heard the news about hundreds of deaths in the Mediterranean.
  • Feb 19, 2015
    Greece’s new government should move quickly to tackle longstanding human rights violations.
  • Feb 18, 2015
    When I was a child, my mother used to tell me how when he was only 11 years old, my grandfather left his hometown of Danzig (now Gdansk, in Poland), and traveled alone on a boat to England. My grandfather is Jewish and the trip saved his life.
  • Feb 18, 2015

    Brussels has done virtually nothing about Hungary’s problematic laws and practices concerning human rights since the European Commission in March 2014 created a “rule of law” measure to address serious abuses in EU member states, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

  • Feb 18, 2015
    Since the ruling party Fidesz won its first two-third majority term in April 2010 and renewed in the April 2014 election win, it has used its supermajority in the country’s unicameral parliament to adopt far reaching legal changes including a new constitution and over 1000 laws in parliament with limited or no meaningful public consultation.
  • Jan 29, 2015
    European Union leaders during 2014 were too often willing to sideline human rights at home when expedient in a year marked by success for populist and Eurosceptic parties in European Parliament elections and beyond, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. It highlights developments in 10 EU member states, EU human rights foreign policy, and Union-wide developments on migration and asylum, discrimination and intolerance, and counterterrorism.
  • Jan 20, 2015
    Asylum seekers and migrants living in destitution in the port city of Calais experience harassment and abuse at the hands of French police. The abuses described to Human Rights Watch include beatings and attacks with pepper spray as the migrants and asylum seekers walked in the street or hid in trucks in the hope of traveling to the United Kingdom.