The European Union thanks the Special Rapporteur for his presentation and takes note of his report on the right to freedom of association of migrants and their defenders.
The EU Charter of fundamental rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association at all levels” confirming that this right applies to everyone. The EU legislation guarantees equal treatment between EU citizens and legally residing migrants as regards freedom of association and affiliation and membership of an organisation representing workers or employers or of any organisation whose members are engaged in a specific occupation.
In line with the ICCPR, the EU is firmly opposed to unlawful restrictions of this right. Such restrictions are leading to serious consequences for the functioning of independent civil society and the ability of individuals and groups to participate in public life.
The EU is a staunch supporter of civil society and of human rights defenders and we remain committed to creating a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders to carry out their work. The EU also upholds human rights principles in relation to refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants, paying particular attention to children, women and to other persons in vulnerable situations.
We note the conclusions of the Special Rapporteur related to additional possible challenges faced by migrant women in the exercise of their right to freedom of association and we would invite him to elaborate on possible recommendations to tackle this issue.