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e-pub - Realising the right to family reunification of refugees in Europe (2017)

Commissioner for Human Rights
052917GBR_epub
Type of document :
Document
Format :
Epub
Language :
English
Size :
177 KB
Number of pages :
58
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
Free

In the case of refugees, broadly understood, the right to respect for their family life requires swift and effective family reunification.

For refugees, the right to family reunification is crucial because separation from their family members causes significant anxiety and is widely recognised as a barrier to successful integration in host countries. Well-designed family reunification policies also help create the safe and legal routes that are necessary to prevent dangerous, irregular journeys to and within Europe.

Despite the importance of facilitating family reunification for both refugees and European states, the trend is now towards imposing greater restrictions in this area. This paper assesses restrictions on the right to family reunification, as enshrined in United Nations human rights treaties, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and European Union law, and shows that many of the legal and practical restrictions currently in place raise concerns from a human rights perspective.

Based on this analysis, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights sets out a number of recommendations to member states intended to assist national authorities in re-examining their laws, policies and practices in order to give full effect to the right to family reunification, for the benefit of both refugees and their host
communities.

SUMMARY
THE COMMISSIONER’S RECOMMENDATIONS
INTRODUCTION
     1.1. The urgency and importance of family reunification for refugees
     1.2. Key terms explained
FAMILY REUNIFICATION IN INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS
     2.1. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
     2.2. The Convention on the Rights of the Child
     2.3. International refugee law on family reunification
     2.4. European Social Charter
FAMILY REUNIFICATION IN THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS’ CASE LAW
     3.1. Family reunification for refugees
     3.2. “Best interests of the child” in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights
     3.3. Equal treatment and family reunification
EU LAW ON FAMILY REUNIFICATION
     4.1. Primary EU law
     4.2. Secondary EU law
RESTRICTIVE TRENDS AFFECTING FAMILY REUNIFICATION FOR REFUGEES
     5.1. Limitations on beneficiaries of family reunification
     5.2. Family members eligible for reunification
     5.3. Legal and practical barriers to refugee family reunification
     5.4. Status of beneficiaries of family reunification
CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS

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052917GBR

e-pub - Realising the right to family reunification of refugees in Europe