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Humanitarian action for refugees and migrants in countries in North Africa and the Middle East

Recommendation 2203 (2021)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 28 May 2021 (see Doc. 15284, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, rapporteur: Lord Alexander Dundee; and Doc. 15285, opinion of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, rapporteur: Ms Jennifer De Temmerman).
1. Referring to its Resolution 2380 (2021) “Humanitarian action for refugees and migrants in countries in North Africa and the Middle East”, the Parliamentary Assembly emphasises the importance of member States providing humanitarian assistance to this region. The human suffering experienced by refugees and migrants in North Africa and the Middle East pushes many of them to risk their lives on often deadly routes to Europe over the Mediterranean Sea or through equally dangerous land routes, falling prey to human traffickers and smugglers.
2. The Assembly welcomes the presence of the Council of Europe in Tunis and Rabat through offices that have been opened there. It also welcomes the work of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe in Lisbon. Many countries in North Africa and the Middle East have signed Council of Europe conventions and co-operate in relevant partial agreements such as the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) and the Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs (Pompidou Group).
3. Israel has observer status with the Assembly, and the parliaments of Jordan and Morocco as well as the Palestinian Legislative Council have partner for democracy status. Other parliamentary delegations participate regularly in committee meetings and Assembly sessions.
4. With this institutional framework of co-operation across the Mediterranean Sea, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers take action to improve the situation of refugees and migrants in countries in North Africa and the Middle East by reinforcing its action in this region, in close co-operation with the European Union and the African Union, in particular by:
4.1 inviting more countries in North Africa and the Middle East to co-operate in action against human trafficking in the framework of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197);
4.2 developing projects focusing on refugees and migrants, in particular through the Council of Europe offices in Tunis and Rabat and expanding the role of the North-South Centre.
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