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Protecting migrants from violence

In the light of the growing number of acts of violence against migrants in Europe, the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons has today proposed a package of legislative, victim support and preventive measures, on the ground that these groups should receive special protection from the receiving countries.

The report by Andrea Rigoni (Italy, ALDE), approved by the committee, examines the ways in which migrants can be subjected to violence and its various forms, such as physical violence, trafficking, violence in immigration detention centres, exploitation in the labour market, hate crimes and violence against LGBT migrants. Parliamentarians are very concerned about women and child migrants, who are particularly vulnerable to different forms of violence and abuse, including sexual violence, especially in detention centres.

In his report, Mr Rigoni also provides examples of violence against migrants in certain Council of Europe member states, including France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Russian Federation and Turkey.

According to the committee, the perpetrators of violence against migrants must be prosecuted. Governments must amend their legislation to ensure that irregular migration is not considered a criminal offence. Lastly, employers who commit violent or illegal acts against migrants, including failure to pay wages or unlawful dismissal, should also be punished, concluded the committee.