December 10, 2010

Human Security and Migration Litigation Workshop in London

INTERIGHTS' Europe Programme covering Council of Europe countries within Central and Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union is pleased to invite applications for a strategic litigation workshop on "Human Security and Migration" which will be held in London on 27-28 January 2011. The workshop is open to lawyers and human rights activists engaged in legal advocacy from Council of Europe states, especially those from Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and the Caucasus. To ensure a fruitful in-depth discussion, only a limited number of places will be offered.

Throughout the region, migrants - in particular, undocumented/irregular migrants, unskilled migrant workers, and asylum seekers and refugees – are vulnerable to a wide range of human rights abuses such as ill-treatment, arbitrary detention, servitude and forced labour, denial of access to justice, interference with private and family life, and denial of access to medical treatment and social services.  Moreover, due to their non-citizen (often irregular) status, migrants can be denied or severely restricted in their access to legal redress both in theory and practice.
 
The workshop's objectives include:

- facilitating cooperation and exchange of ideas and experiences between local lawyers and human rights defenders who are engaged in litigation and other forms of legal advocacy related to human security in the context of migration;
- achieving a better understanding of the nature and scale of violations occurring in this context;
- examining legal strategies to address those violations, including the identification of applicable legal standards and appropriate international, regional and national legal fora;
- increasing the capacity of participating lawyers and NGOs to litigate abuses of human rights in the context of migration at international and regional level, especially before the European Court of Human Rights;
- improving INTERIGHTS' understanding of the legal challenges existing in the field of human security and migration and the ways in which we can participate in addressing them;
- nurturing cooperation between INTERIGHTS and local lawyers and NGOs on the thematic issues identified below.

Elibigility 

As an organisation focussing on strategic litigation, we are primarily interested in applications from practicing lawyers who have experience of representation and legal advice in cases involving serious violations of human rights of migrants or victims of trafficking.  However, we also wish to encourage applications from non-lawyers or non-litigating lawyers who are directly involved in protecting the rights of migrants. We shall prioritise applications from lawyers and activists working in Central and Eastern Europe (including Russia and Ukraine), the Baltic States and the Caucasus. In exceptional cases, however, applications from Western Europe could be accepted as well. 

We are especially - but not exclusively – interested in applicants who have an experience of working on any of the following areas:
(a) treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, including issues arising under Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights, such as violations of the right to life, the non-refoulement principle in the context of expulsions and deportations, unlawful detention, ill-treatment in detention, inadequate procedural guarantees for detainees or persons subject to transfer, such as denial of access to a lawyer, and discrimination in the application of immigration rules;
(b) prevention of trafficking and human beings and protection of the human rights of victims of trafficking, including in the context of transit countries and countries of origin;
(c) treatment of migrant labourers/undocumented migrants, especially issues arising under Article 4 (e.g. exploiting their vulnerable position to deny remuneration or provide grossly inadequate remuneration for their work; coercing into work by withholding their identity papers or deliberately failing to regularise their legal status); and Articles 2, 3 and 8 (e.g. poor health and safety standards at work, a lack of access to health care).

To ensure that the workshop reflects current and emerging trends in the identified area and is practical use to the participating lawyers, all applicants are asked to submit the description of a relevant case they have worked/are working on. The workshop's agenda will be shaped by the legal issues arising out of the cases submitted by the selected participants.

Funding

All reasonable travel and subsistence costs associated with attendance at the training will be covered by INTERIGHTS.

The workshop will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation into Russian. Therefore, it is essential that participants are proficient in either English or Russian.

To apply, please email a completed application form to Arpi Avetisyan, Legal Team Coordinator, at aavetisyan@interights.org. The deadline for applications is Sunday, 12 December 2010

For further information, please contact Yuri Marchenko at ymarchenko@interights.org.

Read more: http://www.interights.org/human-security-and-migration-litigation-workshop

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