[JURIST] The EU on Tuesday released a report [press release] criticizing Turkey for human rights and governmental issues which they save have not been addressed through new reforms. The report discusses how issues such as the refugee crisis and oppression of journalists could be cured by adopting reforms that mirror the standards set by surrounding EU nations. The report states that “[c]ore issues of the rule of law, fundamental rights, strengthening democratic institutions, including public administration reform, as well as economic development and competitiveness remain key priorities.” The EU commission believes if Turkey made significant changes to fight human rights issues they may have the political and economic stature to join the EU as a member state. Government officials from Turkey have claimed [BBC report] that the EU findings are unfair and have rejected the report.
The rights of migrant populations has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issue around the world, and especially in Europe, as millions seek asylum from conflict nations. Late last month Human Rights Watch called on [JURIST report] the EU and Western Balkans states to focus on remedying what it characterized as deplorable conditions for asylum-seekers in Europe. Earlier that month, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein urged [JURIST report] the Czech Republic to stop detaining migrants and refugees in “degrading” conditions. According to Zeid, the numerous migrants and refugees who have arrived in the Czech Republic since August 2015 have been subjected to human rights violations. The month before, Zeid gave the opening statement [JURIST report] at the 30th session of the Human Rights Council in which he addressed, among other pressing human rights issues, the migrant crisis. In his statement, he commended the efforts of ordinary citizens in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the UK who have opened their homes to refugees and have galvanized politically to help with the crisis. Also in September Germany announced that it was invoking temporary border controls [JURIST report] at the nation’s southern border with Austria, after thousands of immigrants entered the country.