Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

Report on combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatisation, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief.

Despite the Human Rights Council calling upon all States to “take effective measures to ensure that public functionaries, in the conduct of their public duties, do not discriminate against individuals on the basis of religion or belief” BVMN is deeply concerned that Islamophobia continues to underpin violent and illegal border enforcement in Greece and the Balkan region. At the time of submission of this evidence to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, BVMN had recorded 1,212 pushback testimonies many of which reveal a pattern of verbal, physical and psychological religious abuse and discrimination at the hands of law enforcement.

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Universal Periodic Review Submission on Greece

BVMN’s stakeholder briefing for the United Nations 39th session of the Universal Periodic Review

The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) is a coalition of organisations documenting pushbacks and state violence in the Balkans, Greece and Turkey, since the formal closure of the migration route 5 years ago. In 2016, during the last Universal Periodic Review, 35 countries made recommendations to Greece regarding the protection of migrants and asylum seekers. Despite this, BVMN assert that the Greek government has failed its obligations under international law and has systematically rolled back protection granted to migrants and refugees.

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Submission to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – Romania

Today the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) presented findings to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) regarding pushbacks and other forms of border violence perpetrated by Romanian authorities. This new submission, offering input to the 69th session of the CESCR, tackles the expulsion and mistreatment of people in Romania, as documented via first hand interviews conducted by members of BVMN on the ground. Despite the ratification of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, BVMN asserts that Romania has failed to meet its obligations.

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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture regarding Greece

Today The Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) is sharing a submission made to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Focusing on Greece, the submission will inform the Special Rapporteur’s annual interim report which will be presented to the General Assembly at its 76th Session in October 2021. The report addresses the lack of accountability for Greek authortities engaged in pushbacks and other forms of border violence which amount to torture, as well as the active supression of evidence by state officials. Building on first hand data collected by members of BVMN through interviews with people-on-the-move, the report lays out a set of responses to questions posed by the Special Rapporteur, as well as core recommendations for attaining accountability.

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Submission to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on Bosnia-Herzegovina

Today, the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) will share findings in the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) related to pushbacks and protection concerns in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). In this 70th session of the Committee, BVMN has been invited to present a recent submission made regarding BiH and to outline abuses that people-on-the-move are facing in the country. These include both violations of economic and social rights suffered during cross-border pushbacks and violations within State borders. The submission findings also cover the systemic failings in provision of shelter, health access and basic amenities, which relate to both camps and squated accommodation.

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