EuroMed GA 2018

Euromed Rights General Assembly: 80 Human Rights Organisations from the Mediterranean Region gather in Brussels


Brussels, 19 June 2018

On 23 and 24 June, more than a hundred representatives from 80 organisations working on Human Rights on the two shores of the Mediterranean are expected to head to Brussels to attend the 11th General Assembly of EuroMed Rights.

As the Euro-Mediterranean region is consumed by the migrants’ impasse, a deep social-economic crisis, the deterioration of international conflicts and the restauration of authoritarian regimes, meetings like this one are more meaningful than ever.

Being the only regional organisation that gathers human rights defenders and organisations from both sides of the Mediterranean, EuroMed Rights has a crucial role to play in order to tackle the deterioration of human rights in the region with a strong, common voice.

Note to Editors:
The General Assembly is the supreme body of EuroMed Rights and gathers every three years to elect the new President and the new Executive Committee members. The President and the Executive Committee are elected for a period of three years which could be renewed for two further terms. The Executive Committee members are also appointed as political referents for different focus areas.

Report of SIHRG committee member Anne-Marie Irwin:

I write with an update following my attendance at the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network Triennial General Assembly 23rd - 24th June 2018, which I think has been a worthwhile exercise reminding EMHRN of our existence and willingness to continue working with them. Thank you all for agreeing that I attend on behalf of SIHRG. Lionel, I spoke to the CEO Marc Schade-Poulson and passed on your regards, which he warmly returned. I have also tweeted about my attendance on behalf of SIHRG.


I attach a note of what I took to be the most relevant discussions (I attended all of the sessions but much of the business focussed on procedural matters or interventions from members which are not particularly relevant to our work).




SIHRG previously worked with EMHRN on trial monitoring in Egypt . SIHRG is credited with this work in the Activity Report 2015-2017  




In Turkey, where I know Lionel has already carried out work on behalf of SIHRG, EMHRN plan to monitor trials with their Turkish members. They have had a meeting with their Turkish Partners to identify which trials to focus on – they have a list of at least 100 trials now ongoing and have identified 10 trials they will focus on over the next 2 years. The issues raised in the trials are, eg (1) Freedom of Expression for Turkish citizens outside Turkey (2) a HRD raising concern in relation to a mining catastrophes (3) FOE in universities (4) a case of a very conservative foundation which has been indicted. They will bring international observers to trials as well and carry out publicity around it and will bring into EU/Turkish negotiations for Turkish accession. 


Shrinking Space


A seminar on the theme of ‘Shrinking Space for Civil Society’ was held on 22 June in advance of the GA and this is also a significant theme for EMHRN in the coming years.


Bar Human Rights Council


There are only 2 other UK members. One is the Bar Human Rights Council (Theodora Christou was re-elected to the Executive Committee). Theodora was heavily involved in trial monitoring in Egypt last year. I had a short discussion with her and it may be worth me or another making contact again, to see if we can work together in relation to EMHRN work. For example, Theodora said that she does not travel to Turkey and so she may be able to refer Turkey-related work to us with EMHRN’s agreement.


Rights in Exile


The other is Rights in Exile,, part of the international organisation Amera which promotes legal assistance/protection to refugees globally. One of its roles is to co-ordinate pro-bono assistance, including legal training, for refugees, from both immigration lawyers and non-immigration lawyers. They work with both qualified lawyers and law students and so there may be scope for joint working of there is interest within SIHRG. I have exchanged details with the attendee from the organisation and will follow up.


If anyone has any immediate questions or comments please let me know, otherwise I suggest that we add this as an agenda item for the next meeting.  



Anne-Marie Irwin - SIHRG committee member.