29 March 2021

Video blog Michael O'Flaherty: Protecting migrants’ human rights together

FRA Director Michael O'Flaherty, in his latest vlog, reflects on the migration situation at the EU’s external borders. He highlights the need for sustained joined-up efforts from all relevant bodies, including civil society, to protect the wellbeing and human rights of migrants. He underlines the importance of working with local communities as we receive migrants into our communities. He also points to room for improvement is our treatment of unaccompanied children.


I’ve just returned from a visit to the Canary Islands, where I was seeking to understand the migration situation of significant numbers of people arriving from the African coastline.

While I was there, I was struck by three things that are common to all of the migration situations across Europe’s external borders.

The first is that the duty to protect the wellbeing and the human rights of migrants is a tough one to deliver on. It requires sustained, joined-up efforts from across the institutions of our states, working with civil society.

Second, all efforts to receive migrants into our communities must be done in close consultation with the impacted local communities.

And third, we’re doing a poor job everywhere in terms of the treatment of unaccompanied children. I see a lack of the necessary solidarity to help the local authorities who are seeking to do their best with these children. We can do much better.

So let’s all join together in support of the human rights of migrants arriving on our shores – and in that effort, you can count of the sustained support and commitment of the Fundamental Rights Agency.