Council of Europe adopts Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum in Europe
On 5 May 2021, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum in Europe (2021-2025) to increase cooperation among member states to protect the most vulnerable persons.
The Action Plan aims at addressing the challenges and opportunities that were identified in the previous Action Plan, which focused on children. The Committee of Ministers found that the lessons learned, along with discussions with member states and within the Council of Europe, revealed the need for further action and co-ordination in a wider scope.
Several institutions from the Council of Europe have emphasised the special protection that states need to provide to vulnerable persons in the context of asylum and migration. In the new action plan, “vulnerable persons in the context of migration and asylum” are persons found to have special needs after individual evaluation of their situation and are entitled to call on states’ obligation to provide special protection and assistance.
The Action plan is based on four pillars:
1. Human rights: ensuring protection and promoting safeguards (by identifying and responding to vulnerability);
2. Human rights and rule of law: ensuring access to law and justice;
3. Human rights and democracy: fostering democratic participation and enhancing inclusion;
4. Transversal support: enhancing co-operation between migration and asylum authorities in Council of Europe member States.
The Action Plan further identifies Actions to be taken in the context of the different pillars and identifies the wanted outcome for each pillar.