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Ideas for Europe: A minority rights perspective on Europe’s refugees and migrants

16 November 2017 • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm CET
Mercure Korona Hotel

To a large degree, the questions of minority rights for Europe’s traditional or long-settled minority communities and the rights of new migrants or refugees have been treated separately, both institutionally and in practice. Of course, they have many challenges in common, not least the promotion of diversity and the struggle against racism. However, the potential contribution of minority rights standards and mechanisms to ensure effective inclusion of Europe’s migrant ‘crisis’ is relatively unexplored. To explore the idea of a minority-rights-based approach, in both practice, public policy and normative development for civil society organisations and decision-makers, Minority Rights Group (MRG) is hosting this forthcoming seminar with the participation of experts, drawing on experience from around the globe. The event will also present a new MRG report A Minority-Rights-Based Approach to Social Inclusion for Asylum Seekers, Migrants and Refugees’.


  • Michael Ignatieff  – President and Rector of Central European University
  • Gay McDougall – UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination & former UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues
  • Mark Lattimer – Executive Director, Minority Rights Group International
  • Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernandez – Centre Maurits Coppieters
  • Stephanie Berry – University of Sussex
  • Balint Josa – UNITED for Intercultural Action
  • Karen Mets – Save the Children
  • Adam Weiss – European Roma Rights Centre
  • Willy Mutunga – Retired Chief Justice of Kenya and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya
  • Mahdis Keshavarz – Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists’ Association
  • Albert Barume – African Representative to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Anna-Maria Biro – Director, Tom Lantos Institute
  • Nadir Redxepi – Executive Director, Roma Education Fund
  • Zsofia Farkas – Managing Director, Minority Rights Group Europe

Following the Seminar there will be a short reception to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Minority Rights Group’s Budapest-based office, ‘Minority Rights Group Europe’. Lunch will be provided for participants.

The event is organized in partnership with the Centre Maurits Coppieters.

Photo: Collective informal shelter for Yazidis refugees who fled ISIL attacks in Iraq. Credit: Caroline Gluck-EU/ECHO.