QCEA Human Rights Programme

About the Human Rights Programme

QCEA continues a long tradition of Quaker work for Human Rights Programme. In recent years we have been working to:

  • - promote alternatives to child immigration detention in Europe;
  • - support humane European external migration policies;
  • - tackle police/security violence against refugees and migrants;
  • - build positive narratives in an effort to reduce hate speech.

Together, our projects have sought to “humanise Europe”. We want to shed light on, and put an end to, the less-widely recognised challenges faced by migrants and refugees arriving in Europe. In addition to advocating for more humane policies on the EU’s borders themselves – ending the separation of families, opposing the creation of “camps” in third countries – we aim to address the ongoing human rights abuses faced by migrants who are present in European countries. This includes the detention of children because of their migration status, but also the phenomenon of violence towards refugees on the part of police and private security companies, as well as hate speech on the internet.

We reviewed our human rights work in 2019 and are currently enhancing our engagement, based on the following principles:

1) Prioritise justice, i.e. the lived experience of human rights and the practical effects of migration politics and policies, i.e. human rights as ‘theory’, but as ‘practice’

2) Erase the line between how human rights are discussed, operationalised, enforced, upheld and perceived for populations inside Europe and human rights as part of foreign affairs

3) Address the fundamental inequalities and deeply-embedded global hierarchies that contribute to additional marginalisation and persecution in current migration politics

4) Seek to influence the discourse and framing that sustains or reinforces the ‘othering’ of people who move from

5) Counter the lack of solidarity or empathy in the treatment of people who migrate to Europe by actively connecting people around the same human needs and specific shared challenges

6) Pursue a more radical, political and accessible agenda by identifying the shared dimensions of experience between different groups of human rights across communities and organizations.

7) Ensure the concept of fundamental freedoms in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) is part of how we view the restrictions placed on, and the lack of agency for, people on the move.

8) Model and promote a fully-rounded nuanced approach to migration policy and people’s needs, based on their humanity, individuality, and agency

9) Challenge the ascendency of reactionary politics and political movements that promote polarising and fundamentalist visions of Europe

10) Work to engage both ‘heads and hearts’ by hosting cultural events and communications.