The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal’s Judgment on

The Human Right to Health of Migrant and Refugee Peoples

(Berlin, 23-25 October 2020)

45° Session on the Violations of the Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples

The Judgment and the Recommendations formulated by the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) on The Human Right to Health of Migrant and Refugee Peoples (Berlin hearing 23-25 October 2020) have been publicly presented on December 16th 2020. The Indictment and the program of the Berlin hearing were forwarded by the Secretariat of the PPT to the German Government and the European Commission, who were the indicted parties, but did not answer to the invitation to participate and present their positions.

According to the terms of reference of the Indictment – formulated by a network of German organisations coordinated by the national IPPNW, and shared by several movements, organisations and institutions from European countries – the focus of the Berlin hearing was on the violations of the fundamental rights of the people of migrants and refugees in Germany. Health care was the main area investigated and documented as indicator of human rights. Criminal responsibilities of the country and European competent institution and representatives were also been determined.

The Jury of the PPT included high level magistrates, lawyers, academic experts from 5 European countries and included in its consideration and assessment the indispensable updated scenario of the factual evidences and of the normative developments of the last three years, which have been the object also of an intensive monitoring and judging activity of the PPT through its Sessions in Barcelona, Palermo, Paris, London, Brussels.

The detailed report of the decisions of the PPT is articulated in specific sections dedicated to the documentation of the facts in Germany and in Europe: the normative, socio-political, juridical contexts which have been the main determinants of the tragic and systemic violations of human and peoples’ rights and of their impunity; the qualification of the responsibilities from the point of view of binding international laws and treaties, as well as with respect to constitutional national and European obligations. The PPT document also contains recommendations on the priorities which should be adopted. As forcefully stressed in the public presentation of the Judgment, a concrete sign of a way forward is a must – in a scenario which is tragically affecting migrants and refugees, but is also, progressively and deeply, destroying the human and humane identity of the European institutions and societies.

The evidence presented by the testimonies and reports from the routes and frontiers where the whole spectrum of crimes fully corresponding to the technical juridical qualification of “against humanity” are happening (from direct killing, to torture, to trafficking, to expulsion to no safe places and regimes, to a specifically severe violation of women lives and dignity) have been overwhelming. What across the chronicles could sometimes appear a fragmented situation, must be qualified, with an emphasis already underlined in 2017 in Palermo, as a “systemic crime” – a  juridical category which is included in the statute of the PPT as an indicator of higher (criminal?) severity, of the structured characteristics of the violations. Beyond the personal responsibilities and actors, who should already be prosecuted, the PPT stresses and submits to the attention of the civil society, as well as to the representatives of national and international law, that what happens is the product of a necropolitics. In addition, there is the gravity of a lack of instruments to address the criminal accountability of these policies as well as to address the impunity for a crime which is truly an ongoing genocide. This reality is visible, explicitly planned and confirmed, as it has become, incredibly very clear in the September 2020 EU Pact on Migration and Asylum which is specifically and extensively taken into consideration in the Judgment of the Berlin Hearing.

The PPT Judgements, although not considered as legally binding, their evidences and declarations of responsibilities are submitted to the ‘legal institutions’, and also more directly they are conceived as instruments of  conscience and struggle for all those peoples, movements, subjects who are fully and intensely aware that all humans are, by definition, subjects of the human right to move, to be citizen of all places where the right to life and dignity could be respected, or at least pursued.

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