Spotlight on hotspots and the new EU Migration Pact

In November 2019, the head of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency described the EU ‘hotspot’ in Moria, Lesbos, Greece, as “the single most worrying fundamental rights issue that we are confronting anywhere in the European Union.”  An overcrowded place of confinement for those seeking refuge in the EU, it was destroyed in a devastating fire days ago, leaving nearly 13,000 men, women, and children without shelter or access to basic services. 

In an apparently reaction to this tragedy, the European Commission has brought forward the publication date of its new ‘Pact on Migration’ to Wed 23 September, with Commission President Von der Leyen promising ‘We'll take a human & humane approach. Saving lives at sea is not optional and those countries who fulfil their legal and moral duties or are more exposed than others, must be able to rely on the solidarity of our whole EU.’

This rapid reaction event will bring together diverse voices on refugee protection to offer perspectives on the events in Lesbos, the ‘hotspot’ approach, and the Commission’s newly published Pact.

The event is in association with the German Law Journal Special Issue on Border Justice: Migration and Accountability for Human Rights Violations (2020)


Cathryn Costello is Professor of Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School and Co-Director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights. She is an expert in European and international refugee and migration law, and has written about EU asylum and migration law, international refugee law, and the relationship between migration and labour law. She is currently the Principal Investigator of RefMig, a five-year ERC-funded research project exploring refugee mobility, recognition and rights.

Itamar Mann is Associate Professor at the University of Haifa, Faculty of Law, and a principal investigator at the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law Under Extreme Conditions. His research interests include international law, human rights, refugee law and refugee studies, political theory, and legal history. He is also engaged as a human rights lawyer, and is a member of the Global Legal Action Network.

Nora Markard is Professor for Public Law and Human Rights at the University of Münster. Her research focuses on migration law, fundamental rights, and legal gender studies. She is a co-founder of two legal clinics and of the strategic litigation NGO Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte, as well as an editor of the German Law Journal.


Essam Daod is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He is the co-founder of Humanity Crew, an international aid organization specializing in the provision of first response mental health interventions to people in crises. In 2016 Essam and Humanity Crew were awarded "The Defenders of Refugee Rights Award" at the 4th Edition of Cities Defending Human Rights in Barcelona.

Daniel Howden is managing director of Lighthouse Reports, a non-profit organisation that is pioneering topic-based newsrooms. He leads an open newsroom for emerging migration reporters across the European Union. An award-winning journalist, his work focuses primarily on migration. He was a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University's Refugee Studies Centre and is a member of the experts network of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Minos Mouzourakis is Legal Officer at Refugee Support Aegean, a Greek non-profit organisation focusing on strategic litigation in support of refugees, monitoring human rights violations as well as the provision of legal, social and humanitarian support in individual cases. He has previously worked at the European Council on Refugees and Exiles on the reform and implementation of the Common European Asylum System.

Isabel Schayani is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster.  She studied Oriental studies at the University of Bonn with a concentration in Islamic law.  She the Grimme Preis in 2019 and was John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow 2017, CES, Harvard University.  She is the founder and  head of WDRforyou, an online-channel which provides information, orientation and entertainment for those who are new in Germany. She just returned from Lesbos, Greece.

Tineke Strik is a member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Greens since July 2019. She is Professor for Citizenship and Migration law at the Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University.  From 2007 to 2019, she was member of the Senate for the Dutch Greens. Her focus in the European Parliament is on migration and asylum policies, specifically their compliance with human rights.

This event is part of the Fundamental Rights in Practice events series hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights and is hosted in collaboration with the Jacques Delors Centre.

No prior registration is required. To join the webinar click on the link below:

Spotlight on hotspots and the new EU Migration Pact

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This event in hosted in collaboration with the Jacques Delors Centre