|Member of the European Parliament
15 July 1999
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Born||October 22, 1965|
|Alma mater||University of Dundee
Birkbeck, University of London
Claude Ajit Moraes is a British Labour Party politician who has been a Member of the European Parliament for London since 1999. He is Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in the European Parliament.
Claude Moraes is of Indian origin.He grew up in Scotland, having moved to Dundee with his parents at the age of three from India. He studied Scots law, English Law, Government & Administrative Law and International Law at the Universities of Dundee, London (Birkbeck College) and the London School of Economics and Political Science(LSE).
Prior to becoming an MEP, he attained a national profile as director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants - a UK-based independent legal NGO founded in 1967 specialising in refugee and migration issues. At JCWI he succeeded Dame Anne Owers in 1992. Previous directors of JCWI included Ian Martin sometime Secretary General of Amnesty International. At this time he was also executive secretary to the Immigrants' Aid Trust. Moraes was also a Commissioner for Racial Equality and became a campaigner and media commentator on migration issues. He also helped organise legal challenges in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and in the European Courts.
Before his NGO work he was a House of Commons adviser and was a national officer at the TUC in Congress House and a representative to the European TUC. He was a Council member of Liberty.
He has written regularly on migration and human rights issues and is a co-author of the Politics of Migration (Blackwells) and the JHA chapter of The EU After the Treaty of Lisbon (Cambridge University Press). and was a Tribune columnist.
He was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999, one of the first Asian MEPs elected to the European Parliament and London's first ethnic minority MEP. He was re-elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2004. In 2009, he was number one on the London list of Labour candidates in the European Parliamentary elections, being re-elected to the European Parliament for the third time. He led the London list going into the 2014 European Elections and was elected for a fourth term.
Claude Moraes was the elected Spokesperson for the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs from 2009-2014. In 2011 he was Dod's and the European Parliament Magazine's 'MEP of the Year' for his work on Justice and Civil Liberties. He has chaired the European Parliament's All Party Groups (Intergroups) on Ageing and on Anti-Racism. His Parliamentary reports include the legislative Report on the Protection of Seasonal Workers' in the EU (2014).
In 2013 he was appointed Rapporteur (lead) for the Parliament Inquiry into Mass Surveillance following the leaks from Edward Snowden. The Inquiry and his Report "US NSA surveillance programmes, surveillance bodies in various Member States and their impact on on EU citizens' fundamental rights and on transatlantic cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs" was given a large majority by the EP in March 2014 and is now often referred to as the Parliament's "European Digital Bill of Rights" as it looks at the future of key data, human rights and commercial priorities for the EU in the area of data protection, surveillance, governance of the internet, cybercrime, media freedom, scrutiny, anti-terrorism and technology.
In July 2014 he was elected Chairman of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (Libe Committee).