|Member of the European Parliament
15 July 1999
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Alma mater||University of Dundee|
Claude Ajit Moraes is of Indian origin. He grew up in Scotland, having moved to the UK with his parents at the age of four from India. He studied Scots law, English Law, Government & Administrative Law and International Law at the University of Dundee, London University (Birkbeck College) and the London School of Economics.citation needed
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 specialising in refugee and migration issues. Moraes was also a Commissioner for Racial Equality and became a regular media commentator and campaigner on migration issues. He also helped organise legal challenges in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and in Europe.
Before his NGO work he was House of Commons researcher to John Reid MP and Paul Boateng MP, and was a national officer at the TUC and a representative to the European TUC. He was also a previous Council member of Liberty.
He has published on migration and human rights issues and is a co-author of the Politics of Migration (Blackwells) and The EU After the Treaty of Lisbon (Cambridge University Press).citation neededHe has written regularly for national newspapers 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 leads the London list going into the 2014 European Elections. Shortly after this, Moraes was elected Spokesperson for the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. In 2011 he was named Dod's and the European Parliament Magazine's 'MEP of the Year' for his work on Justice and Civil Liberties. He currently co-chairs the European Parliament's All Party Groups (Intergroups) on Ageing and on Anti-Racism. In 2013 he was appointed Rapporteur (lead) for the Parliament Inquiry into Mass Surveillance following the revelations 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,