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The broad opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows the power of a unified response to human rights abuses. This is what Human Rights Watch said in its presentation annual report. The organization calls on governments to follow similar strategies for other conflicts around the world.
According to the organization, the list of countries where human rights were violated last year is long. Human Rights Watch has conducted research in hundreds of different countries, including Ukraine.
Iran, the conflict in Ethiopia that has now lasted two years, the situation of the Uighurs in China and the lives of girls and women in Afghanistan are also discussed, for example. According to the human rights organization, there are signs of a shift in power, with people taking to the streets to express their discontent in Iran and China, for example.
Double standards exposed
Although the list of human rights violations is long, Human Rights Watch sees bright spots and opportunities. “After years of fragmented and often half-hearted efforts on behalf of civilians at risk in places like Yemen, Afghanistan and South Sudan, the global mobilization around Ukraine reminds us of the extraordinary potential when governments realize their human rights responsibilities on a global scale,” said the acting executive director of the group. Tirana Hassan, in the foreword to the 712-page report.
At the same time, Human Rights Watch is critical. According to the organization, the response to the situation in Ukraine reveals the “double standards” of most EU countries. “All countries must show the same level of solidarity with the many human rights crises around the world and not only when it serves their interests.”
Through this, the organization indicates, among other things, how countries deal with, for example, Syrian, Afghan, Palestinian and Somali refugees.
But governments can also do other things to address or combat human rights abuses. For example, the Netherlands could play a role by investing money in the education of Afghan girls in countries neighboring Afghanistan, Jean Cui of Human Rights Watch said in NOS Radio 1 Magazine. “In this way, the Netherlands can follow the example of Germany,” he says. “The situation in Afghanistan is tragic, but there is a lot that needs to be achieved in practice.”
International momentum law
Cui also sees an impetus for international law. “The Netherlands plays a very good role in this.”
This is how Holland supports it International Criminal Court In the investigation of war crimes in Ukraine. “There will soon come a moment when the highest official will be brought to justice,” he predicts. The chances of impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity are slim.”
He believes this provides hope for other struggles. Ethiopia is a good example, as are Iran and Syria. According to him, there are still people at the helm who can be brought to court.
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