EU human rights report: S&Ds warn civil society is facing constant threats
Following the adoption in the European Parliament today of a resolution on 'Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world and the European Union's policy on the matter 2015' the European Parliament's rapporteur, S&D vice-president Josef Weidenholzer MEP, said:
“2015 was a decisive year for Europe, the refugee movement challenged European solidarity more than ever. But especially in times of insecurity and crisis we have to stick to our core values: democracy, the rule of law and human rights. We must do everything we can to safeguard them."
Weidenholzer highlighted that the number of human-rights violations globally increased last year:
“The annual report is clear on the very dire situation faced by human-rights defenders across the world and we as members of the European Parliament are deeply concerned by the ever-increasing attempts being made to shrink the space available for civil society and NGOs, and by the growing number of repressive laws affecting the way they operate throughout the world. A free civil society is one of the foundations of a free and democratic world, a world in which human rights are protected and promoted. We therefore demand the right to legal consultation for activists, especially for imprisoned human-rights defenders.
"The annual report on human rights and democracy has just been approved with a huge majority in the plenary in Strasbourg. It describes the EU human-rights approach to conflicts and crisis, and how the EU addresses the main human rights and democracy challenges worldwide.
“Europe has to take global responsibility and state a clear position on human rights.”