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Human Rights Comment

Living in a clean environment: a neglected human rights concern for all of us

04/06/2019 Strasbourg

Tomorrow, 5 June, is World Environment Day. Initiated as an annual event by the United Nations to draw attention to pressing environmental problems, this year’s theme is air pollution. The urgency of the problem cannot be overstated. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 9...

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Human Rights Comment

The Shrinking Space for Human Rights Organisations

04/04/2017 Strasbourg

In recent years I have noticed a clear trend of backsliding in several European countries in the area of freedom of association, particularly in respect of human rights organisations and defenders. The growing pressure and increased obstacles can take a variety of forms: legal and administrative...

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Human Rights Comment

Human rights defenders’ work is vital for redress to victims of enforced disappearance

29/08/2016 Strasbourg

Last March I published an Issue Paper on Missing persons and victims of enforced disappearance in Europe, aiming to help Council of Europe member states improve their law and practice. Much remains to be done, considering that thousands of cases of missing persons and enforced disappearance...

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Human Rights Comment

Remove obstacles to the work of women’s rights defenders

22/09/2015 Strasbourg

Human rights defenders and civil society organisations working to protect the human rights of women and gender equality perform an essential role in Europe. They provide much needed assistance to victims of gender-based violence, combat discrimination against women, contribute to peace-building...

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Human Rights Comment

Belarusian Human Rights Defenders Need Support

12/02/2013 Strasbourg

Belarus is not a member state of the Council of Europe and should not even be considered a candidate until it releases all human rights defenders and opposition activists imprisoned for political motives, abolishes the death penalty and carries out far-reaching democratic reforms. This means that...

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