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Securing human rights amidst crisis

Jun 01, 2009

Amnesty International’s report: The State of the World’s Human Rights reveals that global recession is fuelling suppression of human rights. As governments worldwide crack down on people protesting against economic hardships, the document highlights the need for a new global deal to avert further instability.

The State of the World’s Human Rights

Publisher: Amnesty International, 2009

The report documents the state of human rights during 2008, in 157 countries and territories around the world. It reveals the systemic discrimination and insecurity that prevents progress in law from becoming a reality on the ground.

The document highlights the fact that the world is in the middle of a human rights crisis, a social, political and economic time-bomb that will explode if human rights concerns are not addressed.

Billions of people are suffering from insecurity, injustice and indignity around the world and while many aspects of this crisis pre-date the economic ‘downturn’, it is clear that the global financial situation is making the human rights crisis far worse.

Economic recovery depends on political stability. Yet those very same world leaders who are scrambling to put together stimulus packages to revive the global economy continue to ignore the deadly conflicts around the world that are spawning massive human rights abuses, entrenching poverty and endangering regional stability. The numbers of people living in poverty and subjected to human rights abuse are likely to grow as several factors come together in a recessionary economic climate.

The report opens with five regional overviews that highlight the key events and trends that dominated the human rights agenda in each region in 2008. The heart of the book is a country-by-country survey of human rights, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

By not prioritizing human rights, world leaders have failed to address a central part of the solution for long-term economic and political stability. By the examples of the human rights violations reported in the document , it has been found that the consequences of the economic crisis can only be addressed with a coordinated global response based on human rights and the rule of law.

World leaders must invest in human rights as purposefully as it invests in economic growth. Together with many local, national and international partners, Amnesty International is launching a new campaign in 2009 under the banner of “Demand Dignity” that will mobilize people to seek accountability of national and international actors for human rights abuses that drive and deepen poverty.

Source : Amnesty
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