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28.5.13

SYRIA AS A PRIORITY FOR UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER.


On the 27th of May the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navy Pillay, opened the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council expressing her deep concern for the brutal human rights violations presently occurring in Syria, and she strongly urged the International Community to act to put an end to the violence and come to an immediate and lasting solution to the conflict.  She defined the Syrian situation as “an intolerable affront to the human conscience”.  While strongly condemning the violations of human rights and of the international humanitarian law perpetrated by regime’s forces as well as by the rebels, the High Commissioner affirmed that the International Community cannot and must not continue to ignore the plea of the Syrian people. “I fear that we in the international community are failing to meet our fundamental obligations to the victims”. Ms Pillay urged the States to work to put an end to this humanitarian disaster, even if, she affirmed “it sometimes seems that we can do little more than cry out in the darkness and try to count the dead”.
The High Commissioner addressed several important questions related to the protection of human rights and focused on the present economic crisis involving many States once economically strong and privileged, “that have championed the cause of human rights around the world”, as the European States. This crisis, she stated, “threatens a broad range of human rights across the globe as: access to decent and regular work; to healthcare and to affordable food, housing and water. Since 2008, 114 million more people have been pushed below the poverty line, and 64 million jobs have been lost.” Inequalities have increased, undermining the fabric of society”, and the devastating effects of the crisis did not hit those responsible for it, but the most vulnerable groups of the global population: the poor; temporary workers and all those who live paycheck-to-paycheck; persons with disabilities; older persons; the sick; migrants; and refugees.
Ms Pillay denunciated that in Europe, as a consequence of the crisis, there has been an increase of extremist and xenophobic discourses, which aims to identify scapegoats for economic crisis. Although those societies retain stable democratic institutions, they are now stepping back into the ugly injustice of racism and discrimination, demonizing minorities and migrants. It is shocking, she said, to observe leading figures in governments and opposition parties integrating elements of this discourse into their policies.
Here you can find the link to the integral version of the Statement:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13358&LangID=E

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