[fyeg_gen-l] Fw: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH - WORLD REPORT 2003

FYEG FYEG at europarl.eu.int
Mon Jan 20 15:11:47 CET 2003


E-NEWS FROM UNITED
19/01/2003

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH - WORLD REPORT 2003 is available on-line and in pdf format.

Quote:
The remarkable pace of European integration could not mask continued 
serious human rights problems throughout the region, however. In 
fact, it accentuated the increasing disparity between the progress in 
Central and Eastern Europe and the deteriorating rights situation in 
much of the former Soviet Union. Continued integration also brought 
new human rights challenges to Western European states adjusting to 
their growing multicultural reality. Even as the European Union 
poised itself to become more diverse, it became less friendly to 
migrants and certain minority communities. The popularity of 
political parties touting anti-immigrant and nationalistic agendas 
drove more moderate politicians to embrace increasingly restrictive 
asylum and immigration policies that threatened the fundamental 
rights of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees at both the national 
and the European Union level.


The section Europe can be found at:
http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/europe.html
Contents:
Europe and Central Asia
     * Overview
     * Albania
     * Armenia
     * Azerbaijan
     * Belarus
     * Bosnia and Herzegovina
     * Croatia
     * Georgia
     * Kazakhstan
     * Kyrgyzstan
     * Macedonia
     * Russian Federation
     * Tajikistan
     * Turkey
     * Turkmenistan
     * Ukraine
     * Uzbekistan
     * Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

The complete, world-wide report:
http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3

INTRODUCTION ON THIS REPORT

This report is Human Rights Watch's thirteenth annual review of human 
rights practices around the globe. It addresses developments in 
fifty-eight countries, covering the period from November 2001 through 
November 2002. Most chapters examine significant human rights 
developments in a particular country; the response of global actors, 
such as the European Union, Japan, the United States, the United 
Nations, and various regional and international organizations and 
institutions; and the freedom of local human rights defenders to 
conduct their work.

This report reflects extensive investigative work undertaken in 2002 
by the Human Rights Watch research staff, usually in close 
partnership with human rights activists in the country in question. 
It also reflects the work of the Human Rights Watch advocacy team, 
which monitors the policies of governments and international 
institutions that have influence to curb human rights abuses. Human 
Rights Watch publications, issued throughout the year, contain more 
detailed accounts of many of the issues addressed in the brief 
summaries collected in this volume. They can be found on the Human 
Rights Watch website, www.hrw.org.

As in past years, this report does not include a chapter on every 
country where Human Rights Watch works, nor does it discuss every 
issue of importance. The failure to include a particular country or 
issue often reflects no more than staffing limitations and should not 
be taken as commentary on the significance of the problem. There are 
many serious human rights violations that Human Rights Watch simply 
lacks the capacity to address.

The factors we considered in determining the focus of our work in 
2002 (and hence the content of this volume) included the severity of 
abuses, access to the country and the availability of information 
about it, the susceptibility of abusive forces to influence, and the 
importance of addressing certain thematic concerns and of reinforcing 
the work of local rights organizations.

Unlike previous World Reports, this year's does not have separate 
chapters addressing Human Rights Watch's thematic work. Instead, this 
year's report incorporates such material directly into the report's 
regional overviews, country chapters, and a new chapter on "Global 
Issues." The change was made in the interests of streamlining the 
volume and mainstreaming developments in thematic areas into our 
country descriptions and analyses. The Human Rights Watch website can 
be consulted for more detailed treatment of our work on children's 
rights, women's rights, arms, academic freedom, business and human 
rights, HIV/AIDS and human rights, international justice, refugees 
and displaced, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, 
and for information on our international film festival.


HUMAN RIGHTS DEVELOPMENTS EUROPE
Introduction

The continued expansion of European institutions in 2002 marked 
significant economic and political progress in many parts of the 
region. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a 
quintessential Cold War institution, once again stretched across old 
divides to extend membership invitations to the three former Soviet 
Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as to 
Bulgaria, Slovenia, Romania, and Slovakia. The European Union (E.U.) 
and ten candidate countries made rapid progress toward their proposed 
2004 admission to the E.U.

The remarkable pace of European integration could not mask continued 
serious human rights problems throughout the region, however. In 
fact, it accentuated the increasing disparity between the progress in 
Central and Eastern Europe and the deteriorating rights situation in 
much of the former Soviet Union. Continued integration also brought 
new human rights challenges to Western European states adjusting to 
their growing multicultural reality. Even as the European Union 
poised itself to become more diverse, it became less friendly to 
migrants and certain minority communities. The popularity of 
political parties touting anti-immigrant and nationalistic agendas 
drove more moderate politicians to embrace increasingly restrictive 
asylum and immigration policies that threatened the fundamental 
rights of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees at both the national 
and the European Union level.

In some cases integration got ahead of reform, as when NATO offered 
to partner with Russia in a NATO-Russia Council, notwithstanding 
continued violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed 
by Russian troops in Chechnya. In a similar fashion, the Council of 
Europe admitted Bosnia and Herzegovina although it had achieved few 
of the conditions originally set for its admission. Such premature 
integration promised to strain European institutions and the 
principles on which they were founded.

Throughout the Europe and Central Asia region, repressive governments 
justified violations as necessary for the United States-led global 
fight against terrorism. Russia fought its abusive war in Chechnya, 
Uzbekistan continued its violent crackdown against independent 
Muslims, and Belarus gave its police Stalinesque powers of 
surveillance, all in the name of combating terrorism. Even former 
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic sought advantage in the 
anti-terrorism discourse, defending himself against war crimes 
charges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former 
Yugoslavia (ICTY) by arguing that his troops had been combating 
Muslim terrorists in Kosovo.

/from Human Rights Watch/



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Aleksandar Jovanovic
Office Coordinator and Administrator
Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG)
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