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Democratic Transition and Linguistic Minorities in Estonia and Latvia

16-05-2018

Upon request by the PETI Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned this in-depth analysis on Democratic Transition and Linguistic Minorities in Estonia and Latvia. The writer claims that in order to understand the situation of political representation rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities in Estonia and Latvia it is essential to provide a historical-political framework that contextualizes the presence of such substantial minorities in the ...

Upon request by the PETI Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned this in-depth analysis on Democratic Transition and Linguistic Minorities in Estonia and Latvia. The writer claims that in order to understand the situation of political representation rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities in Estonia and Latvia it is essential to provide a historical-political framework that contextualizes the presence of such substantial minorities in the two countries and justifies the type of relationship existing with the majority of nation holder. He also suggests that from one side, full integration is the goal that needs to be pursued, while at the same time it's important to ensure the cultural and national values of Latvians and Estonians.

Външен автор

Angela DI GREGORIO

Peru: Human rights situation

14-02-2017

Although Peru has ratified most international human rights instruments, there remain some serious problems, such as violent repression of civil demonstrations, attacks on journalists, corruption and impunity, and even torture. However, significant measures have been taken to tackle violence against women and sexual minorities.

Although Peru has ratified most international human rights instruments, there remain some serious problems, such as violent repression of civil demonstrations, attacks on journalists, corruption and impunity, and even torture. However, significant measures have been taken to tackle violence against women and sexual minorities.

Human rights in Russia

14-09-2016

Russia is a signatory to several international human rights treaties and, as a member of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights. Its constitution directly guarantees the human rights of Russian citizens, which are also protected by institutions such as a Human Rights Ombudsman and a Presidential Council. However, the human rights situation in Russia is increasingly difficult. Repressive legislation adopted over the last few years has severely curtailed human rights by targeting ...

Russia is a signatory to several international human rights treaties and, as a member of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights. Its constitution directly guarantees the human rights of Russian citizens, which are also protected by institutions such as a Human Rights Ombudsman and a Presidential Council. However, the human rights situation in Russia is increasingly difficult. Repressive legislation adopted over the last few years has severely curtailed human rights by targeting freedom of expression and human rights activism. Western criticisms are dismissed by the Kremlin as interference in Russian domestic affairs. Human rights observers have compiled an extensive catalogue of abuses in Russia. These range from extrajudicial killings and inhuman treatment including torture, to confiscation of private property. A dysfunctional justice system denies Russians the right to a fair trial; ethnic minorities, women and LGBT persons are heavily disadvantaged, in practice and in some cases also in law. Some of the worst abuses in all these areas have occurred in the North Caucasus and Crimea, for example due to repression of the Crimean Tatar minority.

The Situation of National Minorities in Crimea Following its Annexation by Russia

13-04-2016

National minorities in Crimea have been subject to systematic violations of their rights since the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March 2014. Documented violations have occurred in the areas of freedom of expression, conscience, and religion; the right to peaceful assembly and association; freedom of the media and access to information; the right to a fair trial and effective remedy; the right to education in one’s native language; and linguistic and cultural rights. The de facto authorities ...

National minorities in Crimea have been subject to systematic violations of their rights since the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March 2014. Documented violations have occurred in the areas of freedom of expression, conscience, and religion; the right to peaceful assembly and association; freedom of the media and access to information; the right to a fair trial and effective remedy; the right to education in one’s native language; and linguistic and cultural rights. The de facto authorities in Crimea have neglected to investigate cases of grave violations of the rights to life, liberty, security, and physical integrity. The response of the international community has been limited. While Western countries pursue non-recognition policies towards Crimea, international sanctions introduced in response to the occupation of Crimea are weak, and there have been no measures taken to address the international humanitarian law and human rights violations in Crimea. Limited support is available to human rights organisations focused on or working in Crimea, and human rights monitors still cannot gain access to Crimea. The European Union, and the European Parliament, in particular, should actively advocate for the establishment of an international human rights monitoring presence in occupied Crimea. Tailor-made support programmes should be offered to Ukrainian government agencies and civil society working towards the protection of the rights of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea. The European Parliament should continue raising the issue of human rights violations in Crimea and monitor individual cases. Furthermore, the Council of the European Union should consider imposing sanctions for the violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in occupied Crimea.

Външен автор

Natalia SHAPOVALOVA (CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research, Poland), Olga BURLYUK (Centre for EU Studies, Ghent University in association with Policy Association for an Open Society, Czech Republic)

Myanmar/Burma: Human rights situation

22-10-2015

Since the handover to a nominally civilian government in 2011, the human rights situation in Myanmar/Burma, formerly one of the worst in the world, has improved – most political prisoners have been released and direct media censorship ended. However, numerous abuses continue, and the Muslim minority in particular has seen its situation deteriorate.

Since the handover to a nominally civilian government in 2011, the human rights situation in Myanmar/Burma, formerly one of the worst in the world, has improved – most political prisoners have been released and direct media censorship ended. However, numerous abuses continue, and the Muslim minority in particular has seen its situation deteriorate.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: a renewed approach?

20-04-2015

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is the only western Balkan country that has not yet formally applied to join the EU. In March 2015, the Council finally approved the conclusion and entry into force of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with BiH, a major breakthrough which puts the country on track for eventual EU membership.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is the only western Balkan country that has not yet formally applied to join the EU. In March 2015, the Council finally approved the conclusion and entry into force of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with BiH, a major breakthrough which puts the country on track for eventual EU membership.

Turkmenistan: human rights situation

18-02-2015

Since 2007, under the Government of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, no significant improvements regarding human rights and civil liberties in Turkmenistan have been observed by international human rights organisations. The EU is concerned by the situation and closely monitors human rights issues through a permanent dialogue on human rights with Turkmenistan authorities.

Since 2007, under the Government of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, no significant improvements regarding human rights and civil liberties in Turkmenistan have been observed by international human rights organisations. The EU is concerned by the situation and closely monitors human rights issues through a permanent dialogue on human rights with Turkmenistan authorities.

Indigenous Peoples, Extractive Industries and Human Rights

18-09-2014

The present study examines the human rights impacts of the extractive industries on indigenous peoples worldwide. It finds that there continue to be significant human rights risks associated with mining, oil and gas extraction falling disproportionately on indigenous peoples. It argues that the growing demand for non-renewable resources and the need to explore and exploit resources in ever more invasive ways suggest that such activities are likely to impinge even more on the lands of indigenous communities ...

The present study examines the human rights impacts of the extractive industries on indigenous peoples worldwide. It finds that there continue to be significant human rights risks associated with mining, oil and gas extraction falling disproportionately on indigenous peoples. It argues that the growing demand for non-renewable resources and the need to explore and exploit resources in ever more invasive ways suggest that such activities are likely to impinge even more on the lands of indigenous communities living in countries with important resource reserves. The paper acknowledges the major efforts being made by industry associations to address these issues through voluntary guidelines but finds that, notwithstanding, conflicts and violence persist and that further measures are required to protect the rights and interests of indigenous peoples. The universal acceptance of the 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides impetus to renewed efforts to ensure implementation of the provisions in practice. The paper concludes by recommending, among other things, that the European Union as one of the regions championing the Declaration at the United Nations take the initiative to develop a region-wide framework for extractive industries that sanction companies and provide legal redress in cases where the human rights of indigenous peoples are violated.

Minorities in the South Caucasus: New Visibility amid Old Frustrations

27-06-2014

One of the most multi-ethnic regions on Europe’s periphery, the South Caucasus’s bumpy path to democracy has often been accompanied by ethnic conflict, stoked by nationalism. Since acquiring independence from the Soviet Union, secessionist movements have grown among local minorities in the areas surrounding the countries’ new, sovereign borders. The lack of state mechanisms to channel such sentiments has led to violent ethnic clashes with long-lasting consequences. Today still, a lack of experience ...

One of the most multi-ethnic regions on Europe’s periphery, the South Caucasus’s bumpy path to democracy has often been accompanied by ethnic conflict, stoked by nationalism. Since acquiring independence from the Soviet Union, secessionist movements have grown among local minorities in the areas surrounding the countries’ new, sovereign borders. The lack of state mechanisms to channel such sentiments has led to violent ethnic clashes with long-lasting consequences. Today still, a lack of experience in conflict resolution and powersharing between dominant and minority communities hinders the development of common ground and democratic co-existence. Mechanisms which promote parliamentary representation, law-making and the oversight of minority rights are still largely absent. Although reforms in the South Caucasus have pushed for new laws to create greater accountability, instruments promoting inclusive dialogue with the minorities require further development. For the minorities of the South Caucasus, the most pressing issues are a lack of respect and the protection of their rights. For the sake of state-building and democratic development of the region, inclusive policies must be implemented with respect to ethnic minorities, through their political participation, including them in the higher levels of decision-making.

EU-Indonesia agreement on trade in legal timber

20-02-2014

The EU-Indonesia Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) was signed on 30 September 2013. It is the first FLEGT VPA the EU has made with an Asian timber-exporting country; VPAs with Malaysia and Vietnam are likely to follow. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format Available language versions:

The EU-Indonesia Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) was signed on 30 September 2013. It is the first FLEGT VPA the EU has made with an Asian timber-exporting country; VPAs with Malaysia and Vietnam are likely to follow. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format Available language versions:

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