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In the midst of war, human rights and international law institutions have responded with unprecedented speed to the unfolding crisis, not least due to the strong engagement of the Ukraine government in multilateral fora. While these institutions can deliver little immediate relief for Ukraine citizens, the initiatives have important political functions: they show the political and legal alternatives to the logic of war chosen by the Russian government; they contribute to formalising international ...

A landmark UNHRC resolution has recognised the human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, endorsing the broad recognition of the link between human rights and the environment. The right to a healthy environment is already enshrined in numerous national and regional instruments. Although non-binding, the resolution can spur change, with the Council of Europe already taking the first steps in this regard.

China has ratified numerous legally binding international agreements. Like other countries, it has a strong incentive to commit itself in this way: international agreements are a means of binding other treaty parties; strengthening international standing; creating a favourable legal framework for trade and investment; and, such as with the 1984 Sino-British Declaration on Hong Kong, settling territorial questions. At the same time, China has been careful to avoid making commitments in two areas in ...

International law imposes an obligation to render assistance to persons and ships in distress at sea, which must be provided regardless of the persons' nationality or status or the circumstances in which they are found. These rules have to be applied without prejudice to the obligations deriving from international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including in particular the prohibition of refoulement. Search and rescue (SAR) and disembarkation activities of EU Member States are ...

Since the European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution on the use of armed drones in February 2014, it has pointed several times to the need for a common EU position on the matter. It has stressed in particular the importance of ensuring compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law when using armed drones. This publication, which was requested by the EP’s Human Rights Subcommittee, includes a briefing with specific recommendations, drawn up from a legal standpoint, on the elements ...

Recent controversial statements by new Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte are threatening to derail progress towards closer partnership between his country and the EU. Nevertheless, practical cooperation between the two sides, which began with European Community development aid 50 years ago, continues essentially unchanged. The EU and its Member States are still among the leading donors of aid to the Philippines, and EU-Philippines trade and investment is substantial. However, economic ties still ...

Human rights in the Philippines

At a Glance 17-01-2017

Since mid-2016, President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial war on drugs has triggered a wave of extrajudicial killings. The current violence reflects longer-term problems, such as high crime rates and a dysfunctional justice system. However, there are still many areas, such as freedom of expression and gender equality, where the Philippines does better than most other Asian countries.

Amid stalled peace talks and a worsening humanitarian situation, the EU is working alongside the UN Special Envoy for Syria to engage key regional and international players and broker a return to the negotiating table. In parallel, an EU emergency humanitarian initiative for Aleppo has been launched to attempt to break the deadlock over humanitarian access and deliver aid to some of the 275 000 people in Aleppo and 13.5 million people across the country who are in desperate need of assistance.

The CIA's extraordinary rendition and secret detention programme has again come under the scrutiny of the European Parliament, which will ask the Commission and the Council during the June plenary about the measures taken to implement Parliament's recommendations on the matter.

World Humanitarian Summit 2016

At a Glance 02-05-2016

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), on 23 and 24 May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey, will bring together a panoply of representatives of world governments, business, and civil society, in order to find a way to improve humanitarian responses to increasingly challenging conditions. The May plenary is due to hear from the Commission and Council on the EU approach to the WHS.