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With their rapid advancement in recent times, digital technologies have undeniably had major positive and also negative impacts on human rights. They have offered people better opportunities to communicate and exchange information, thereby empowering them to exercise their right to freedom of expression and association, among others, and to draw public attention to human rights violations. On the other hand, they have enabled disinformation, cyber-surveillance and abusive behaviour, such as hate ...

In November 2021, the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) requested an own-initiative annual report on the implementation of the association agreement between the EU and Georgia (2021/2236(INI)). Sven Mikser (S&D, Estonia) is the appointed rapporteur. The Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has prepared this European implementation assessment (EIA) to accompany the scrutiny work of AFET. This EIA is an update of a European ...

After a period of relative freedom in the 1990s allowed the emergence of civic activism in Russia, repression has now come full circle. Under Vladimir Putin's power vertical, space for independent voices has narrowed. Like the political opposition and the media, civil society is now increasingly subordinate to the state. Repressive legislation has gradually circumscribed the activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). As part of a more general drive to exclude external influences after a ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE and AFCO Committees, offers a comprehensive and critical assessment of the European Commission’s Annual Rule of Law Report. It does so in a broad and holistic manner by assessing this new monitoring tool in light of the EU’s Article 2 TEU monitoring and enforcement architecture. Multiple recommendations are offered in order to remedy the serious gaps and ...

This paper, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, analyses Interpol’s system of Red Notices and the EU-based mechanisms to safeguard citizens against political abuse of Interpol’s system. Recent reforms of Interpol are significant but many problems remain unaddressed. The paper discusses existing and possible platforms, including the European Search Portal ...

Enormous natural gas resources have turned Qatar into one of the world's richest countries. The 11 610 km2 nation currently has the fourth highest GDP per capita in the world. The absolute monarchy's estimated 340 000-350 000 citizens benefit from free education, free healthcare, virtually guaranteed – and well paid – employment, and pay almost no taxes. However, the great majority of the emirate’s nearly 3 million inhabitants live in very different conditions. Qatar has the highest ratio of migrants ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions, examines the level of implementation of the 2015 Concluding Observations of the CRPD Committee by the EU, in the view of the next monitoring and reporting cycle. It reveals that while some recommendations have been followed up by the EU through its Disability strategies and legislative and policy action, important gaps remain, notably ...

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based discrimination. Rooted in inequalities between men and women, it takes many forms. Estimates of the scale of the problem are alarming. Such violence has a major impact on victims and imposes a significant cost burden on society. The instruments put in place by the United Nations and Council of Europe, including the latter's 'Istanbul Convention', to which the EU plans to accede, are benchmarks in efforts to combat violence ...

Human rights sanctions are nothing new, but the death in 2009 of Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky in detention resulted in calls for more vigorous action to counter continuing abuses in many countries. Adopted by the US in 2016, the Global Magnitsky Act was the first of a new generation of human rights sanctions programmes, which, in contrast to traditional sanctions targeted at individual countries, can be flexibly applied to perpetrators from all over the world, regardless of their geographical ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, aims at gaining deeper insights into the legal aspects of illegal logging and related trade in illegally harvested timber and timber products. It analyses the legal requirements and their implications for various actors in the EU and in third countries. The study examines the disparities in enforcement and penalties regimes in Member States ...