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This study examines the implementation of the European Union (EU) Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, which constitute the policy framework and provide the operational means for protecting human rights activists in third countries. The first part of the study, written internally, provides an institutional perspective of the implementation of the Guidelines. It assesses the development of the EU framework to support human rights defenders, including EU Member States' emergency measures, and evaluates ...

Simone Veil, the first President of the directly elected European Parliament in 1979, and the first woman to hold the office, died on 30 June 2017, at the age of 89. A prominent French public figure beyond her years in office, she leaves an important and enduring legacy. This is an update of an 'At a glance' note from July 2017.

Gender-based violence, including violence against women and domestic violence, breaches human rights and is an extreme form of gender-based discrimination. However, violence against women and domestic violence are pervasive throughout the European Union (EU). While the full scale of the problem is not known due to a lack of data, the results of the most comprehensive survey on violence against women at EU level to date, published by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in 2014, provide an indication ...

More than two decades after the United Nations General Assembly adopted its Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) to enhance recognition of their role and encourage states to create a more protective environment, many human rights defenders face an increasingly hostile environment, with both repressive governments and some non-state actors, such as economic interest or criminal groups, opposing their work and posing a serious threat. Support for human rights defenders is a long established ...

LGBTI conversion 'therapies' are practices that can be defined as 'any treatment aimed at changing a person's sexual orientation or gender identity'. Ways to implement them include psychotherapy, medication, electroshock therapy, aversive treatments and exorcism. An alternative term used to describe these practices is sexual orientation and gender identity-expression change efforts (SOGIECE). They can bring about suicidal thoughts but also permanent physical harm, suicide attempts, depression, anxiety ...

Throughout his life, John Hume (1937-2020) sought to improve the circumstances of the people of Northern Ireland, beginning in his home city of Derry (Londonderry to its unionist residents). Born just a decade and a half after partition, and in a city whose hinterland had been divided by the border, he naturally wished for the unification of Ireland. But he saw that that could not be achieved without realistic plans, nor without a partnership between the two major communities in Northern Ireland, ...

Despite a 'bourgeois' family background, which was a disqualification in communist-led Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel rapidly became an internationally acclaimed playwright. However, his unequivocally proclaimed ethical principles soon put him at odds with the communist regime, resulting in several prison sentences. Havel nevertheless held fast to his belief that moral integrity was a question of necessity, not choice, and attempted to live up to this ideal. The 1989 collapse of the regime made Havel ...

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 ...

Some five years after the conclusion of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the political, economic, health and general situation in the country remains fragile, with a divided society, drugs-fuelled conflicts and weak governance. 2022 will be a key electoral year, while economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic remains a challenge. The President of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez, is set to address the European Parliament ...

Due to the deteriorating Covid 19 situation, Members were again able to choose to vote remotely during the December plenary session in Strasbourg. Parliament nevertheless held a joint debate on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 16 17 December 2021 and the EU's response to the global resurgence of Covid 19 and new emerging variants. Members debated statements by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell ...