Human Rights Watch criticizes EU and USA for not doing enough on human rights
Many of the world's countries and international organizations are not placing strong enough pressure on states that violate human rights to get them to change their ways, according to a new report on the state of human rights worldwide from Human Rights Watch. The European Union and the United States of American are among those criticized. Activists from the organization, which has long followed the upholding of human rights, criticize the EU and US for merely collaborating and negotiating with the governments of those countries whom they want to lead toward reforms. Such reforms as have resulted from these processes are generally toothless.
The report, which the organization presented in Brussels, makes particular mention of the world's most populous country, China, which is not only a significant political force, but even more powerful in the economic sphere. Many countries want to collaborate with China and are capable of "shutting their eyes" to the fact that human rights continue to be violated there. Human Rights Watch expressed its appreciation to the Norwegian Nobel Prize committee for deciding to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the imprisoned dissident and literary critic Liu Xiaobo.
The European Union has also become a target of criticism even though the organization itself takes great pride in advocating for human rights. Human Rights Watch criticizes the EU for the numerous cases of discrimination that occur in its Member States against Muslims, the Roma, and other minorities. Moreover, Human Rights Watch says the EU and its Member States should demonstrate greater political will to make sure their opinions on the issue of discrimination sound the same at home as they do abroad. "The EU's 'constructive dialogues' are among the worst examples of this global trend," said Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth in a statement issued along with the report, referring to a term used gladly and often in EU foreign policy.
The activists are not claiming that the EU and other players are not making themselves heard on human rights. International pressure does exist, but it is aimed mainly at the governments of countries where the extent of human rights violations exceeds other interests that might be at play, such as Iran, North Korea, or Zimbabwe. "When the EU makes a declaration of concern about human rights, it is often not backed up by any targeted strategy for change," the organization's declaration says.
The extensive report, almost 650 pages long, does not specifically focus on the Czech Republic. Some EU Member States, however, are made examples of. France is criticized for the way it approached its recent controversial plans for deporting Roma from Eastern Europe. "The credibility of the EU as a force for human rights around the world consists in its willingness to concern itself with human rights abuses in its own Member States," reads the Human Rights Watch statement.