Positive feedback for Luxembourg from Amnesty International
(CS) Luxembourg's efforts to control arms trade and promote human rights received positive feedback from the local Amnesty International branch, while the treatment of asylum seeker reaped negative comments.
Amnesty Luxembourg Director Stan Brabant commented that Luxembourg had played a positive role in the UN's push to adopt a treaty to control the international arms trade. He also pointed out the Grand Duchy's outspoken stance in crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Russia's treatment of international aid workers as foreign agents.
Despite this positive feedback, Amnesty Luxembourg also had criticism at hand for the Grand Duchy, especially in its treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. By closing its borders, the EU, including Luxembourg, was putting the lives of immigrants in danger, the annual report of the charity said.
“We call on Luxembourg to further consider human rights as a priority, both in domestic policy policy and in its bilateral and multilateral relations,” Braband added.
Human rights violations in more than 159 countries
On the whole, Amnesty International recorded human rights violation in 159 countries around the globe in 2012. In 112 countries people were abused and tortured, in 101 countries the right to freedom of expression was violated.
Amnesty also reported a high amount of crimes committed by members of security or armed forces, including rape and murder.
On a more positive note, the charity recorded progresses in the defence of human rights in South America, with legal procedures against human rights violators ongoing in Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
And while Gambia and Japan saw the first executions in more than a decade in 2012, more than a third of states worldwide had abolished the death penalty.
15 million refugees worldwide
One of the biggest points of contention for Amnesty meanwhile is the management of the Syrian crisis by the international community. Some 3.5 million refugees have left the country, making up a substantial proportion of 15 million refugees worldwide.
Amnesty Luxembourg President Sophie Farreyol commented that the lack of action from the UN Security Council was “pathetic”, adding that the Council should rise up against human rights violations and its responsibility to protect the Syrian people.
The position of Russia in this crisis was heavily criticised, among more criticism of Russia and China for their refusal to sign the arms trade agreement.