The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, has warned this Friday that there is a “crisis of confidence” at the global level of citizens towards governments and has stressed that fundamental rights cannot be used as “instruments” on the geopolitical board.
“We are seeing a crisis of confidence. The increase in social movements and protests, in all regions, is a clear sign of the corrosiveness of the institutions that are supposed to serve the people,” Turk said.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was approved, Turk explained, according to a statement, that “Human Rights violations anywhere in the world affect us all.”
“The greatest part of the effects of these crises always fall on the most marginalized, the most excluded, in particular women, children, migrants, indigenous peoples, internally displaced persons, people with disabilities, older people, ethnic minorities and racial and LGBTIQ+ people”, he recalled.
By geographical area, in Haiti, 60 percent of the capital, Port-au-Prince, is controlled by armed gangs, “supposedly supported by economic and political elites.” Added to the drama of insecurity caused by gangs, which has claimed the lives of more than 1,400 people, are the 4.7 million people who suffer acute hunger.
“This is a multifaceted and protracted crisis. But there are solutions. They require political courage and responsibility at the national and international levels. The root causes must be addressed, especially social inequalities, rampant corruption, collusion between powerful elites and leaders of gangs and endemic impunity,” Turk said.
With regard to Yemen, he has specified that “this seemingly endless conflict” must come to an end, for which he has called on the parties to start talks and renew the truce to avoid more reports, such as the recent ones of civilian casualties, especially of minors due to the rest of mines.
“Denunciations of serious violations of Human Rights, such as torture, arbitrary detention, trafficking, extortion and sexual abuse of people fleeing to other countries, are also cause for concern. The work of humanitarian agents must continue without obstacles and their protection must be guaranteed. freedom of movement,” he added.
On Afghanistan, Turk has once again reiterated that the “systematic exclusion of women and girls” from Afghan society is unparalleled. “I also deplore the continued use of corporal punishment and capital punishment, including the most recent cases of canings and executions carried out in public this month,” she said.
In his speech, he also dedicated a few words to the conflict in Cabo Delgado, where civilian deaths continue to occur, as well as crimes such as sexual violence, kidnappings or forced disappearances. In addition, he recalled that “almost a million people have been displaced, more than half of them children.”
Finally, it has focused on Somalia, where in addition to a “humanitarian catastrophe”, there is an increase in civilian casualties, 76 percent of which are attributed to the terrorist group Al Shabaab. Specifically, from January to November of this year, more than 600 people have died and more than 1,000 have been injured, 57 percent more than the previous year.
“Serious human rights concerns also include the arrest and detention of journalists, the obstruction of freedom of expression, the promotion of self-censorship and the aggravation of pre-existing vulnerabilities in terms of Human Rights,” he has ruled.