Human rights group says 2014 was "catastrophic": urges permanent UN Security Council states to give up veto powers. Amnesty International’s Annual Report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of human rights in 160 countries over the course of 2014. The inability of world leaders to deal with the changing face of conflict, including a growing threat from armed group attacks, has left millions of people unprotected and in grave danger,
THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S HUMAN RIGHTS 2014/15 Amnesty International
(Feb 13, 2015) -- Amnesty International’s Annual Report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of human rights in 160 countries over the course of 2014.
The inability of world leaders to deal with the changing face of conflict, including a growing threat from armed group attacks, has left millions of people unprotected and in grave danger, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of the world’s human rights.
Without urgent action and a fundamental shift in approach, the rights group says there is strong reason to believe the next few years could see:
o more civilian populations forced to live under the quasi-state control of armed groups, subject to abuse, persecution and attacks
o deepening threats to freedom of expression and other rights, including violations caused by new draconian anti-terror laws and intrusive mass surveillance
o a worsening humanitarian and refugee crisis with even more people displaced by conflict as governments continue to block borders and the international community fails to provide assistance and protection
“If lessons are not learned -- if governments continue to ignore the relationship between the current security crisis and the rights failures which have led us here -- then what was a bad year for rights in 2014 could get even worse in the years to come,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
(February 25, 2015) -- World leaders have proved "shameful and ineffective" in failing to protect civilians from groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), said Amnesty International, calling 2014 a "catastrophic" year.
In its 415-page annual report detailing abuses in 160 countries, the group on Wednesday accused governments of "pretending the protection of civilians is beyond their power".
The Amnesty document urged all states to abide by a treaty regulating the international arms trade which came into force last year, saying this could help stop huge shipments of weapons to countries like Syria and Iraq.
Susanna Flood, Amnesty's Media Director told Al Jazeera: "At least half a million people die every year on average and millions more are injured, raped and forced to flee from their homes as a result of the poorly regulated global trade in weapons and munitions".
The arms trade is "shrouded in secrecy", says Flood.
"The recorded value of international transfers is approaching $100bn annually. Five of the top 10 arms exporters have already ratified the Arms Trade Treaty. While the US and Israel have yet to ratify, they have both signed. There has been resistance to ratification from other major arms producers like China, Canada and Russia."
The report said the number of displaced people around the world exceeded 50 million last year for the first time since the end of World War II.
Amnesty singled out the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for criticism, warning that the situation would get worse this year unless leaders took immediate action. Amnesty's secretary-general, Salil Shetty said it had "miserably failed" to protect civilians.
The five permanent UNSC members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the US - "consistently abused" their veto right to "promote their political self-interest or geopolitical interest above the interest of protecting civilians", he added.
The report urges the five states to give up their right to veto action in cases where genocide and other mass killings are being committed.
"2014 was a catastrophic year for millions caught up in violence," said Shetty. "The global response to conflict and abuses by states and armed groups has been shameful and ineffective. As people suffered an escalation in barbarous attacks and repression, the international community has been found wanting."
In addition, Amnesty called for new restrictions on the use of explosive weapons like mortars and rockets in populated areas.
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