Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović, presenting her 2021 annual report to the Parliamentary Assembly, has said that trends undermining human rights protection have continued in 2021.
The topics covered by the report vary from media freedom and journalists’ safety to the protection of migrants, from freedom of peaceful assembly to the rights of women and girls, LGBTI people, persons with disabilities, human rights defenders and children, as well as transitional justice, the right to health, and racism.
“These trends are not new. What is particularly alarming is the scale of retrogression on many human rights principles and the widespread undermining of the rule of law, which is a precondition for human rights protection.”
In her speech, the Commissioner also addressed the consequences of the war in Ukraine. “Ukraine has been the scene of human rights violations. Every effort must go into preventing more atrocities and in establishing accountability for the crimes committed against the civilian populations. I hope our member states will continue to support the Ukrainian justice system, as well as the International Criminal Court, so that they can deliver a measure of justice and reparations to the victims.”
She also called on governments and parliaments of member states to strengthen efforts to coordinate and scale up support for the response to the humanitarian and human rights needs of people fleeing the war in Ukraine with a medium and long-term perspective.