EU Reaffirms Its Rights Protection Policy

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Federica Mogherini.
  • EU promoting life imprisonment for convicted murderers instead of capital punishment

The High Representative of the European Union (EU), Federica Mogherini, has once more assured the world that the European grouping is committed to human rights protection without barriers.

In her Human Rights Day Message on December 10, the EU diplomat said the organization has made “the protection of human rights not only the foundation of common internal and external policies, but of the Union itself.”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted without dissent by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. This year’s Human Rights Day marked the launch of a year-long campaign to celebrate the 70th anniversary in 2018.

Mogherini noted that The EU will continue to reaffirm its commitment to protecting and promoting the universality of human rights whenever they are violated or questioned, inside or outside its borders.

“As the European Union…we view all human rights as universal, indivisible and interdependent, with no difference between civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.”

According to the EU Representative, the organization “will keep being at the side of those who stand up for human rights every day, as human rights defenders face increasing pressure and threats in many countries across the globe. We do not only pay tribute to them, but we actively support their work and will continue to do so. The full respect of all human rights is a precondition for any democratic and resilient society, for sustainable development, security and long term peace.”

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights that we celebrate on 10 December has enshrined these shared principles and has had a profound influence on the development of the world. But still, almost seventy years on, we are far from the full respect of these commitments all over the world, and we recognize that all states must do more in this respect.

“The EU will also continue to be the strongest supporter of the multilateral system as a pillar of the promotion and protection of human rights, starting from the United Nations to the International Criminal Court and to regional institutions such as the Council of Europe. It is our common responsibility to guarantee their effectiveness and the highest standards of integrity,” she said.

The European Union is specifically fostering the promotion of life imprisonment for convicted murderers instead of capital punishment that is in line with Liberian Law.  Though the capital punishment law is yet to be amended in Liberia, the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Administration has been abiding by the EU’s advocacy for life imprisonment for murderers.

EU member states, institutions, the EU Special Representative for Human, Rights Stavros Lambrinidis, and the EU delegation celebrated Human Rights Day with emphasis that “We will continue to stand up for human rights.”

Representative Mogherini in her concluding statement noted, “not only rights and freedoms are still being challenged, but the space for civil society continues to shrink in many countries throughout the world.”

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