Time for Commission to get bold on human rights

Time for Commission to get bold on human rights
(Brussels, 10 October 2012) Amnesty International has urged the European Commission to repair major gaps in human rights protection for people in Europe, and to focus on preventing violence against women and discrimination against diverse communities. 
The Commission had previously declared 2013 to be the European year of citizens and their rights. The EU’s Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, launched an online questionnaire, but made no reference to the violation of key rights. In reaction, Amnesty International asked European citizens whether they thought the Commission should use its existing powers more boldly [link]. Over 11,000 citizens responded. However, Mrs Reding declined an invitation to accept the petition. A symbolic street event will tomorrow seek to present the petition in the form of a giant postcard (see details below).
Human rights ought to feature prominently in any initiative on European citizens’’, said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “Sadly, this hasn’t been the case.  Despite the EU’s obligation to respect and promote human rights, it’s turning a blind eye to violations in its own member states. There’s no shortage of laws or powers to defend human rights. The problem is a desperate lack of political will-power.” 
Amnesty International is calling on the Commission to adopt a more consistent and thorough approach to its efforts to uphold human rights principles within its borders. Across Europe, there remain many pressing instances of human rights abuses. For example, female genital mutilation and discrimination against Roma communities occur throughout Europe. 
Images and videos will be available for download from 12.00pm CET onwards at the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v8kusmls5winibq/yJ_jA4A7BU
Tomorrow’s event: Stand and deliver!
Date: 11 October
Time: 10.45 am CET
Place: Outside Berlaymont Building (200 Rue de la Loi, Brussels)
For more information please contact:
Peter Clarke 
Media & Communications Officer
European Institutions Office
Amnesty International
Tel: +32 (0) 2 548 2773