Amnesty International EU Office Press Release
A human rights-based EU position will deliver progress on the Millennium Development Goals
(Brussels, 9 June) Amnesty International is urging the EU to adopt a strong, common position based on human rights when the Foreign Affairs Council drafts conclusions next week ahead of the UN conference on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in September. With the release of the report From Promises to Delivery, Amnesty International is outlining crucial steps on how to deliver progress on the MDGs in the next five years, starting with the Global Health Conference that the European Commission is hosting in Brussels on 10 and 11 June.
“If European leaders want to make meaningful progress on the MDGs, then they must address the human rights violations that so often cause the failure of reaching the Millennium Development Goals. Too little is being done to set national targets for delivery, fulfill the rights of participation and to strengthen mechanisms of accountability,” says Nicolas Beger, the director for Amnesty International’s EU office.
The report shows the failures in addressing women’s human rights across all eight targets, despite human rights being a crucial element in tackling poverty. 70% of those living in poverty are women and girls who continue to suffer from gender discrimination and violence such as female genital mutilation, early and forced marriages. Many are also denied access to maternal healthcare and sufficient information about sexual and reproductive rights.
Forced evictions is another example Amnesty International documents in this context globally. An estimated 1.4 billion people will live in slums by 2020, yet the MDG target to improve the lives of the poorest is both inadequate and weak. It ignores the obligations of states to prevent and protect people from evictions through mechanisms of justice and accountability.
“The EU will fail the most impoverished in the world by not taking a strong and common stance on essential issues such as gender equality and maternal mortality in its attempt to reduce poverty. The EU must become more forceful in tearing down the barriers that millions of women are facing in every region of the world and this work should start with the Global Health Conference in Brussels this week,” concludes Nicolas Beger.
For further comment/background and interviews:
Amnesty International EU Office (Brussels):
Tel: 32-2-5021499/32 -2 – 548 2773
Email: [email protected]