The annual visit of the Subcommittee on Human Rights to the spring session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva coincided with the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was an important moment to reflect on all the invaluable work done in the field of human rights: but unfortunately, in various parts of the world, the safeguarding of human rights is in decline and we urgently need to address this situation.
The EU must be the leading global force in safeguarding human rights worldwide, in an era of increased instability and conflicts; particular attention was paid to access to education and the rights of children.
As part of International Women's Day, I spoke at an event which addressed the two-fold challenge faced by some women at work: not only do they face discrimination on the basis of their gender, but also on the basis of their religion or the colour of their skin.
This conference attempted to answer an important question: is there a ‘double glass ceiling’? If there is, how do we, as a society, and as politicians, best dismantle it?
The first glass ceiling is well known, even if it still hasn’t been addressed thoroughly.
To celebrate International Women's Day, I hosted a large group of visitors to EU Parliament. I hosted two events; the first of which focused on initiatives to support sufferers of PTSD in the wake of violent conflicts.
This is an issue for all those affected by violent conflicts, but women often face a unique set of challenges which need to be addressed more thoroughly.
After war is over, people just want to go on with their lives, rebuild their houses and their country.
But simply enjoying peace is often impossible: soldiers as well as civilians are traumatised by war.
With my recent appointment to the EU Foreign Affairs Committee, I have used this platform to pursue an issue which was one of the main motivations for me to enter European Parliament: the defence of human rights; challenging violations wherever they occur, and whoever perpetrates them. I was pleased, therefore, to be able to deliver this speech in Parliament as a call to action to the international community to ensure that the shocking breaches of International Law in Eastern Ghouta are investigated, and to bring pressure to bear on all actors to cease violence against civilians.
I was proud to play a role in the drafting of a resolution delivered to EU Parliament on the situation of the Maldives. The motion, which passed, called on the EU Council to take a more robust approach to the deterioration of human rights in the country. In an eleven-point resolution, we asked the EU Council to press for the Maldivian Government to restore Parliament, release political prisoners, undertake anti-corruption measures, and to restore the freedom of the press.
Here is the resolution in full:
The European Parliament,
- having regard to its previous reports and resolutions on the Maldives, in particular its resolution of 30 April 2015, 17 December 2015 and 5 October 2017 on the situation in the Maldives,
Terrible tragedies, such as the massacres in Rwanda, Srebrenica, Aleppo and now Myanmar produce a collective “never again” from the international community.
The UN has described the situation as the world’s “fastest growing refugee crisis,” and the Myanmar military offensive as “a textbook example of ethnic cleaning,” and “bearing the hallmarks of a genocide.
WATCH: In the UK or the US, extremism of any kind should find no home