Monday, February 27, 2017

Amnesty International Annual Report Denounces Politics of Demonization

Last week, the international human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) published its most recent annual report on the state of human rights around the world.

It is not a pretty picture.

From the blog post on the website of the Canadian section of AI accompanying the release of the report:
Politicians wielding a toxic, dehumanizing “us vs them” rhetoric are creating a more divided and dangerous world, warned Amnesty International today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world.
The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights around the world, covering 159 countries. It warns that the consequences of “us vs them” rhetoric setting the agenda in Europe, the United States and elsewhere is fuelling a global pushback against human rights and leaving the global response to mass atrocities perilously weak.
“2016 was the year when the cynical use of ‘us vs them’ narratives of blame, hate and fear took on a global prominence to a level not seen since the 1930s. Too many politicians are answering legitimate economic and security fears with a poisonous and divisive manipulation of identity politics in an attempt to win votes,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“Divisive fear-mongering has become a dangerous force in world affairs. Whether it is Trump, Orban, Erdoğan or Duterte, more and more politicians calling themselves anti-establishment are wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people. Today’s politics of demonization shamelessly peddles a dangerous idea that some people are less human than others, stripping away the humanity of entire groups of people. This threatens to unleash the darkest aspects of human nature.”
The report highlighted a number of positive developments in Canada, most notably the resettlement of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing war and genocide and  the federal government's commitment to promoting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls through its international development programme.

But it also drew attention to what the organization describes as a few less praiseworthy aspects of Canadian policy, in particular when it comes to the treatment of Indigenous people's rights in the context of resource development projects and the extensive use of solitary confinement for extended periods of time.

As well, Canada is faulted for its $15 billion sale of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia despite concerns about that country's abysmal human rights record.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:04 pm

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