'We are seeing a push back on human rights'

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By Joanna Gill  & Isabel Silva
'We are seeing a push back on human rights'

LGBTQ and women's rights are particularly targeted in the current proliferation of hate speech and backsliding on human rights in the world, including in some EU countries.

This is acknowledged by the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, appointed in March, that explained his priorities, this week, to the new members of the European Parliament.

"I think that rights that have been hard won over the course of the last century are now under pressure again. We are seeing in relation to LGBTQ people, in some countries. I think we are also seeing a push back in relation to the rights of women and that is why I think they are particular issues that we need to prioritize," Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights told our reporter.

The inhumane treatment of migrants and refugees is another worrying trend, despite the UN agencies appeals for governments to create safe mechanisms for their reception and triage.

Amnesty International expects the Special Representative to pressure the EU to open a new page in its deals with third countries.

"Migration is a reality and will continue to be a reality for Europe and we need a policy that recognizes that and also that engages with third countries on migration in a human rights friendly way. We cannot be continuing to look at externalizing control of migration to countries with questionable human rights issues such as Libya and Turkey," Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International EU Office

In a wide-ranging update to the UN Human Rights Council, this week, the High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet asked the EU to "adopt a common and human-rights based arrangement to support the rescue work of NGOs operating in the Mediterranean sea".

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