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S&Ds: In a growing world of populism, extremism and xenophobia, the promotion of human rights is more important than ever

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The S&D members of the subcommittee on human rights took part in the European Parliament delegation attending the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 5-6 March 2018 in Geneva. On that occasion, they highlighted the importance of the promotion of human rights to confront the growth of populism, extremism and xenophobia, and expressed concern over the shrinking space for civil society.
 
Commenting on the UNHRC session, S&D MEP Francisco Assis stated:
 
“This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There is an increasing importance to work on the promotion of the universality of human rights, particularly in an era where there are increasing violations of human rights, which are becoming ever more shameless in a growing world of populism, extremism and xenophobia.”
 
S&D MEP Wajid Khan, who chaired the European Parliament’s delegation meeting with NGOs in Geneva, underlined:
 
“We are worried about the shrinking space for civil society. The NGOs look up to the EU as a leader in promoting and safeguarding human rights. Europe must speak with one voice. We want to see our resolutions being effective and efficient on the ground as well as having a sustainable impact.
 
“The UN and the EU have many similar and parallel interests with regards to human rights. The mission is evidence of the benefits of EU-UN collaboration, particularly by our parliamentarians. There is much more room for further collaboration.”
 
S&D MEP Liliana Rodrigues added:
 
“We are happy to see a focus on the rights of the child. Children are our future and must remain the focus of all human rights issues in our work.
 
“We also look forward to the global compact on refugees expected later on this year. Education, particularly of children, is an asset for all irregular migrants.
 
"Whilst we note that the Human Rights Council is functional, we welcome any discussions for potential reforms and hope for more coherence with the Security Council.”

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