In its much-awaited annual report, Amnesty International has warned that the global economic crisis has aggravated the international human rights situation, putting global security on a “time bomb” of inequality, injustice and insecurity that is “about to explode".
In the 400-page report covering 157 countries, Amnesty International’s Secretary-General Irene Khan has warned that the economic downturn has increased social unrest, which in turn leads to human rights abuses.
Speaking to FRANCE 24’s Andrea Sanke, Khan said the situation was a powder keg waiting to explode.
“There have been human rights problems brewing for a very long time,” Khan told FRANCE 24. “But when they come together with the socio-economic and political problems that are confronting the world today, partly in the context of the economic downturn, what we see is a very explosive situation.”
While a number of governments and economic advisors believe that open markets promote greater freedom, Khan warned that it’s not necessarily the case. In China’s case, Khan noted, “the Beijing Olympics was supposed to have brought about change, but it hasn’t.”
Gaza: classic example of a time bomb
Citing countries such as Burma and Zimbabwe, Khan noted that some governments are manipulating food shortages. Across the world, the poor and the marginalised are bearing the brunt of the global crisis, forcing people to lead lives without dignity and access to basic human rights.
The situation in Gaza, Khan noted, was “a classic example of a time bomb”.
The problems in the Palestinian territories, she said, have been building up for decades. In recent times, the Israeli blockade has essentially cut off international aid into an enclave where 80 percent of the residents are dependent on humanitarian assistance.