Monday, January 16, 2006


At the start of every European Union Presidency, Amnesty International presents its observations of the EU’s human rights policies and recommends how they could be made more effective. TEN POINTS FOR THE AUSTRIAN PRESIDENCY TO REAFFIRM THE PRIMACY OF HUMAN RIGHTS 1. Enable the EU Fundamental Rights Agency to address human rights compliance by Member States. 2. Reaffirm the primacy of human rights principles by ensuring full human rights observance in the EU’s counter-terrorism effort and see to it that by the end of 2006 all EU Member States have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. 3. Develop a comprehensive policy that will address the situation of the Roma in the EU. 4. Strengthen protection of the rights of asylum seekers and migrants through a common information system, gender guidelines, and standards on return that comply with international law. 5. Ensure that the development of Regional Protection Programmes is never a substitute for refugee protection obligations. 6. Assert a strong human rights dimension in the EU’s enlargement and neighbourhood policies. 7. Press for more active implementation of the EU human rights guidelines. 8. Make control of small arms a key theme for 2006, and complete the work to strengthen the EU Code of Conduct on arms exports. 9. Lead the EU to help ensure that the UN Human Rights Council is established as an effective body during the first half of 2006. 10. Initiate a comprehensive review of the overall EU human rights policy and ensure effective Council working groups to deal with human rights within and outside the EU. Read the full report here

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