Syrian civilians must be protected amid ISIL executions and airstrikes: Bachelet

UN Photo/Laura Jarriel Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaks to the press at UN Headquarters in New York.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Reports that violent extremists in Syria have executed civilians in the east of the war-torn country have been condemned by the UN’s top rights official, Michelle Bachelet.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva on Wednesday, the High Commissioner for Human Rights warned that an “at least 7,000” people in Deir-Ez-Zor province were trapped, amid efforts to dislodge ISIL from one of their last strongholds in Syria.

“These civilians are of course frightened and stuck between the intensifications of the airstrikes and bombardments against ISIL on one hand, and also being prevented from leaving the areas under ISIL’s control on the other hand,” Ms. Bachelet said. “We have also reports of ISIL executing civilians perceived as cooperating with the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) or with other parties to the conflict.”

In an appeal to the extremists, the High Commissioner urged them to remove all military personnel and objects from civilian areas, in line with international law.

She also reminded all parties to the conflict – “including all States conducting operations against ISIL” – that they had an obligation under humanitarian international law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure at all times.

Historic rights declaration, truly ‘universal’

Ms. Bachelet’s comments come five days from the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an “aspirational treatise” whose principles “have permeated virtually every area of international law” since it was drawn up, she said.

Dismissing suggestions that the text’s 30 Articles reflected a predominantly western view of human rights, Ms Bachelet insisted on its universality, taking the example of mothers everywhere: “It doesn’t matter from which region of the world she lives, which ethnic group she pertains, which religion she has or culture she has,” she said, every mother wants her “child to be born adequately, to have food, to be warm when it’s cold.”

“So I believe it’s universal, if you read all the articles, all of them speak about what people really want for their lives.”

While such modern-day challenges such as artificial intelligence and climate change are not mentioned in the Universal Declaration, “its precepts are so fundamental that they can be applied to every new dilemma”, the High Commissioner insisted.

Noting the fact that the document is also “remarkably lacking in sexist language”, Ms. Bachelet explained that women had played a prominent role in the drafting process – not just Eleanor Roosevelt, who chaired the drafting committee, but also women from Denmark, Pakistan, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Their contribution is reflected in the final document, which aside from the two references to “himself and his family”, refers to “everyone”, “all” or “no one” throughout.

The Universal Declaration also provides protection for specific minority groups, such as those with disabilities and the LGBTI community, Ms. Bachelet continued, quoting from it to highlight how everyone is entitled to all the freedoms it contains “without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.

Seventy years after its adoption, the work of the Universal Declaration in encouraging States to provide opportunities for everyone and protecting them “is far from over”, Ms. Bachelet warned.

She called on world leaders to “be responsible for what they say and lead by example”, amid a rise in xenophobia and hate speech, declaring herself “disappointed” by the announced withdrawal by a number of countries from the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

The non-binding treaty is due to be adopted in Morocco next week.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

HPV vaccine: the silver bullet that saves women

Is there a chance for the West to win the war on terror?

Five years down the drain

4 things to know about the state of conflict today

Europe again the black sheep at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Towards a tobacco free India

Climate change: Direct and indirect impacts on health

MWC 2016 LIVE: Xiaomi looks to revive growth with flagships

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

Work Together to Build a New Type of International Relations and a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity

Greece to stay in the euro area but the cost to its people remains elusive

Who will secure Lithuania?

5 technologies that will forever change global trade

To hope or doubt? The state of women’s progress in the world

UN, Somali Government seek $80 million in immediate relief for flood-affected populations

How do we build an ethical framework for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

An American duel in Brussels: Salesforce against Microsoft over Linkedin deal

Guinea President Alpha Condé: “We must tackle the root causes of migration”

VW emissions scandal: While U.S. car owners are vindicated, Europe still unable to change its laws and protect its consumers

A new catastrophic phase in the Syrian carnage

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

Eurozone and Britain heading in different directions

This is what countries are doing to fight plastic waste

5 ways to net a sustainable future for aquaculture

COP21 Breaking News_10 December:#ParisAgreement: Points that remain in suspense

DiscoverEU: 15,000 travel passes up for grabs to explore the EU this summer

European Fund for Transition to support more workers made redundant

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

Jade Spring Meeting 2017 – day 2: Coporate workshops, general assembly and magna moment

How can we build a workforce for our digital future?

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

New UN agriculture agency report underscores value of fishing in fight against global hunger

Service and Sacrifice: For Ghana, UN peacekeeping is a ‘noble opportunity to serve humanity’

The UN supports Europe’s military action in Libya and the Mediterranean; Russia and China agree

Achieving targets on energy helps meet other Global Goals, UN forum told

The Changing Scope of International Economic Relations – Chinese Leadership in the 21st Century

EU to present a “hefty” exit bill to the UK moments before Brexit negotiations

A Sting Exclusive: Towards better business opportunities for the EU and its neighbours, Commissioner Hahn live from European Business Summit 2015

These clothes grow with your child

UN’s AIDS agency ‘greatly encouraged’ by latest scientific breakthrough showing cure is possible

Counting spillovers from the fast track EU-US free trade agreement

What the car industry has done to help fight climate change – and what it needs to do next

What data dominance really means, and how countries can compete

Gig economy: Employment Committee MEPs want to boost workers’ rights

‘Crimes against humanity,’ ‘war crimes’ and risk of new ethnic violence in DR Congo, warn UN experts

Everything you need to know about the US government shutdown

The world’s e-waste is a huge problem. It’s also a golden opportunity

Trump’s blasting win causes uncertainty and turbulence to the global financial markets

French elections: by the time the EU economy revives and the migration crisis is solved extremists could take over Europe

South Sudan: UN condemns ‘brutal’ sexual assaults on roads to Bentiu

Project Manager – 2024

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte: “Europe must listen to the people”

These coastal countries are sinking the fastest

European Union: From financial consolidation to deeper political division

Volkswagen scandal update: “We want clarity fast, but it is equally important to have the complete picture”, Commission’s spokesperson underscores from Brussels

What the global Internet’s stakeholders can learn from Europe’s new data law

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

Women in Iceland have walked out of work to dispute the gender pay gap

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s