Posts Tagged ‘Failed state’

OHCHR gives preview of new report on Libya in 2014

February 10, 2015

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [OHCHR] published today (10 February) a report, which will be formally presented to the Human Rights Council only in March, describing the situation of human rights in Libya during 2014. It paints a bleak picture of increasing turmoil and lawlessness, fanned by a multitude of heavily armed groups amid a broadening political crisis. Rampant violence and fighting, including in the country’s two biggest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi, as well as many other cities and towns across the country, is badly affecting civilians in general and particularly cases of harassment, intimidation, torture, numerous abductions, and summary executions of human rights defenders, civil society activists, journalists and other media professionals, as well as members of the judiciary, politicians and law enforcement officers.

The report, produced in conjunction with the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), also describes numerous incidents of violence against women over the past year, including reports of threats, attacks and killings of female human rights defenders, politicians and other women in public positions. Minority groups, including Egyptian Coptic Christians, have also been increasingly targeted. The report also highlights the extremely vulnerable situation of migrants.

Thousands of people remain in detention – mostly under the effective control of armed groups – with no means of challenging their situation as prosecutors and judges are unable or unwilling to confront the armed groups. UN human rights staff have received reports of torture or other ill-treatment in many places of detention. The deteriorating security environment has impacted heavily on the justice system, which is no longer functioning in parts of the country. Prosecutors and judges have frequently been subjected to intimidation and attacks, in the form of court bombings, physical assaults, abduction of individuals or family members and unlawful killings.

The report highlights the need to strengthen State institutions, ensure accountability for human rights violations and support the ongoing political dialogue.

The full report can be found here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session28/Documents/A_HRC_28_51_ENG.doc

via: OHCHR PRESS BRIEFING NOTES – (1) Libya, (2) Malaysia, (3) Thailand, (4) Venezuela – Press releases – News – StarAfrica.com.

The state of the States: understanding fragile states

February 22, 2013

On 22 February 2013 Dan Smith published a post on his blog on the ‘state of States’. While not directly touching on human rights defenders, it gives in few words an excellent overview of the formation and deformation of States which provide much of the power and abuse that human rights defenders struggle against. I summarize some of the  main issues here, but urge you to read the full text:

First he points out that most states are relatively new. By 1900 there were just 48 states in our modern sense of the term. In the years either side of World War I, with the break-up of the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires, there was considerable state-making. Even so, the UN was founded by just 51 states. Today, 193 states make up the UN, the newest being South Sudan in July 2011.

From 48 to 193 (recognised states, that is) - from The State of the World atlas

From 48 to 193 (recognised states, that is) – from The State of the World atlas Read the rest of this entry »