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Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the Federal Government’s 14th report on its human rights policy

02.12.2020 - Press release

Today (2 December), the Federal Government adopted the 14th report on its human rights policy. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement in this regard:

The past two years have been a difficult time for human rights around the world. Wherever we look, there have been setbacks – with a constantly growing number of conflicts and displacement, and forced migration depriving many people of their rights. In the United Nations, universal values and standards that appeared to be taken for granted are suddenly being called into question once again. And the COVID-19 pandemic has made many things even worse. Repressive regimes are exploiting the pandemic to harass human rights defenders and to silence free media. However, women are also particularly affected by the pandemic as caring for children and families mainly falls to them alone. They are disproportionately more likely to lose their jobs, often losing their livelihoods in the process.

We are tackling this negative development with a proactive human rights policy. In the Alliance for Multilateralism, we have formed strong alliances against the rollback of universal values and against the impunity of human rights violations. We have enshrined the protection of women and children against sexual violence in conflicts in a Security Council resolution. And we are working hard to protect those who defend human rights in their countries, both online and offline.

Background information:

The Federal Government presents a report on its human rights policy every two years in accordance with a mandate of the German Bundestag of 4 December 1991. The report sheds light on domestic and foreign policy activities and initiatives. In addition to the work of the Federal Government as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and other international forums, the current report also addresses the human rights situation in Germany and the European Union. It outlines the realisation of human rights in foreign and development policy and presents the situation in specific countries.

With the Action Plan for Human Rights 2021/2022, the report examines future priorities, including the protection of human rights in the face of the digital transformation, the protection of human rights defenders and the fight against impunity.

The report can be viewed at www.diplo.de.

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