Federal Government adopts 13th human rights report

Published: 15 February 2019  Author: Stefan Talmon  DOI: 10.17176/20220106-142509-0

On 13 February 2019, the Federal Government adopted its 13th Human Rights Report. In 1991, Parliament called upon the Government to produce bi-annual reports on its human rights policy in both foreign relations and other policy fields. In its resolution, Parliament had declared:

“The German Bundestag affirms its view that human rights policy is an integral part of the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany, that it must be guided by the claim to universal validity of human rights, as expressed in particular in the relevant United Nations documents, and that the human rights policy of the Federal Republic of Germany must be conducted to the same standard everywhere.”

The 13th Human Rights Report covers the period 1 October 2016 to 30 September 201, and sets out the main developments in both German human rights policy and the international and European human rights protection system. The 305-page Report looks at human rights developments in over 80 selected States worldwide, giving both an outline of the status quo and the measures undertaken by the German Government to promote human rights in these States. Presenting the Report to Parliament, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated:

“[E]very day in Geneva and New York we see that it is becoming increasingly difficult to uphold even the status quo as regards protecting human rights. The crisis of international organisations and the crisis of multilateralism ultimately also mean a crisis for human rights. It is not enough merely to defend the status quo. Human rights policy cannot be simply a matter of defence. That is why we need a progressive human rights policy that looks to the future and takes initiatives. This includes strengthening women’s rights, also at the international level. It includes our endeavours on behalf of human rights, also in cyberspace. And it includes our raising the rights of victims of climate change in the Security Council because climate change and security can now no longer be seen separately from each other.”

The Report (in German) is available here.

Category: Human Rights

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  • Stefan Talmon

    Stefan Talmon is Professor of Public Law, Public International Law and European Union Law, and Director at the Institute of Public International Law at the University of Bonn. He is also a Supernumerary Fellow of St. Anne’s College, Oxford, and practices as a Barrister from Twenty Essex, London. He is the editor of GPIL.

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