Press Release

In times of crisis, we cannot forget about human rights

, 18.04.2013 - 11:46
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"While focusing on how to ensure economic recovery, the EU cannot forget about the 1.2 billion people in the world who are living in extreme poverty on less than 1 US Dollar a day", said Inese Vaidere MEP, after the European Parliament adopted her Report on 'The Impact of the Financial and Economic Crisis on Human Rights'.

"It is really the developing countries who are suffering most from the crisis: their exports are shrinking, they are highly indebted, there is a risk of reduced foreign direct investments and declining Official Development Assistance. All this leads to difficulties in the realisation of human rights", said Inese Vaidere, EPP Group Coordinator in the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament.

Vaidere emphasised that it will not be possible to solve human rights problems without sustainable and inclusive economic growth and mutually beneficial trade relations. "I encourage developing countries to take advantage of trade preferences given by the EU within the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) framework. Moreover, EU trade agreements with partner countries should not only promote trade and investment, but also contribute to the fulfilment of human rights. Therefore, the EU must guarantee proper monitoring and practical enforcement of the human rights clause."

"We have to empower people to generate more income. We need concrete solutions. It is appalling that globally 1.3 billion people still have no access to electricity. Access to energy, in particular electricity, would help reduce poverty, improve productivity, generate greater income and micro-enterprise development etc", emphasised Inese Vaidere.

"My biggest worry is for the most vulnerable groups in society, such as children, women, and elderly people. They should be at the forefront of policy responses", stressed Ms Vaidere. The Report suggests strengthening social protection systems in the developing countries through a Global Fund for Social Protection, an initiative by UN Special Rapporteurs on extreme poverty and on the right to food. It also supports the global introduction of a financial transaction tax, which can be an innovative financing mechanism for development, ultimately contributing to the fulfilment of economic and social rights.

Note to Editors
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 269 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.

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