News / Middle East

Amnesty Report Highlights Refugee Plight

Amnesty Report Focuses on Refugees, Power of Interneti
X
May 23, 2013 1:32 AM
The annual report by Amnesty International cites the increasing number of refugees around the world, and the lack of support for them, as the key human rights issue for the past year. The London-based group also calls the Internet an important tool in fighting human rights abuses, and calls on governments to increase access to it. VOA's Al Pessin reports from London.
Amnesty Report Focuses on Refugees, Power of Internet
Al Pessin
The annual report by Amnesty International cites the increasing number of refugees around the world, and the lack of support for them, as the key human rights issue for the past year.  The London-based group also calls the Internet an important tool in fighting human rights abuses, and calls on governments to increase access to it.  

Amnesty International reports that the number of refugees worldwide grew to 15 million last year, with millions more in displaced persons camps in their own countries. The crisis is particularly acute in Africa - in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Sudan and South Sudan.

But aside from the human rights violations that forced people to flee their homes, Amnesty also criticizes countries that receive refugees, and others around the world, for not doing enough to help.

The group's secretary general, Salil Shetty, spoke to VOA.

"National governments prefer to focus and prioritize on their national borders, their national security interests, rather than the interests of human security and human beings.  Unfortunately, the international community, which should rise to protect these people, 12 million of whom are stateless, they are not rising to the occasion," said Shetty.

Map of executions across the world in 2012, according to Amnesty International.Map of executions across the world in 2012, according to Amnesty International.
x
Map of executions across the world in 2012, according to Amnesty International.
Map of executions across the world in 2012, according to Amnesty International.
Amnesty also documented torture and repression in more than 100 countries, with political prisoners being held in 57.
 
But the group reports some positive news. It praises the global Arms Trade Treaty, which regulates trade in conventional weapons. And Salil Shetty says the rise of cellular technology is helping protect people's rights and expose abuses, partly through amateur videos.

“We have Twitter and all the social media moving at a very rapid pace, almost real-time information sharing. Of course, we have to validate a lot of the information, we can't take it for granted, but the fact is the rise of mobile phones and citizen activism and citizen journalism, I think, is a game changer," he said.

The use of cell phone cameras is producing more such videos, showing attacks on civilians in Syria as well as human rights violations elsewhere.

Amnesty International says the amateur reporters who shoot these videos couldn't prevent the attacks, but they can show them to the world in a way that was never possible before, which could deter future abuses.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid