EU proposes Gandhian non-violence to promote human rights

April 3rd, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by admin  

Brussels, April 3 (IANS) The European Parliament (EP) in its annual report on human rights in the world has said it considers “Gandhian non-violence to be the most appropriate means of ensuring that fundamental human rights are enjoyed, upheld, promoted and respected”. The report on the status of human rights in 2007 proposed that promotion of non-violence “should constitute a priority objective in EU human rights and democracy policy”, reported EuAsiaNews.

With a view to giving this idea a central political role, the EP report called for a European conference on non-violence to be convened in 2009 and that 2010 be designated the European Year of Non-Violence.

It called on EU member states to endeavour within the UN set-up to ensure that 2010-2020 is proclaimed the Decade of Non-Violence.

The EP’s Foreign Affairs Committee adopted the draft report Wednesday and it will be voted on by the EP’s plenary session on May 8.

Italian MP Marco Cappato who authored the report said: “This (Gandhian non-violence) concept does not only mean non-violence but it’s something active like not collaborating with an authoritarian regime, a hunger strike or the sabotage of violent acts against the population.”

The report criticised the human rights situation in China, Iran, Pakistan and Russia.

The EP expressed “its disquiet at the serious human rights violations in China and stresses that despite promises made by the regime with a view to the forthcoming Olympic Games, the situation on the ground regarding human rights has not improved”.

The report noted the worsening human rights situation in Pakistan throughout 2007, in particular the threats to the independence of the judiciary and the freedom of the media.

An attempt by British EP member of Pakistani origin, Sajjad Karim, to include a reference to Kashmir in the report was rejected.

The report also condemned the ongoing violations of human rights and democracy by the military junta in Myanmar.

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