5.3 C
Frankfurt am Main

International conference on crimes against humanity highlights global human rights challenges

Must read

An international conference held November 24 and 25 at KU Leuven in Belgium brought critical issues of human rights violations to the forefront.

The “Crimes Against Humanity in the 21st Century: The Role of International Organisations” conference brought together experts to discuss critical human rights issues globally.

The event, organized by academics affected by Turkey’s post-coup crackdown and European legal experts, drew authorities in various fields.

Professor Hüseyin Demir, in his keynote address, highlighted the severity of crimes against humanity and stressed the need to understand their root causes for a more humane and just world.

Suzanne Egan, from University College Dublin, emphasized the role of International Human Rights Law, Criminal Law and Humanitarian Law in combatting crimes against humanity. She underscored that a convention without a monitoring mechanism is akin to being orphaned and noted the systematic nature of these crimes.

Gleb Bogush discussed the crimes against humanity in the Ukraine war, stressing their systematic reporting and the historical legacy of human rights violations in Russia that remain unpunished. He pointed out the absence of legal provisions for crimes against humanity in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, emphasizing the need for prevention.

Rosa Freedman’s presentation focused on the United Nations Human Rights Council, questioning its efficacy in protecting human rights. She argued for the need for a treaty, a monitoring body and a political push to make the council effective while acknowledging the politicization within the council and the limitations of UN mechanisms in preventing crimes against humanity.

Kalbinuer Sıddık, a Uyghur survivor, shared her experiences in China’s internment camps. She described the inhumane conditions she witnessed, including systematic torture and deprivation. Her testimony underscored the ongoing human rights crisis faced by the Uyghur community in China.

The conference also focused on the human rights situation in Turkey, specifically addressing the widespread criminal proceedings against individuals based on alleged terrorism charges. As detailed by Kemal Şahin, a professor of general public law and human rights law, the Turkish government’s actions since July 2016 have led to the detention and conviction of tens of thousands, often based on questionable evidence like the use of a communication app or association memberships. This mass targeting, as highlighted in a recent landmark European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) Grand Chamber judgment, raises serious concerns about the potential classification of these actions as crimes against humanity.

Şahin, a victim of these government actions and an expert in human rights, emphasized the need for human rights conventions, such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), to explicitly incorporate references to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). This incorporation is crucial for strengthening the response to massive human rights violations in Turkey, which, according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention decisions, might amount to crimes against humanity.

Other speakers at the conference addressed various topics ranging from the protection of vulnerable groups to specific human rights situations in countries like Myanmar and Turkey. The conference highlighted the crucial role of international organizations and treaties in addressing and preventing crimes against humanity globally.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News