Growing insecurity threatens to trigger a global human rights crisis, warns Amnesty International

Underlying the global economic recession are growing signs of unrest and political violence which threaten to trigger a human rights crisis around the world, warned Amnesty International.

In its annual report on the state of human rights the organisation raised concerns about the harsh reactions of governments to protests against economic, social and political conditions, particularly in areas like Tunisia, Egypt, Cameroon and other parts of Africa.

Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan said that while world leaders are focused on attempts to revive the global economy, they are neglecting deadly conflicts that are spawning massive human rights abuses.

‘Ignoring one crisis to focus on another is a recipe for aggravating both. Economic recovery will be neither sustainable nor equitable if governments fail to tackle human rights abuses that drive and deepen poverty, or armed conflicts that generate new violations,’ she warned.

Khan said the economic crisis has created new problems: ‘This crisis is about shortages of food, jobs, clean water, land and housing…across the world.

‘In the name of security, human rights were trampled on. Now, in the name of economic recovery, they are being relegated to the back seat,’ she said.

Global companies could be at risk of association with a violation of human rights, which could have negative repercussions for the company’s reputation.

Pressure from shareholders, government and the general public on businesses to act responsibly is making monitoring human rights part of the risk management process.