The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, says racism and xenophobia are on the rise in Europe amid the current economic crisis, with austerity budgets undermining social rights and putting at greater risk vulnerable groups.
In an address to the Vienna-based Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on February 2, Hammarberg said abuse of human and other fundamental rights around the continent remained.
He emphasized that more attention needs to be paid to addressing rights violations in the struggle against terrorism, and that further light should be shed on unresolved crimes in the former Yugoslavia.
Hammarberg specifically mentioned the importance of taking good account of human rights aspects in addressing protracted conflicts in the OSCE region.
Compiled from agency reports