This is one of the main features of the freshly adopted 2020 EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World.
While the world is confronted with unique challenges, the EU maintains its leading role in supporting human rights, democracy and rule of law, within its borders and across the globe.
“The COVID-19 global pandemic has not only put our health and lives at risk, but also exacerbated economic and social inequalities, led to an increase in domestic violence and hampered the right to education for many children. We witnessed the shrinking of civic space, the flourishing of disinformation and authoritarian trends growing,” says EU High Representative, Josep Borrell in his foreword to the annual report.
In 2020, in line with its commitment to contribute to the global response to the pandemic, the EU has promoted a human rights-based approach, stressing that human rights are universal, interdependent and indivisible and must be fully respected in response to the pandemic.
One of the highest profile EU actions in 2020 against human rights violations and abuses was the establishment of a dedicated EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.
This is a real breakthrough. It sends a clear message that human rights violations and abuses will not be tolerated, no matter where they happen.
In 2020, the EU also adopted the new Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2020-2024) which sets out the EU’s ambitions and priorities and places human rights prominently in its external action.
The now available annual report marks the first phase of implementation of the new EU Action Plan and provides a first-hand insight on EU action in 2020.
It monitors the implementation of the new EU Action Plan by presenting the progress achieved to da