Navi Pillay

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Nazi leader Hermann Goering sits in the witness box at the Nuremberg War Crime Trials, where he was later sentenced to death, in 1946.

Time is a funny thing. Not so long ago, it seems, I was an Indian girl, coming of age under the South African apartheid regime. Now I am 80 and apartheid is history, but challenges remain. The country is not yet an equal society -- economically or politically.

To see how far we have still left to go to achieve true equality -- not only in South Africa but anywhere in the world where people are denied human rights and justice -- can feel daunting, but we must remember that if we do not remain vigilant, demand accountability and continue to work toward ending human rights violations everywhere, they are likely to be repeated anywhere.…  Seguir leyendo »

This summer’s war in Gaza was the latest episode in a cycle of mistrust, aggression and destruction. Yet again the world is counting the cost in lives, homes, hospitals, schools, factories and other civilian infrastructure. More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the conflict, at least half of them civilians and around a quarter of them children. Sixty-six Israeli soldiers also died, as well as five civilians, including one child.

This cycle of violence will only be broken when the international community insists upon greater accountability and ceases to turn a blind eye to the horrific human rights violations committed by both sides.…  Seguir leyendo »

Last Monday, when the eastern Congolese city of Goma once again fell into the hands of an armed group – this time the M23 movement – I had a clear sense of history repeating itself. The name may have changed, but the play and many of its leading characters remain the same – arguably the most brutal and tragic situation anywhere in the world during the last 20 years.

Reports suggest that the fall of Goma has been accompanied by the killing and wounding of scores of civilians – many of them children – during the fighting over the past few days.…  Seguir leyendo »

Si se aplica el dicho popular "No hay mal que por bien no venga" al escándalo creado por el tratamiento recibido por las personas de etnia gitana en Francia y otros lugares, se podría deducir que la ya vieja cuestión de la flagrante discriminación contra los gitanos/roma debería haber sido captada ahora por todos los radares europeos, e incluso fuera de Europa.

Cuando el ruido y la furia de hoy se desvanezcan, las condiciones atroces de esta minoría marginalizada deben permanecer como foco de atención. Estas condiciones deben ser consideradas en el contexto apropiado, que es el de los derechos humanos como principios directores de las políticas públicas y de las acciones dirigidas a adoptar medidas correctivas.…  Seguir leyendo »