Show Ukraine-like concern in other crises
Human Rights Watch yesterday hailed the international response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, urging governments to show the same concern for civilians caught up in other conflicts.
"Amongst the fog of war and the darkness that we have seen in this war in Ukraine, there has been a shining light," the US-based NGO's acting executive director, Tirana Hassan, told AFP in London.
"That has been the international response and the commitment to international justice," she said as HRW released its annual report on rights worldwide.
"It actually is a moment of hope".
In the report, HRW urged governments to "replicate the best of the international response in Ukraine" and "scale up the political will to address other crises".
Millions of Ukrainian civilians fled across the borders to take refuge in European countries after the war broke out in February last year.
By September, "more than 4 million refugees from Ukraine -- approximately 90 percent of them women and children" — had moved to European Union countries, the report said.
"The European states came together to actually welcome refugees," Hassan said. Britain, however, kept visa restrictions for Ukrainians.
The UN human rights office and the International Criminal Court at The Hague are both probing alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
"Never in the history of responding to conflicts have we seen a coordinated international response where we have all the arsenal of the international community to protect human rights and ensure accountability," HRW said.
Yet it also wrote that the response "exposed the double standards" of most EU countries "in their ongoing treatment of countless Syrians, Afghans, Palestinians, Somalis and others seeking asylum".
The report also said that the brutal two-year conflict in Tigray in Ethiopia, Africa's second largest country, has received a "tiny fraction of the global attention".
"It's very important that the international community continues to push for accountability in places like Ethiopia," said Hassan, describing the situation there as "one of the world's worst humanitarian crises", affecting over 22 million people.