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12 Jan, 2023 16:58

UK risks becoming ‘human rights abuser’ – NGO

Human Rights Watch condemned a slew of laws targeting illegal immigrants and protesters
UK risks becoming ‘human rights abuser’ – NGO

The UK could become known as a “human rights abuser,” if it does not reverse a series of controversial laws, a new report from Human Rights Watch warns. The NGO criticized Britain’s treatment of illegal immigrants, protesters, welfare recipients, and ethnic minorities, among others.

The organization’s yearly report hammered the British government over an agreement allowing migrants to be flown to Rwanda while their asylum claims are being processed, and for enforcing laws against illegal immigration which activists claim are without legal basis.

Britain’s conservative leaders were also condemned for restricting the right to protest, for demanding that voters show identification, and for limiting judicial review of decisions on immigration and social security cases. Furthermore, the country’s police force, healthcare system, and sporting organizations were accused of “institutional racism.”

The government was further condemned for capping welfare benefits during a period of record food and energy costs, and for allowing a pandemic-era ban on evictions to lapse, triggering a rise in homelessness.

“When you come to the UK, you look at the very worrying trend we are seeing,” HRW Executive Director Tirana Hassan said. “A slew of legislation was passed last year where fundamental human rights are being challenged.”

The UK has a “very short window” to abandon these legal and policy decisions, she continued, warning that it would otherwise join “the countries listed as human rights abusers rather than human rights protectors.”

Founded as the explicitly anti-Soviet ‘Helsinki Watch’ in the late 1970s, Human Rights Watch has since rebranded and expanded its focus to cover the globe. However, it remains adamantly critical of Russia and China, with its 2022 report on the UK praising the British government for accusing Beijing of human rights abuses and sanctioning Moscow in response to the conflict in Ukraine. 

Between 2010 and 2020, HRW received $100 million in funding from George Soros, who described it as “one of the most effective organizations I support.”