EYE ON NEW RESOURCES: Amnesty International Report 2010: Global justice gap condemns millions to abuse

At the launch of  Amnesty International Report 2010: State of the World’s Human Rights, which documents abuses in 159 countries, the organization said that powerful governments are blocking advances in international justice by standing above the law on human rights, shielding allies from criticism and acting only when politically convenient.

“Repression and injustice are flourishing in the global justice gap, condemning millions of people to abuse, oppression and poverty,” said Claudio Cordone, interim Secretary General of Amnesty International.

Worldwide, the justice gap sustains a pernicious web of repression. Amnesty International’s research records torture or other ill-treatments in at least 111 countries, unfair trials in at least 55 countries, restrictions on free speech in at least 96 countries and prisoners of conscience imprisoned in at least 48 countries.

Globally, with millions of people pushed into poverty by food, energy and financial crises, events showed the urgent need to tackle the abuses that affect poverty. “Governments should be held accountable for the human rights abuses that drive and deepen poverty. The UN review meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in New York, USA, this September is an opportunity for world leaders to move from promises to legally enforceable commitments,” said Claudio Cordone.

Women, especially the poor, bear the brunt of the failure to deliver on these goals. Pregnancy-related complications claimed the lives of an estimated 500,000 women, according to the most recent UN figures, with maternal mortality often directly caused by gender discrimination, violations of sexual and reproductive rights, and denial of access to health care.

“Governments must promote women’s equality and address discrimination against women if they are going to make progress on the Millennium Development Goals,” said Claudio Cordone.

The full report it's available.