|KHRP Considers OSCE Sessions on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination and Internally Displaced Persons|
The annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, which is being held from 28 September to 9 October 2009 in Warsaw, today considered issues related to Tolerance and Non-Discrimination and Internally Displaced Persons.
KHRP remains concerned that many of the commitments entered into by Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan under the OSCE framework remain unfulfilled.
Despite Turkey’s endorsement of successive OSCE Ministerial Decisions on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination, recent KHRP fact-finding missions to the region have documented the Turkish government’s limited progress in promoting the rights of Kurdish people on its territory. In one of its latest publications, Human Rights in the Kurdish Region of Turkey: Three Pressing Concerns, KHRP has pointed at the severe shortcomings in redress mechanisms for victims of discrimination and human rights violations. The missions concluded that rather than co-operating with civil society actors as encouraged by the OSCE, the Turkish authorities continue to harass human rights defenders and civil society organisations.
Deeply concerning is also the condition of Internally Displaced Persons in Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. As participating states to the OSCE as well as a state parties to several provisions of international law, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan are ostensibly committed to protecting the physical and psychological integrity of IDPs, to provide them with appropriate shelter, education, employment and opportunities for political participation, as well as to guarantee assistance for the IDP’s return to their areas of origin or for their settlement elsewhere. Yet successive KHRP fact-finding missions have highlighted the serious shortcomings in these governments’ provision of services to IDPs.
Discussing today’s session of the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Kerim Yildiz, KHRP Chief Executive said ‘Today OSCE participating States have had the opportunity to support the efforts of local civil society organisations in identifying key areas where Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan can be encouraged to live up to their OSCE commitments and to make real progress in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law’.