The European Union: a guardian for human rights

By | News & Politics
Members of the U.N. Security Council stand for a moment of silence, July 18, 2014 of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Credit@gdb.voanews

The European Union may be one of the true safeguards of our democracy. It may be hailed as an example that permanent change can come about through individuals uniting with a shared purpose to make the world a better place. The union was created by a diverse group of visionary leaders whose aim was to create a sphere of peace and stability, a united and prosperous Europe. The European Union works in memory of several challenging insurgent episodes in history. Their main aims are to prevent these episodes and to unite countries economically and politically. Their implementation has thus far been revolutionary and improved the lives of many people.

The efficacy of the EU can be viewed through the situation of the MH17 Malaysian airline flight and the divergence between Russia and Ukraine. Mainstream news coverage has provided detailed accounts of events following the MH17 Malaysian airlines flight being brought down to the ground earlier this month, which has elevated political and global debate. Reports that the plane was intentionally disrupted have called for political leaders and observers to question who is responsible. Russian separatists are currently guarding the scene of the event, preventing Malaysia from conducting their own investigation, thus obstructing a balanced explanation emerging. An aspect of the situation, which has roused compassion in many and heightened pressure from the EU is the delay in returning the bodies of those who passed away to their families. The complexities of this situation allows for international leaders across the world to promote human rights laws. It allows the European Leaders to observe the actions of the countries involved and implement the regulations and teachings through the EU to resolve the issues and importantly allow families to mourn their loved ones as they wish.

These events draw attention to the wider situation between Russia and Ukraine who have been involved in military debate since February. The fact that news such as this may now have global reach allows more people to be informed of the situation and therefore allow more actions to develop. The chorus of political leaders speaking out about the actions of Russia and its president Vladimir Putin send a clear message to the world, which champions human rights laws. The message they are giving through their actions can prove the efficacy of the EU and confirm that the countries involved will be requested to adhere to its values if they wish to remain part of the union.

Britain is implementing its responsibility as a EU member productively; Prime Minister David Cameron called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday who applied pressure to the Russian government to remark compassionately and justly on the event. They promote a ‘full, thorough and independent international investigation’ into the incident. David Cameron said that those responsible must be ‘brought to account,’ stating his efforts to acquire answers and justice. These actions and strong words may urge a resolution to the event, which may allow for a productive evaluation of the circumstances through which steps of action can be applied. Moreover, David Cameron is due to meet with Vladimir Putin on Friday. Through constructive communication, this has the potential to bring about any further necessary answers and clarity, and allow human rights laws to be implemented further whilst potentially strengthening a bond between Britain and Russia.

The UK foreign office is offering consular services to families and has sent extra workers to Ukraine; they have also set up a helpline so anyone concerned can receive immediate advice.

Ultimately, it is important for the families involved to receive their loved ones bodies as they wish, so they can access the peace of mind that their lives are celebrated and mourned in the way they want them to be. With the efficacy of the EU there is a strong possibility this may happen. Additionally, family members affected may be able to seek solace in the strength of the pressure being placed on relevant political parties on their behalf and they may be safe in the knowledge that their human rights have been campaigned for and won.

What ideas would you propose to President Putin? 

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