HRW requests EU to set out framework for SL to comply with its HR commitments
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has requested the European Union (EU) should publicly set out a clear framework with short timelines for Sri Lanka to comply with its human rights commitments and retain tariff-free access to the EU market.
In a letter addressed to the European Commission, the HRW said that the EU should be clear during the forthcoming GSP+ assessment that concrete improvements, not mere pledges, are urgently needed for Sri Lanka to maintain its trading privileges.
“Under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan government has suppressed civil society, silenced protesters, targeted vulnerable minorities, further misused the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act, and reversed any progress on accountability for war crimes,” said Lotte Leicht, EU director at Human Rights Watch.
“The EU should call out these blatant violations of Sri Lanka’s obligations under the GSP+ rules and be clear about the consequences if human rights violations and impunity for war crimes persist.”
The HRW said that the EU should appropriately use GSP+ to address the deepening human rights crisis in Sri Lanka.
The EU should also consider UN High Commissioner Bachelet’s recommendation to impose targeted sanctions against individuals implicated in grave violations in Sri Lanka, as provided for by the EU’s Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.