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Human Rights in Times of Crisis

In: Security and Human Rights
Author:
Michael Georg Link Director of the osceOffice for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights ( odihr)

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The article looks at the defense and promotion of human rights – and of the osce’s broader human dimension of security – in a context of what could be called “multiple crises”, i.e., the crisis in and around Ukraine, the refugee crisis in Europe, and the threat of terrorism. While the inclination might be to address these crises with a classical “politico-military” approach, the argument here is that an approach based on ensuring the human dimension of security – human rights, the strengthening of democratic institutions and the rule of law, and promoting tolerance while combating discrimination – is just as vital if real and lasting resolutions to these crises are to be found. The article argues that, while the current crises represent dangers in relation to security in the osce area, they also represent opportunities to reaffirm the importance of the human dimension as part of the osce’s comprehensive approach to that very same security.

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