Human Rights Council Session 42 – Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Mr President,

The Netherlands aligns itself with the EU statement. We refer to our national statements on Myanmar and Burundi in the respective interactive dialogues.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands remains deeply concerned about the grave human rights situation in Syria, exacerbated by the recent escalation of fighting in Northwestern Syria. The ongoing widespread human rights violations causing indescribable human suffering require the Council’s attention. Accountability is crucial to ensure sustainable peace. 

While fighting in South Sudan has reduced since last year’s peace agreement, we remain worried about the continuing violence and abuses in Equatoria. The continuation of sexual and gender-based violence is unacceptable. We call upon all parties to take steps to combat this violence and hold perpetrators to account. The increasing lack of freedom of expression and the prevalence of unlawful detention are deeply problematic.

The Netherlands remains deeply concerned about the recent fighting in Libya between the Government of National Accord and Haftar’s LNA. Violence must stop immediately and vulnerable people, including migrants, women and children should be protected. This Council should use all necessary means to uphold human rights and ensure accountability. There is greater need for monitoring and holding people accountable for their actions. 

The human rights situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate. The increased repression against political opponents -including members of the National Assembly- is of great concern. The increase of arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killings and torture is alarming. The Netherlands supports efforts to advance accountability. The Netherlands also calls upon the authorities to safeguard basic social and economic rights.

We remain worried about the situation in Eritrea, in particular the continued practice of indefinite national service, and the severe restrictions on people’s rights to freedom of expression, assembly, association and religion or belief. We call upon Eritrea to reform the national service and to cooperate fully with the Council and its mechanisms in improving human rights.

Thank you.