On Monday 16 October 2017 the Council adopted the EU Annual Report on Human Rights And Democracy in the World in 2016.
2016 was a challenging year for human rights and democracy, with a shrinking space for civil society and complex humanitarian and political crises emerging. In this context, the European Union showed leadership and remained strongly committed to promote and protect human rights and democracy across the world.
The humanitarian impact of the 2015-2016 El Niño remains deeply alarming, now affecting over 60 million people. Central America, East Africa (particularly Ethiopia), the Pacific and Southern Africa remain the most affected regions. The El Niño phenomenon is now in decline, but projections indicate the situation will worsen throughout at least the end of the year, with food insecurity caused primarily by drought not likely to peak before December. Therefore, the humanitarian impacts will last well into 2017 .
I. Executive summary
Influenza - Multistate (Europe) - Monitoring 2015-2016 season
Influenza transmission in Europe shows a clear seasonal pattern, with peak activity during winter months. ECDC monitors influenza activity in Europe during the winter season and publishes its report weekly on the Flu News Europe website.
Update of the week
Towards the end of the fourth quarter, CERF and its humanitarian partners were challenged by a series of large, complex crises, including three system-wide level-three (L3) emergencies. These crises, in countries including the Central African Republic (CAR), the Philippines, Syria and Yemen, have affected 35 million people who urgently needed emergency relief, protection and basic services. CERF was there to provide a lifeline.
Member States and the private sector contributed $474 million to CERF for 2013—the highest-ever annual total. An additional $6.7 million was pledged and remains outstanding.
CERF received more than $507 million in contributions during 2013, including payments for 2012 and early funding for 2014. See table on the right for more details.
Snapshot 12 – 19 August
In Syria, fighting between governmental forces and opposition groups has been concentrated in Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Lattakia and Rural Damascus this week. Meanwhile, infighting is ongoing within the opposition. As during previous weeks, FSA forces have clashed with Islamist opposition groups on multiple occasions while Kurdish groups continued to fight with Islamist groups in the north of the country. The mass influx of Syrian refugees to neighbouring countries is ongoing. As of 19 August, over 1.9 million Syrians had fled the country.
In Syria, large-scale fighting between opposition and Government forces has been reported across Al-Hassakeh, Ar-Raqqa, Homs, Aleppo, and especially Lattakia and Damascus governorates. Increasing strife between combatants of the FSA and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic fighters continue to also be reported, especially around Aleppo and its countryside. In addition, as clashes increased between Kurdish armed groups and fighters of the ISIS, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan openly floated the idea of staging an intervention in Syria to support fellow Kurds.
In Syria, Government forces are advancing in Homs and expected to retake opposition-held districts in the short-term, while operations have been ongoing in other major cities, including Aleppo and Damascus. Meanwhile, infighting within opposition forces is spreading between various armed groups. Clashes are continuously reported between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh and Ar-Raqqa governorates.
Snapshot 22– 29 July
In Syria, despite the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan on 9 July, large-scale operations have been ongoing in several major cities, including Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, and Idlib with regime forces pushing to extend the gains obtained over the past weeks with support of the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. Infighting within opposition forces has escalated in recent days with clashes reported between various Islamist and more moderate groups, notably between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh governorate.
In Syria, the regime’s offensive on Homs governorate and city is on-going with artillery and air strikes, displacing 400,000 and leaving an estimated 2,500 and 4,000 civilians trapped in and around the city. Some 2 million people in Government-controlled areas in Aleppo are affected by a siege of opposition forces that is blocking food and medicines from entering several areas. While the UN and the Red Cross have called for a truce during the month of Ramadan, the cease-fire was rejected by the Government.
In Syria, the regime’s offensive on Homs governorate and city is on-going with artillery and air strikes being reported. An estimated, 2,500 and 4,000 civilians are allegedly trapped in and around the city. Meanwhile, the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries continues to increase and is now approaching 1.75 million people according to UNHCR.
Snapshot 24 June – 01 July
Snapshot 17 June - 24 June 2013
Snapshot 10 June - 17 June 2013
In Syria, the Syrian Government forces captured Qusayr, a strategic city in Homs province connecting the capital to the Mediterranean coast. Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were reported to have killed at least 100 people who fled the town of Qusayr after it was captured by army troops on 9 June. The UN and the ICRC have requested humanitarian access to Qusayr, but this request was turned down by the Syrian Government despite winning assurances of access earlier in the week.
Snapshot 27 May – 03 June
In Syria, the government military continued its offensive on opposition-controlled Qusayr, a strategic city in Homs province connecting the capital to the Mediterranean coast. Humanitarian agencies expressed alarm over the fate of thousands of civilians still trapped in the city. The UN estimates that over 6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in Syria. While an estimated 5 million people are internally displaced, the number of Syrians registered or awaiting registration in host countries has surpassed 1.6 million.
Snapshot 21 - 27 May 2013
Snapshot 13 – 21 May