Catholic World News

Vatican newspaper rues declining respect for human rights

April 20, 2016

During his apostolic journey to Lesbos, Pope Francis said that “Europe is the homeland of human rights, and whoever sets foot on European soil ought to sense this, and thus become more aware of the duty to respect and defend those rights.”

In a reflection on these words published on the front page of the April 20 edition of L’Osservatore Romano, historian Lucetta Scaraffia argued that the Europe’s indifference to refugees manifests a profound decline in lack of respect for human rights.

Recalling the praise of human rights that surrounded the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) and the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), Scaraffia wrote:

Never as in this moment in history do human rights seem to be disregarded in every part of the globe … The ways in which migrants are treated, or the trafficking of human beings, which feeds prostitution, reveals little attention to these rights … The current reality leads us to forget [human rights], to behave as if no one had ever proclaimed and signed on to them.


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