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Torture denies the dignity of the human being. Its victims suffer both visible and invisible wounds. And this is still the horrifying reality today. On International Day in support of Victims of Torture, EU High Representative Josep Borrrell states “At a time when the world is joining efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, human rights must remain at the core of our battle. On this day, we give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.”

On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we pay tribute to the victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. At a time when the world is joining efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, human rights must remain at the core of our battle. On this day, we give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.

This year, World Refugee Day comes at a time when the world is facing a global pandemic that has already cost the lives of thousands of people and is affecting the livelihood of millions more. The struggle is even harder for refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants and stateless persons. With limited or no access to medical care and protection mechanisms, these people are more vulnerable to the effects of this global crisis.

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Joint Statement by the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

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Thank you Madam President, Honourable Members,

It is really evident that the virus pandemic has been accompanied by an ‘infodemic’, by a pandemic of disinformation. We have witnessed a wave of false and misleading information, and an exponential increase in targeted influence operations by foreign actors.

Respect for all human rights is a pillar of free, stable, prosperous societies and the EU is proud to be at the forefront of the universal promotion and protection of all the fundamental rights.

Child labour affects 152 million children worldwide. The EU has been working with UNICEF and other partners to put an end to a phenomenon that takes childhood away and puts the future of millions of kids worldwide at risk. Earlier this week, EU High Representative Josep Borrell and UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, held a phone call during which they discussed ways to continue working together to fight the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and agreed to jointly promote the education of children, including digital learning as a priority. “School is the most important equality producer in the world,” Borrell said. One of last year’s themes for the joint EU-UNICEF #TheRealChallenge social media campaign was child labour.

The Council approved conclusions on the "Team Europe" package that is part of the EU's global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell, supported by the EEAS, the Commission and EU Delegations around the world, led the work to strengthen coordination among Member States to help EU citizens who were stranded outside the EU

Biodiversity is the root of all life, both on land and below water. It has an impact on human health, providing the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, natural disease resistance, medicines, as well as climate change mitigation. The emergence of COVID-19 has proved that when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Nature is sending us a message. Aptly, this year’s theme for World Environment Day is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. Protecting nature and reversing degradation to ecosystems is at the heart of the EU Green Deal and is the rationale for the new EU biodiversity strategy for 2030.

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