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The upsurge in violence in North West Nigeria is alarming. The abduction of hundreds of children in Katsina State by Boko Haram is a despicable act of violence and cowardice. Children should never be targets and schools should never be transformed into battle fields.

The EU calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all abducted children. We express our solidarity with their families, and the Nigerian people.

Those responsible for this horrific act should be brought to justice. All efforts must continue to rescue and safely reunite the students to their families.

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The Presidency of the Council issued presidency conclusions on the Gender Action Plan (GAP) III: "An ambitious agenda for gender equality and women's empowerment in EU external action". The text was supported by 24 delegations.

The finalisation of the removal of Sudan from the US State Sponsors of Terrorism list represents a significant milestone for Sudan’s ongoing political and economic transition.

It will provide a positive momentum for the country’s economic recovery and move it closer to an eventual debt relief, which in turn should further encourage Sudan to continue the implementation of necessary economic reforms.

The EU remains committed to supporting Sudan’s reform efforts as well as aspirations for debt relief.

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The EU joins the call of the UNHCR to ensure the safety and well-being of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia, who have been caught in the conflict in the Tigray region.

All refugees must be protected from harm and any act of refoulement or forced return should be prevented, in accordance with international refugee, human rights and humanitarian law. Any return must be safe, voluntary and dignified.

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10/12/2020 - HR/VP blog - At Monday’s Foreign Affairs Council, member states agreed to launch a new EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime to strengthen our collective action in this field. Taking action on human rights is not only the right thing to do. It is also in our interest: more human rights means more freedom, prosperity and peace, for us all.

This year we mark Human Rights Day while the whole world is tackling an unprecedented challenge: the COVID-19 pandemic. Far from being outdated, the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948 are more relevant than ever: the universality and indivisibility of human rights is critical in addressing this crisis and in shaping the post-COVID-19 world. “Today it is more important than ever to recall that human rights are universal and indivisible, and that our efforts to defend them can never stop”, said the High Representative Josep Borrell in a declaration on behalf of the European Union.

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On 10 December, we celebrate Human Rights Day. This day deserves our attention as it marks the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Today it is more important than ever to recall that human rights are universal and indivisible, and that our efforts to defend them can never stop.

75 years ago, major leaders of the Nazi regime were prosecuted for crimes against humanity and war crimes during the Nuremberg trials. This paved the way to the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on 9 December 1948, punishing genocide as a crime and setting out the legal basis for action by States to prevent such atrocities.

The legacy of Nuremberg lives on. Since 2002, the International Criminal Court stands as the world’s only permanent, independent court for the investigation and prosecution of the most heinous crimes.

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