Country reports

These are reports written and compiled by Civil Rights Defenders’ experts. The aim is to give an overview of crucial human rights issues in the countries and regions where we work.

Human rights in Kosovo

Kosovo has a sound statutory framework in place for the protection of human rights: the Kosovo Constitution lists a number of directly applicable international human rights instruments. Kosovo has shown great progress when it comes to the adoption of key human rights laws over the past 10 years. However, there remain challenges and issues with regards to the practical implementation of human rights legislation and relevant documents, such as byelaws and National Strategies. Moreover, a functional and effective Ombudsperson and judiciary are yet to emerge. As a consequence, a number of human rights issues including the marginalisation of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities and LGBT persons, hate speech, hate crimes, violence against women, pressure and intimidation to journalists have not been addressed effectively

Human rights in Moldova

In recent years there has been some positive developments regarding the human rights situation in Moldova. New legislation and policies have strengthened protection against discrimination and facilitated the promotion of freedom of expression. However, significant human rights issues still persist; lack of fair trials, inadequate conditions in prisons, hate speech, violence against women, people trafficking, the marginalisation of the Roma community and harassment of LGBT people. In the breakaway territory of Transnistria, human rights abuses are grave.

Human Rights in Serbia

The EU officially opened negotiations for Serbia’s accession to the Union in January 2014. The negotiating framework requires progress in normalising relations with Kosovo, while the implementation of the Agreement will be closely monitored. The opening of the negotiations has not improved the situation in regards to human rights; they have even deteriorated compared to 2013, particularly in the area of national minorities, freedom of expression, independent regulatory bodies and judicial reform.

Human Rights in Cambodia

The Cambodian constitution provides for separation of power and judicial independence, but the political dominance and influence of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CCP) over all branches of government poses a serious challenge to democratisation and human rights protection and promotion. Prime Minister Hun Sen has been in power since 1985. Human rights violations in Cambodia include excessive use of force against and arrests of protesters; threats, intimidation, and judicial actions targeting human rights defenders, journalists, trade unionists, opposition groups, and politicians; hate speech directed at people of Vietnamese origin; trafficking in persons; corruption; and mass violations of land and housing rights.

Human Rights in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is an authoritarian country, with civil and political rights severely restricted and violated. The political power is completely concentrated in the hands of the president Ilham Aliyev and ruling party directly affiliated with him. The human rights record, poor to begin with, has been on a slide in the last two years and became especially apparent with Azerbaijan in international spotlight for hosting 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Most notable are violations of freedom of expression, assembly, and association.