Some 90 human rights and anti-corruption groups, including Aditus Foundation, Platform for Human Rights Organisations in Malta (PHROM), Article 19 and PEN America, sent a joint letter to the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council last week. They expressed their “strong support” for the start of a process aimed to bring serious repercussions to those that refuse to abide by international human rights and anti-corruption legislation.

As reported by The Shift online, the signatories said they hoped that this would begin a process of providing the EU with an essential tool to assist them in fighting impunity, and to help defend human rights across the world.

“Today, more than ever, we recognise that the promotion and protection of equal and inalienable rights form the basis of justice, peace, and security. Where human rights are violated, and corruption is allowed to flourish, individuals are less safe, and communities are less stable and secure.

“With universal human rights and the rule of law under significant challenge globally, now is an opportune moment to take an unmistakable step forward in defence of our common values,” the organisations said.

The letter was sent in advance of the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on December 10, where the issue will be tabled. The day also marks the 70-year anniversary of the United Nation’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.