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Human Rights Minister Frustrated, European Commission criticizes Yemen's human rights record
Article Date: December 22, 2008
Minister of Human Rights Huda Al-Ban mentioned that a draft law on preventing execution of children under 18 years of age is stalled in parliament, hinting that Yemeni legislations are built on Islamic teachings.
Al-Ban also referred to some cases for executing underage children in some U.S. states and stresses that there must be some sort of realism when talking about human rights.
Al-Ban also expressed her ministry's support for woman's right to participate in election and emphasized that pushing the positive participation of women in elections should not be limited to the government as civil society organizations should play a role.
This came as Al-Ban participated in a festival held jointly by the Ministry of Human Rights and The Sana'a-based European Commission Delegation (ECD) to celebrate the 60th anniversary for the World Convention on Human Rights.
For its part, the European delegation criticized the poor record of Yemen in the field of human rights especially in matters relating to the political participation of women in election and execution of children.
The Acting Director of ECD noted that the situation of human rights in Yemen is deteriorating and added that electing more women during 2009 parliamentary elections will measure the level of advancement in the field of human rights.
He also expressed their readiness to support Yemen in this field, and revealed that they presented proposals in this regard to the government to develop the judicial system of juveniles and develop civil society organizations.
The European official pointed out as well that having one lady in parliament does not reflect democracy and maintained that Yemen is among four countries that execute children.
Partnership with civil society organizations
Frustrated about the comments made by the European Delegation director, the minister called for having a serious partnership with all civil society organizations and disclosed that its ministry is working in a proposal for launching a "Supreme Authority for Human Rights".
Though there are over 6,000 civil society organizations in the field, Al-Ban mentioned that they, in her ministry, were unable to sort out four civil society organizations that have real interest and specialization in human rights.