War is the Ultimate Violation of Human Rights

Welcome to our blog, the Human Righter. We shed light on contemporary human rights issues and comment on human rights developments. We dig deep into our focus areas within human rights, discuss SDGs and human rights.  

This blog post was written by Ellen Albertsdottir, Lund University, in collaboration with Professor Lena Halldenius (Human Rights) and Professor Jessica Almqvist (International Law and Human Rights).

By invading Ukraine, Russia is not only violating international law – it is also preventing people in Ukraine from enjoying the most basic human rights, such as the right to health care, medicine and education.

Lena Halldenius and Jessica Almqvist, both professors of human rights and coordinators of Lund University’s new profile area Human Rights in a Polarised World, answer four questions about human rights one year after the invasion.

In the years after 9/11, terrorism was seen by many as the greatest threat. Now, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we are once again witnessing a war between two European states. Russia has been condemned. But what about human rights in war?  

Lena Halldenius: “War is the ultimate violation of human rights. A war like the one in Ukraine tears a society apart. Russia has made it impossible for Ukraine to protect the human rights of its own people by destroying the infrastructure needed to provide them. The right to health requires health care, medicine, medical research, and pharmacies. The right to education requires a school system, teacher training and school transport.”

Jessica Almqvist: “Humanitarian law, the laws of armed conflict that govern the conduct of war, is applicable, but humanitarian law is not the only law to be respected during war. Even if a country is in armed conflict, it does not mean that all parts of the country are at war all the time. Children continue to go to school, adults need to earn a living and the sick need medical care. War puts all rights at risk. Human rights must also be respected.”

Read the the whole article at Lund University Research and Innovation 

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