Human Rights Watch recently published its World Report 2011 and the results have not shed a positive light on many countries, least of all Italy and the EU. The report condemned Western governments for the soft nature of their relations with repressive governments. Dialogue and cooperation mark the strategies in dealing with such governments, and the UN and the EU are the first to implement this approach.
Particularly frowned upon are the trade agreements and partnership that the EU has with the repressive Turkmenistan government, without placing any conditionalities regarding improvements to human rights conditions in the country. The lifting of EU sanctions on Uzbekistan, a country which massacred hundreds of its citizens in 2005, has also been criticised, especially since the country neglected to fulfil any of the requirements to have these sanctions lifted. Recently the EU-Libya framework agreement regarding migrants has also come under fierce criticism from HRW.
Italy was not missing from this list either. In fact Italy was criticised for being home to 'racism and xenophobia'. According to the report, Italy's immigration policy is worrysome for many countries as is its treatment of its Roma and Sinti population, two groups which constantly experience high levels of poverty and discrimination.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of HRW stated “Instead of leaders firmly opposing violence, many governments including some member countries of the EU adopt policies that do not generate pressure to change”