Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

According to Human Rights Watch’s annual world report (PDF) on human rights in more than 100 nations and territories, authoritarianism globally is causing a “sea of human misery.”

Although a “litany of human rights crises” erupted over the last year, the watchdog said on Thursday that 2022 also offered fresh chances to improve safeguards against infractions.

The 712-page study shed light on the worsening of civil freedoms for women and girls in Afghanistan as well as human rights in the conflict-torn Ukraine, according to HRW’s deputy Asia director, and governments all over the globe were urged to do more to safeguard civil liberties.

Governments in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East must also take action and acknowledge their critical role in advancing human rights, according to Phil Robertson.

In Ukraine, where Kyiv and Moscow “at times utilized schools for military objectives” and abused prisoners of war, the study highlighted serious breaches of international humanitarian law.

It also said that “Russian or Russian-affiliated troops seemed to have perpetrated war crimes, including torture, summary executions, sexual assault, and enforced disappearances” in the seized territories.

The organization applauded the global response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which saw a wide range of countries impose broad-based sanctions while uniting in support of Kyiv. It urged governments to “replicate the best of the global response in Ukraine” and “scale up the political will to address other crises.”

Additionally, it urged the international community to “reflect” on the results of a “concerted effort” to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable earlier for his use of force in Syria and Ukraine as well as his repression of human rights within Russia.

The New York-based organization highlighted a number of crises that occurred in 2022, including the protests in Iran that started in mid-September after Mahsa Amini died after being detained by the nation’s morality police and the unrest in Sri Lanka that resulted in the resignation of the government.

According to HRW, domestic demonstrations against the government’s “zero-COVID” approach also included wider criticism of President Xi Jinping’s administration. International attention on the persecution of Uighurs and Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang area has “placed Beijing on the defensive,” according to HRW.

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