Human rights are under threat globally as political leaders fail to uphold international law, warns the annual report by Human Rights Watch (HRW). The report, titled the “2024 World Report,” highlights the escalating crises of human rights around the world. It points out the increasing disregard for international human rights laws among political leaders, leading to countless lives being put at risk. HRW’s executive director, Tirana Hassan, emphasizes the persistence of this assault on human rights and the dangerous trend of double standards in applying these laws. According to the report, governments are prioritizing short-term political gains over their legal obligations, which undermines the institutions created to uphold human rights.
The HRW report provides an overview of countries’ human rights records in 2023. It highlights the ongoing oppression of women’s rights by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the lack of action to prevent widespread abuses against civilians in Sudan, particularly in Darfur. HRW also identifies US allies, including Saudi Arabia, India, and Egypt, as violators of their own people’s human rights, while the European Union continues to pushback asylum seekers and refugees.
Hassan emphasizes the need to protect human rights institutions and hold political leaders accountable for their obligations to uphold and protect human rights. She highlights a pattern observed in repressive governments, where attacks on LGBTQ+ communities, women’s rights, and refugees are followed by assaults on judicial systems, leading to a downward trend toward authoritarianism.
The UK government also faces strong condemnation in the HRW report. It describes 2023 as a “dismal year for human rights” in the UK, citing the continued assault on fundamental rights such as the right to protest and seek asylum.
The annual report by HRW serves as a powerful reminder of the challenges facing human rights globally. It sheds light on the erosion of international human rights laws and the failure of political leaders to fulfill their obligations. As the world heads into a year of elections, the report calls for action to protect human rights institutions and ensure leaders uphold their international commitments.
In conclusion, the HRW report warns of the decline of human rights globally and highlights the selective application of human rights laws by political leaders. It emphasizes the need to address these issues and protect the institutions established to uphold human rights principles.