Amnesty International releases report on human rights regression in 2023 News
Amnesty International releases report on human rights regression in 2023

Amnesty International published “The State of the World’s Human Rights” report Wednesday, outlining human rights concerns during 2023 in 155 countries. The report highlighted human rights concerns, which include war crimes, economic crises, climate change, repression of dissents, women and LGBTI people’s rights backslash and online incitement to racial hatred.

The report first addressed violations of international humanitarian law in armed conflicts from around the world. Parties to armed conflicts, such as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, both the Sudan Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces in Sudan’s internal armed conflicts, the Israeli authorities, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in the Israel-Hamas conflict, Myanmar’s military, had adopted indiscriminate attack strategies against populated areas. Global conflicts and civilian bloodshed were elevated by government support from developed countries such as the US, the EU, and China. Callamard stated that conflicts on multiple fronts have “tossed us back to the pre-1948 era” where the world had once declared a “never again” promise after the end of the Second World War.

Amnesty International also observed an intensified backlash in the right to equality from around the world, evident by women’s rights deterioration in Afghanistan perpetuated by the Taliban official decrees that remove women from the public sphere and 15 states in the US implemented abortion limitations. Climate activists and defenders of economic and social rights were repressed and targeted. LGBTI rights were outlawed or diminished in various countries, including the UK, Uganda, Ghana, Bulgaria and India, representing a new wave of LGBTI rights repression.

Technological advancement also amplified the deterioration of human rights. States increasingly adopt facial recognition technologies to aid the policing of public protests and border enforcement against migrants and refugees. Generative AI tools were also used to perpetuate racist policies and intensified online incitement of racial hatred against Palestinian, Jewish and Muslim communities. Generative AI tools have also enabled the spread of misinformation and curtailed free speech in armed conflict contexts.

Nonetheless, Secretary General Dr Agnès Callamard said 2023 also witnessed an unprecedented global solidarity against regression.

Despite the rise of authoritarian practices and international law violations, people are unified to march, protest and petition for a more hopeful future. The youth-led Fridays For Future movement, Taiwan’s #MeToo movement and protests to demand the right to abortion in the US, El Salvador and Poland signalled people’s strong desires for human rights. Callamard said that the burden is on governments to show they are listening.