The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalise massive discrimination against marginalised groups; Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights. Nevertheless, the organisation found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression. The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.
Instead of trying to silence people when they speak out, governments should address their concerns, said Amnesty International, and start by loosening restrictions on the media, civil society and other key checks on power. “We are witnessing history in the making as people rise and demand justice in greater numbers. If leaders fail to discern what is driving their people to protest, then this ultimately will be their undoing. People have made it abundantly clear that they want human rights: the onus now is on governments to show that they are listening,” said Salil Shetty, the Secretary-General of Amnesty International.
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