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World Report 2018: Fighting for Rights Succeeds

Principled Politicians and Popular Protest Weaken Authoritarian Populist Agenda

Thursday 18 January 2018


(Paris, January 18, 2018) – Political leaders willing to fight for human rights principles showed that they could limit authoritarian populist agendas, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018, reviewing events of the past year. When combined with mobilized publics and effective multilateral actors, these leaders demonstrated that the rise of anti-rights governments is not inevitable. 

In the 643-page World Report, its 28th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay,Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that when leaders push back strongly against politicians who demonize minorities, attack human rights, and undermine democratic institutions, they can limit the advance of populists. But where mainstream politicians capitulate to a message of hate and exclusion, the authoritarian populists flourish.

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