Human Rights Watch

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World Report 2019: Reversing Autocrats’ Attacks on Rights

New Alliances of Governments, Civic Groups Winning Victories

Thursday 17 January 2019


(Berlin, January 17, 2019) – There is a growing global trend to confront the abuses of headline-grabbing autocrats, Human Rights Watch said today in launching its World Report 2019. Within the European Union, at the United Nations, and around the world, coalitions of states, often backed by civic groups and popular protests, are pushing back against anti-rights populists.

In the 674-page World Report 2019, its 29th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 100 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth says that the big news of the past year is not the continuation of authoritarian trends but the growing opposition to them. That pushback could be seen in efforts to resist attacks on democracy in Europe, prevent a bloodbath in Syria, bring to justice the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, stop the Saudi-led bombing and blockading of Yemeni civilians, defend the longstanding ban on chemical weapons, convince Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila to accept constitutional term limits, and demand a full investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

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