Global Human Rights Direct
provides
1) live interaction with human rights actors from around the world for research, education, and ongoing dialogue;
2) an ever-expanding platform for publicizing and supporting human rights intiatives and projects;
3) an enhanced and globally interactive classroom experience; 
4) a dynamic archive for human rights sources where users  post videos, events, NGOs, and testimonials.

Human Rights Around the World

(Color Coded by the Political Terror Scale: Green to Red)
 
Click each country to see the best GHRD links and the most significant human rights issues from the 2015 US State Department report.
 
Click Here for a Full-Page Version of the Map

 

Puerto Rico

Poland

Among the country’s principal human rights problems were xenophobic and racist incidents, including both hate speech and hate crimes involving violence, and cases of anti-Semitism. Local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) noted that police investigations of cases involving anti-Semitic and xenophobic acts often did not lead to the apprehension of perpetrators and that some prosecutors declined to pursue cases of hate crimes and hate speech. An increasing backlog of cases and lengthy court procedures, which impeded the delivery of justice, continued to be a human rights problem. Criminal defamation laws restricted freedom of speech and press by discouraging speech, publications, and material on the internet critical of public officials.

Pakistan

The most serious human rights problems were extrajudicial and targeted killings; disappearances; torture; lack of rule of law (including lack of due process, poor implementation and enforcement of laws, and frequent mob violence and vigilante justice); gender inequality; and sectarian violence.

Philippines

The most significant human rights problems continued to be extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances undertaken by security forces, insurgents, and suspected vigilante groups; a weak and overburdened criminal justice system notable for poor cooperation between police and investigators, a meager record of prosecutions and lengthy procedural delays; and widespread official corruption and abuse of power.

Papua New Guinea

The principal human rights concerns were severe police abuse of detainees and police and military abuse of citizens; violence and discrimination against women and girls; and vigilante killings and abuses, some related to alleged involvement in sorcery and witchcraft. A significant area of controversy involved the Australian-run regional refugee processing center on Manus Island. A court challenge to the constitutionality of the center reinitiated in March was found null and void in August.

Peru

Best GHRD Link: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/feminist-and-human-rights-struggles-in-peru-decolonizing-transitional-justice

"The most serious human rights problems included violence against women and children, trafficking in persons, and corruption and impunity that undermined the rule of law. The following human rights problems also were reported: harsh prison conditions, abuse of detainees and inmates by prison security forces, lengthy pretrial detention, inordinate trial delays, intimidation of the media, threats towards human rights activists, limits on religious freedom, and incomplete registration of internally displaced persons (IDPs). In addition there was discrimination against women; individuals with disabilities; members of racial and ethnic minority groups; indigenous persons; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and persons with HIV/AIDS. Socioenvironmental conflicts involving extractive industries and development projects occurred and sometimes turned violent. Other problems were a lack of labor law enforcement and the use of child labor, particularly in informal sectors"

Panama

The principal human rights problems were harsh prison conditions marked by overcrowding, inadequate health care, and corrupt behavior by civilian custodians and members of the Panamanian National Police (PNP); judicial ineffectiveness, including a judiciary susceptible to corruption and outside influence; and widespread corruption, often practiced with impunity.

Other human rights abuses reported included prolonged pretrial detention, violence against women and children, trafficking in persons, marginalization of indigenous people, societal discrimination based on HIV/AIDS status and sexual orientation, and child labor.

Oman

The principal human rights problems were the lack of representative political institutions with legislative authority; limits on freedom of speech, assembly, and association; and restrictions on independent civil society.

Other concerns included lack of independent inspections of prisons and detention centers; the reported mistreatment of prisoners and detainees; insufficient protection for victims of domestic violence; socio-cultural discrimination against women; and instances of expatriate foreign resident laborers subjected to labor violations, some of which amounts to forced labo

New Zealand

Principal human rights problems included disproportionate societal problems for indigenous persons and some societal discrimination against ethnic minority individuals.

Nepal

The most significant human rights problems included the alleged use of excessive force by security personnel in controlling protests related to the finalization of the new constitution, especially in the Terai region. The continued absence for much of the year of a permanent constitution and the further delay of functioning transitional justice mechanisms exacerbated the lack of accountability for human rights and humanitarian law violations during the country’s 10-year insurgency. Discrimination against women was a persistent problem, and the new constitution contains provisions that discriminate by gender.

Norway

The most significant human rights problems included violence against women and children, a continuing societal problem. The government sometimes returned rejected asylum seekers involuntarily to unfamiliar parts of their homelands. Some of these were young persons who lived in the country for many years and were returned to their countries of origin upon reaching the age of majority. Hate speech on the internet targeted ethnic minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons.

Netherlands

With no widespread or systemic abuses in the kingdom, the most significant human rights problem in the Netherlands was societal animosity and discrimination against certain ethnic and religious minority groups, particularly Muslim immigrants from North Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East. Anti-Semitic incidents, including physical attacks, also continued to pose a problem in the Netherlands.

Other human rights problems reported in the kingdom during the year included: prison overcrowding in Sint Maarten; substandard prison conditions and inter-prisoner violence and intimidation in Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten; police abuse of detainees in Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten; prison staff mistreatment of prisoners in Aruba and Sint Maarten; lengthy detention of failed asylum seekers pending deportation in the Netherlands; allegations of widespread official corruption in Sint Maarten and Curacao; prosecution and conviction of individuals for violating laws prohibiting public speech that incites hatred or discrimination in the Netherlands; domestic violence against women in the Netherlands

Nicaragua

The principal human rights abuses were restrictions on citizens’ right to vote; obstacles to freedom of speech and press, including government intimidation and harassment of journalists and independent media, as well as increased restriction of access to public information, including national statistics from public offices; and increased government harassment and intimidation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations.

Nigeria

The most serious human rights abuses included those committed by Boko Haram, which conducted numerous attacks on government and civilian targets that resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries, widespread destruction, the internal displacement of an estimated 1.8 million persons, and the external displacement of 220,000 Nigerian refugees to neighboring countries. In its response to Boko Haram attacks, and at times to crime and insecurity in general, security services perpetrated extrajudicial killings, and engaged in torture, rape, arbitrary detention, mistreatment of detainees, and destruction of property.

The country also suffered from widespread societal unrest, including ethnic, regional, and religious violence. Other serious human rights problems included vigilante killings; prolonged pretrial detention, often in facilities with poor conditions; denial of fair public trial; executive influence on the judiciary; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights; and restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and movement. There were reports during the year of official corruption; violence against women and children, including female genital mutilation/cutting; infanticide; sexual exploitation of children; trafficking in persons; early and forced marriages; discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; discrimination based on ethnicity, regional origin, religion, and disability; forced and bonded labor; and child labor.

Niger

The most serious human rights problems included attacks by armed groups that resulted in death, harsh and life-threatening prison and detention center conditions, and trafficking in persons to include forced labor and caste-based slavery.

Other human rights problems included forcible dispersal of demonstrators and restrictions on freedoms of assembly and press. Attacks against politicians and political party facilities occurred. Arbitrary arrest and detention, prolonged pretrial detention, and executive interference in the judiciary continued. Official corruption was pervasive. Discrimination and violence against women and children remained a common occurrence. Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and child labor continued

New Caledonia

Namibia

The most significant human rights problems in the country included the slow pace of judicial proceedings and resulting lengthy pretrial detention, sometimes under poor conditions; and violence and discrimination against women and children, including rape, child abuse, and child labor.

Other governmental human rights problems included corruption by officials, discrimination against ethnic minorities and indigenous people, and lack of public access to government information.

Mozambique

The most significant human rights problems included arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life; harsh prison and detention center conditions, including reports of torture; and failure to protect political rights and freedom of speech and the press.

Other human rights problems included politically motivated arrests; arbitrary interference with correspondence, freedom of assembly and association; corruption and lack of transparency in government; restrictions on the rights of women, children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons; HIV and AIDS stigma; lack of protection for people with albinism; trafficking in persons; and restrictions on workers’ rights

Malaysia

The most significant human rights problems included government restrictions on freedoms of speech and expression, press and media, assembly, and association. Of particular concern were police intimidation; sedition and illegal assembly investigations; charges against dozens of activists, lawyers, and opposition politicians; and the politically motivated prosecution and jailing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Restrictions on freedom of religion were also a significant concern--including bans on religious groups, restrictions on proselytizing, and prohibitions on the freedom to change one’s religion.

Mexico

Best GHRD Link: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/de-nadie 

"The most significant human rights-related problems included law enforcement and military involvement in serious abuses, such as unlawful killings, torture, and disappearances. Impunity and corruption in the law enforcement and justice system remained serious problems. Organized criminal groups killed, kidnapped, and intimidated citizens, migrants, journalists, and human rights defenders."

Malawi

The most significant human rights problems in the country included official corruption, excessive use of force by security officers, including unlawful killings, and harsh prison and detention center conditions.

Other human rights problems included arbitrary arrest and detention; lengthy pretrial detention; occasional mob violence; societal violence against women; harmful traditional practices; trafficking in persons; discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities; and child labor.

Mauritania

The chief human rights problems were continuing slavery and slavery-related practices, trafficking in persons, and harsh, overcrowded, and dangerous prison conditions. Violations of freedom of press and association were also of concern.

Other reported human rights problems included use of torture by law enforcement officers, arbitrary arrests, and lengthy pretrial detention. Male guards sometimes patrolled women’s prisons, and authorities incarcerated children with adult prisoners. Government influence over the judiciary, limits on freedom of assembly, restrictions on religious freedom, and public corruption were also problems. Only Muslims may be citizens of the country. Discrimination against women, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); early and forced marriage; political marginalization of southern-based (non-Arab) ethnic groups and of the Haratine caste of slave descendants; racial and ethnic discrimination; discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons and persons with HIV/AIDS; child labor; and inadequate enforcement of labor laws also occurred.

Mongolia

The most significant human rights problems were corruption and widespread domestic violence. Vague laws and a lack of transparency in legislative, executive, and judicial processes undermined government efficiency and public confidence and invited corruption. Judicial and administrative tribunals lacked the financial and human resources as well as the institutional professionalism and status to function as independent and neutral adjudicators of criminal prosecutions and civil disputes. Domestic violence was pervasive, but the government lacked the capacity to address the problem effectively.

Myanmar

The three leading human rights problems in the country were restrictions on freedoms of speech, association, and assembly; human rights violations in ethnic minority areas affected by conflict; and restrictions on members of the Rohingya population. Arrests of students, land rights activists, and individuals in connection with the exercise of free speech and assembly continued throughout the year, and the excessive sentencing of many of these individuals after prolonged trial diminished trust in the judicial system. Mass displacement and gross human rights abuses took place in ethnic areas with renewed clashes, and the government took marginal steps to address reports of abuses. The government did little to address the root causes of human rights abuses, statelessness, violence, and discrimination against Rohingya. The government disenfranchised many Rohingya who voted in previous elections and rejected almost all Rohingya and many Muslim candidates from contesting in the November 8 elections. While authorities started to return thousands of displaced Rohingya and other Muslim households to their locations of origin inside Rakhine State, more than 130,000 such persons remained displaced in camps.

Mali

Violent attacks perpetrated by these terrorist groups constituted the country’s most significant human rights problem. The attacks targeted local government officials and civil society leaders, resulting in deaths, injuries, and property loss. Government officials were afraid to return to their posts, which prolonged the lack of basic services to the country.

Other human rights problems included arbitrary killings by government forces; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary detentions; judicial inefficiency; limitations on press freedom; official corruption; rape of and domestic violence against women and girls; female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); human trafficking; societal discrimination against black Tuaregs, who were subjected to slavery-related practices; discrimination based on sexual orientation; and discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS and albinism. Authorities often disregarded workers’ rights, and exploitative labor, including child labor, was common.

Macedonia

The most significant human rights problems stemmed from high levels of corruption and from the government’s failure to respect fully the rule of law, including by continuing efforts to restrict media freedom, interfere in the judiciary, and selectively prosecute offenders. Political interference, inefficiency, cronyism and nepotism, prolonged processes, violations of the right to public trial, and corruption characterized the judicial system.

Madagascar

The most important human rights abuses included the inability of the government to provide rule of law, which resulted in security force abuse, including unlawful killings and mob violence; life-threatening prison conditions; and lack of judicial independence and judicial inefficiency, resulting in lengthy pretrial detention.

Other human rights problems included intimidation of journalists and restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, and assembly; official corruption and impunity; societal discrimination and violence against women; child abuse and child marriage; discrimination against persons with disabilities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community; trafficking in persons; and child labor, including forced child labor.

Montenegro

Corruption was among the country’s most pressing human rights problems. It was pervasive in health care, education, and multiple branches of government including law enforcement organizations. It was characterized by impunity, political favoritism, nepotism, and selective prosecution of political and societal opponents. The country also suffered from a continued deterioration of the environment for the media and civil society, including instances of harassment of journalists, attacks on their property, and failure to resolve several past cases of violence and threats against journalists. There were also governmental and quasi-official attacks on leaders of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in government-controlled media. A third broad area of concern was discrimination and societal violence against minorities, especially Roma, Ashkali, and Balkan Egyptians; persons with disabilities; and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community

Moldova

Widespread corruption continued to be the most significant human rights problem. The embezzlement of almost one billion dollars from the national banking system led to accusations of government complicity in high-level corruption and the arrest and questioning of prominent political figures allegedly involved in the theft. Poor conditions, mistreatment, and abuse in psychiatric and social care homes remained a concern.

Morocco

The most significant continuing human rights problems were the lack of citizens’ ability to change the constitutional provisions establishing the country’s monarchical form of government, corruption, and widespread disregard for the rule of law by security forces.

A variety of sources reported other human rights problems. These included security forces committing human rights abuses on multiple occasions, including reports of torture in detention. Prison and detention conditions were substandard. The judiciary lacked independence and sometimes denied defendants the right to a fair public trial. Pretrial detention frequently exceeded what the law allows.

Libya

The most serious human rights problems during the year resulted from the absence of effective governance, justice, and security institutions, and abuses and violations committed by armed groups affiliated with the government, its opponents, terrorists, and criminal groups. Consequences of the failure of the rule of law included arbitrary and unlawful killings and impunity for these crimes, including killings of politicians and human rights defenders, torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, and harsh and life-threatening conditions in detention and prison facilities.

Latvia

The most significant human rights problem during the year was corruption.

Additional human rights problems included police abuse of persons in their custody, poor conditions in detention and prison facilities, delays in court proceedings, and incomplete restitution of Jewish communal property. Noncitizens, who constituted approximately 12 percent of the population, naturalized at a slow rate and could not participate in elections. There were reports of violence against women; anti-Semitic incidents; trafficking in persons; and societal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons

Luxembourg

There were no reports of egregious human rights abuses.

Human rights problems reported during the year included cases of domestic violence, primarily against women, and trafficking of women, men, and children for sexual and labor exploitation.

Lithuania

The most serious human rights problems related to aspects of the justice system, children’s welfare, and intolerance toward minorities. In the justice system, conditions were substandard in a number of prison and detention facilities, and lengthy pretrial detention continued to be a problem. Children experienced abuse, both in families and in institutions, where they continued to be placed despite risks to their health and increased exposure to delinquency, trafficking, and prostitution. Intolerance was manifested in the form of xenophobia, anti-Semitism, prejudice against ethnic minorities and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex persons (LGBTI). Roma, in particular, experienced poor living conditions often in areas of high crime, and faced social exclusion and discrimination.

Lesotho

Cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, punishment, and torture by LDF members and police, and societal abuse of women and children were the most significant human rights problems in the country

Liberia

The most serious human rights abuses were those linked to deficiencies in the administration of justice, official corruption, and violence against women and children.

Other important human rights abuses included police abuse, harassment, and intimidation of detainees and others; arbitrary arrest and detention; violence against women and children, including rape and domestic violence, human trafficking; racial and ethnic discrimination; discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; mob violence; and child labor.

Sri Lanka

Best GHRD Link: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-articles/item/healing-through-giving-testimony-an-empirical-study-with-sri-lankan-torture-survivors

 

"The major human rights problems reported during the year included harassment of civil society activists, journalists, and persons viewed as sympathizers of the banned terrorist group the LTTE as well as arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, rape, and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence committed by police and security forces."

Lebanon

The most significant human rights abuses during the year were torture and abuse by security forces, harsh prison and detention center conditions, and limitations on freedom of movement for Palestinian and Syrian refugees.

Other human rights abuses included lengthy pretrial detention; a judiciary subject to political pressure and long delays in trials; violation of citizens’ privacy rights; some restrictions on freedoms of speech and press, including intimidation of journalists; some restrictions on freedom of assembly; reports of harassment of Syrian political activists and other refugees; restrictions on citizens’ ability to change their government; official corruption and lack of transparency; widespread violence against women; societal, legal, and economic discrimination against women; societal and legal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities; systematic discrimination against Palestinian refugees and minority groups; killings related to societal violence; restricted labor rights for and abuse of migrant domestic workers; and child labor.

Laos

The most significant human rights problem continued to be that the government denied citizens the ability to choose their government.

Kazakhstan

The most significant human rights problems were limits on citizens’ ability to change the government through the right to vote in free and fair elections; restrictions on freedoms of expression, press, assembly, religion, and association, particularly through the increased use of the law prohibiting “inciting social, national, clan, racial, or religious discord”; and lack of an independent judiciary and due process, especially in dealing with pervasive corruption and abuses by law enforcement and judicial officials. New criminal and administrative codes that entered into effect January 1, as well as a new trade union law, further limit freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion.

Kuwait

Principal human rights problems included limitations on citizens’ ability to change their government; restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, especially among foreign workers and stateless Arabs (called “bidoon”); and lack of enforcement of laws protecting worker’s and labor rights within the foreign worker population, especially in the domestic and unskilled service sectors, resulting in extremely high vulnerabilities and exposure to human trafficking.

South Korea

The primary human rights problems reported were government interpretation of the National Security Law, libel laws, and other laws to limit freedom of speech and expression and restrict access to the internet, and the continued jailing of conscientious objectors to military service.

Other human rights problems included some official corruption, the absence of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, sexual and domestic violence, child prostitution, and trafficking in persons

North Korea

Citizens did not have the ability to change their government. The government subjected citizens to rigid controls over many aspects of their lives, including denial of the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, religion, movement, and worker rights. The government operated a network of political prison camps in which conditions were often harsh, life threatening, and included forced and compulsory labor.

Defectors continued to report extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary detention, arrests of political prisoners, and torture. The judiciary was not independent and did not provide fair trials. There were reports of female victims of trafficking among refugees and workers crossing the border into China. Forced labor was practiced domestically, through mass mobilizations and as a part of the re-education system. NGOs noted that DPRK foreign contract workers also faced conditions of forced labor.

Cambodia

The most significant human rights problems included a politicized and ineffective judiciary; growing restrictions on freedoms of speech, assembly, and association; and the use of violence and threatened imprisonment to intimidate the opposition.

Other human rights problems included continued prisoner abuse, restrictions on press freedom, failure to grant equal access and fair treatment to asylum seekers, pervasive corruption, and trafficking in persons

Kyrgyzstan

The most important human rights problems included routine violations of fundamental procedural protections in all stages of the judicial process; law enforcement officers’ use of arbitrary arrest and torture; and attacks, threats, and systematic, police-driven extortion of sexual and ethnic minority groups.

Kenya

Best GHRD Links So Far: http://www.globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/asylum-denied-a-refugee-s-struggle-for-safety-in-america and http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/bosnia-hotel

The most serious human rights problems were security force abuses, including alleged unlawful killings, forced disappearances, torture, and use of excessive force; interethnic violence; and widespread corruption and impunity.


Other human rights problems included: harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; prolonged pretrial detention; arbitrary interference with the home and infringement on citizens’ privacy; restrictions on press freedom and freedom of assembly; abuse and forced resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs); abuse of refugees; violence and discrimination against women; violence against children, including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); early and forced marriage; child prostitution; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities and albinism; discrimination based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, and HIV/AIDS status; violence against persons with HIV/AIDS; mob violence; lack of enforcement of workers’ rights; forced and bonded labor, including of children; and child labor.

Japan

Leading human rights problems included lack of due process for pretrial detainees and poor prison and detention center conditions.

Other persistent human rights problems included detention of asylum seekers; domestic violence, sexual harassment, and workplace discrimination against women; trafficking in persons, including the exploitation of foreign trainee workers; the exploitation of children; societal discrimination against minority group members, indigenous persons, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals, and persons with disabilities

Jordan

The most significant human rights problems were restrictions on the freedom of expression, including detention of journalists, which limited the ability of citizens and media to criticize government policies and officials; citizens’ inability to change their government peacefully; and mistreatment and allegations of torture by security and government officials.

Jamaica

The most serious human rights issues were an overburdened, under-resourced, and dysfunctional judicial system, which obstructed access to justice for victims of crime and their families, and allegedly unlawful killings by government security forces.

Other human rights issues included inadequate prison and jail conditions; violence against and sexual abuse of children; and violence and discrimination against women, and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons.

Italy

During the year a flood of migrants and refugees into the country overwhelmed the government’s capability to adjudicate their claims for asylum in a timely manner. Migrants and refugees lived in often inadequate or substandard shelters for extended periods and were vulnerable to forced labor and other abuses; unaccompanied minors were particularly at risk. Delays in the country’s legal system resulted in denial of justice in many cases to both the innocent and the guilty. Corruption remained a significant problem.

Other human rights problems included excessive and abusive police use of force, prison overcrowding and incarceration of pretrial detainees with convicted criminals, sexual abuse of children, and anti-Semitic vandalism. Persons were trafficked for both labor and sexual exploitation. There was discrimination against persons with disabilities

Iceland

The most significant human rights problems during the year included violence against women and children. Pretrial detainees sometimes shared cells with convicted prisoners, and juveniles sometimes shared cells with adults. There was some societal discrimination against immigrants, and workers without Icelandic language skills faced an increased risk of occupational accidents.

Other human rights problems included discrepancies in access to the healthcare system for asylum seekers who did not enter the country under international auspices, sexual harassment, trafficking in persons, and occasional discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment and access to public places

Iran

Best GHRD Link so far: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/until-we-are-free-my-fight-for-human-rights-in-iran-by-shirin-ebadi

"The most significant human rights problems were severe restrictions on civil liberties, including the freedoms of assembly, association, speech (including via the internet), religion, and press; limitations on citizens’ ability to choose the government peacefully through free and fair elections; and abuse of due process combined with escalating use of capital punishment for crimes that do not meet the threshold of most serious crime or are committed by juvenile offenders.

Other reported human rights problems included disregard for the physical integrity of persons, whom authorities arbitrarily and unlawfully detained, tortured, or killed; disappearances; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, including judicially sanctioned amputation and flogging; politically motivated violence and repression; harsh and life-threatening conditions in detention and prison facilities, with instances of deaths in custody; arbitrary arrest and lengthy pretrial detention, sometimes incommunicado; continued impunity of the security forces; denial of fair public trial, sometimes resulting in executions without due process; the lack of an independent judiciary; political prisoners and detainees; ineffective implementation of civil judicial procedures and remedies; arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, and correspondence; harassment and arrest of journalists; censorship and media content restrictions; severe restrictions on academic freedom; restrictions on freedom of movement; official corruption and lack of government transparency; constraints on investigations by international and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) into alleged violations of human rights; legal and societal discrimination and violence against women, ethnic and religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity; incitement to anti-Semitism; trafficking in persons; and severe restrictions on the exercise of labor rights"

Iraq

Severe human rights problems were widespread. Da’esh committed the overwhelming number of serious human rights abuses, including attacks against civilians, especially Shia but also Sunnis who opposed Da’esh; members of other religious and ethnic minorities; women; and children. Some Shia PMF reportedly committed human rights violations. Numerous reports continued during the year of Shia PMF killing, torturing, kidnapping, and extorting civilians. Simultaneously, to a much lesser extent, government forces reportedly engaged in abuses against civilians in liberated areas, such as arbitrary detentions and limits on freedom of movement. Sectarian hostility, widespread corruption, and lack of transparency at all levels of government and society weakened the government’s authority and worsened effective human rights protections.

Observers reported other significant human rights-related problems: disappearances; torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; harsh and life-threatening conditions in detention and prison facilities; arbitrary arrest and lengthy pretrial detention, sometimes incommunicado; denial of fair public trial; insufficient judicial institutional capacity; ineffective implementation of civil judicial procedures and remedies; delays in resolving property restitution claims; arbitrary interference with privacy and homes; child soldiers; limit on freedom of expression, including press freedoms; violence against and harassment of journalists; undue censorship; social, religious, and political restrictions in academic and cultural matters; limits on freedoms of peaceful assembly and association; limits on religious freedom due to violence by extremist groups; restrictions on freedom of movement; refugee and IDP abuse; discrimination against, including exclusion from decision-making roles, and societal abuse of women and ethnic, religious, and racial minorities; trafficking in persons; societal discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and limitations on worker rights.

India

GHRD Links: 

Honour by Dipti Mehta: http://www.globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/honour-a-play-by-dipti-mehta

Child Marriages in India: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/issues/item/child-marriages-in-india?highlight=WyJpbmRpYSJd

Sahodari Foundation: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ngos/item/sahodari-foundation?highlight=WyJpbmRpYSJd

Solidarity Foundation: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ngos/item/solidarity-foundation?highlight=WyJpbmRpYSJd

Education for Peace and Human Rights: Monisha Bajaj: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/educating-for-peace-human-rights-monisha-bajaj-at-tedxteacherscollege?highlight=WyJpbmRpYSJd

 

The most significant human rights problems involved police and security force abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, and rape; corruption remained widespread and contributed to ineffective responses to crimes, including those against women, children, and members of scheduled castes or tribes; and societal violence based on gender, religious affiliation, and caste or tribe.

Israel

The most significant human rights problems were terrorist attacks targeting civilians and politically and religiously motivated societal violence; institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel, many of whom self-identify as Palestinian, including the Bedouin, in particular in access to equal education and employment opportunities; institutional and societal discrimination against Ethiopian Israelis and women; and the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers, and irregular migrants.

Other human rights problems included institutional and societal discrimination against non-Orthodox Jews and intermarried families and labor rights abuses against foreign workers

Ireland

The principal human rights problems remained poor conditions in a few prison and detention facilities, lengthy asylum determinations, and discrimination against the indigenous Traveller minority.

Other reported human rights problems included prisoner-on-prisoner violence in some correctional facilities; violence and discrimination against immigrants, particularly Africans; sexual assault and domestic violence; and unequal pay and promotions for women in the workplace.

Indonesia

Best GHRD Link: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/the-look-of-silence

Despite high-profile arrests and convictions, widespread corruption remained a problem, and some elements within the government, judiciary, and security forces obstructed corruption investigations and persecuted their accusers. The government failed to conduct transparent, public investigations into some allegations of unjustified killings, torture, and abuse by security forces. Elements within the government applied treason, blasphemy, defamation, and decency laws to limit freedom of expression and assembly.


Police inaction, abuse of prisoners and detainees, harsh prison conditions, insufficient protections for religious and social minorities, trafficking in persons, child labor, and failure to enforce labor standards and worker rights continued as problems

Hungary

The most significant human rights problem during the year was the government’s handling of large numbers of migrants and asylum seekers seeking to transit the country, which was marked by xenophobic rhetoric and a lack of humanitarian aid. In addition, the Fidesz-KDNP coalition re-elected in 2014 with a two-thirds majority in parliament continued to make comprehensive changes to the legal framework and state structure that it began in 2010, largely without public consultation or inclusive dialogue with opposition parties. International organizations and human rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) continued to voice criticism of the systematic erosion of the rule of law, checks and balances, democratic institutions, and transparency, and intimidation of independent societal voices.

Haiti

The most serious impediments to human rights involved weak democratic governance in the country worsened by the dissolution of parliament in January, when the terms of all deputies and two-thirds of the Senate expired; insufficient respect for the rule of law, exacerbated by a deficient judicial system; and chronic corruption in all branches of government.

Other human rights problems included isolated allegations of arbitrary and unlawful killings by government officials; allegations of use of force against suspects and protesters; overcrowding and poor sanitation in prisons; prolonged pretrial detention; an inefficient, unreliable, and inconsistent judiciary; governmental confiscation of private property without due process. There was also rape, violence, and societal discrimination against women; child abuse; allegations of social marginalization of vulnerable populations; and trafficking in persons. Violence, including gender-based violence, and crime within the remaining internally displaced persons (IDP) camps remained a problem

Croatia

The most important human rights problems in the country were social discrimination and instances of violence directed against members of ethnic minorities, including ethnic Serbs and Roma, and women. Sporadic violence directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons continued. Government corruption remained a problem.

Honduras

The most serious human rights problems were corruption, intimidation, and institutional weakness of the justice system leading to widespread impunity; unlawful and arbitrary killings and other criminal activities by members of the security forces; and harsh and at times life-threatening prison conditions.
Other human rights problems included lengthy pretrial detention and failure to provide due process of law; threats from criminal elements against journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders, judicial authorities, and lawyers; violence against and harassment of women; child abuse; trafficking in persons, including child prostitution; human smuggling, including of unaccompanied children; encroachment on indigenous lands and discrimination against indigenous and Afro-descendent communities; violence against and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; ineffective enforcement of labor laws; and child labor.

Guyana

The most significant human rights problems were arbitrary killings by the government or its agents; allegations of government corruption, including among police officials; and laws that discriminate against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex persons. Other human rights problems included lengthy pretrial detention.

Guinea Bissau

Serious human rights abuses included arbitrary detention; official corruption exacerbated by government officials’ impunity and suspected involvement in drug trafficking; and violence and discrimination against women and children. Other human rights abuses included abusive treatment of detainees; poor conditions of detention; lack of judicial independence and due process; interference with privacy; female genital mutilation/cutting; trafficking in persons; child labor; and forced labor by adults and children.

Guatemala

Principal human rights abuses included widespread institutional corruption, particularly in the police and judicial sectors; police and military involvement in serious crimes, such as kidnapping, drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, and extortion; and societal violence, including lethal violence against women.

Greece

The most significant human rights problems during the year were the at times overcrowded and deplorable conditions facing the greatly increased numbers of migrants and asylum seekers who arrived in the country, including a lack of sufficient food, potable water, and adequate shelter at some reception and registration sites, as well as some allegations of physical abuse by police and allegations of attacks by unknown, armed individuals on vessels carrying migrants and asylum seekers. Poor conditions and some reports of abuse of persons incarcerated in detention centers and prisons and societal discrimination and instances of violence against individuals perceived to be foreigners were also significant problems.

Other human rights problems reported during the year included some limitations on access to the asylum application process along with inadequate capacity to provide legal aid and social support for asylum seekers and refugees; some restrictions on freedom of press and religion; domestic violence; incidents of anti-Semitism; trafficking in persons; limits on the freedom of certain ethnic-minority groups to self-identify; discrimination against and social exclusion of the officially recognized Muslim minority in Thrace; discrimination against Roma and exploitation of Romani children; violence and discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community; and discrimination in employment and occupation based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV-positive status, and migrant-worker status

Equatorial Guinea

The most significant human rights problems in the country were disregard for rule of law, including police use of excessive force and torture, denial of freedom of speech, and widespread official corruption.

Other human rights problems included the inability of citizens to choose their government in free and fair periodic elections, arbitrary and unlawful killings, abuse of detainees and prisoners, poor conditions in prisons and detention facilities, arbitrary arrest and detention, including incommunicado detention, lack of judicial independence, restrictions on rights to privacy and internal movement, and the use of internal exile against political opponents. The government denied freedom of assembly, press, and association and harassed and deported foreign residents without due process.

Guinea

The most serious human rights problems remained life-threatening prison and detention center conditions; denial of fair trial; and violence and discrimination against women and girls, including sexual abuse, forced and early marriage, and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

Other human rights problems included: security force killings and use of excessive force; arbitrary arrest; lengthy pretrial detention and indefinite detention, including of political prisoners; arbitrary interference with family and home; restrictions on freedoms of press and assembly; corruption at all levels of government; discrimination against persons with disabilities; and human trafficking, including forced child labor.

Gambia

The most serious human rights abuses reported include torture, arbitrary arrest, prolonged pretrial and incommunicado detention; enforced disappearance of citizens; and government harassment and abuse of its critics. Officials routinely used various methods of intimidation to retain power.

Other reported human rights abuses included poor prison conditions; denial of due process; restrictions on privacy and freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and practice of religion; corruption; violence against women and girls, including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); early and forced marriage; trafficking in persons, including child prostitution; discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals; and child labor.

Greenland

See Denmark

Ghana

The most important human rights problems included trafficking in persons; exploitative child labor, including forced child labor; and harsh and life-threatening prison conditions.

Other human rights problems included use of excessive force by police that resulted in deaths and injuries; rape by police; prolonged pretrial detention; assault and harassment of journalists; corruption in all branches of government; violence against women and children, including female genital mutilation/cutting; societal discrimination against women, persons with disabilities, and persons with HIV/AIDS; societal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals; ethnic discrimination and politically motivated violence; and ethnic killings and vigilante violence.

Georgia

The most significant human rights problems reported during the year included: arbitrary detentions by Russian and de facto authorities of Georgian citizens along the administrative boundary line with the country’s occupied territories; significant shortcomings in the administration of justice, including pressure on the judiciary in selected cases, questionable judicial appointments, inconsistent government responses to violence or abuse, incomplete investigations, premature charging of suspects, and inappropriate use of pretrial detention; and insufficient government efforts to combat societal discrimination against women, members of ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, and persons with disabilities.

United Kingdom

During the year the most serious human rights problems were continuing stop and search practices in Scotland, female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C), and in Bermuda the incremental introduction of the Disclosure and Criminal Reform Act 2015, which makes possible double jeopardy and removes some protections against self-incrimination.

Gabon

The most important human rights problems in the country were harsh prison conditions, lengthy pretrial detention, and ritual killings.

Other serious human rights problems included: use of excessive force by police as well as police harassment and extortion of noncitizen Africans and refugees; an inefficient judiciary subject to government influence; government corruption; violence against women; societal discrimination against women, indigenous populations, and persons with HIV/AIDS; and trafficking in persons, including forced child labo

France

The most significant human rights problems during the year included an increasing number of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents. Government evictions of Roma from illegal camps were also reported. There continued to be significant problems as well in the judicial system, including lengthy pretrial detention and protracted investigations and trials.

Other reported human rights problems included instances of excessive police use of force against detainees at time of arrest and against migrants and asylum seekers, credible allegations of child sexual abuse by French peacekeeping forces in Africa, overcrowding and unhygienic conditions in prisons, societal violence against women, trafficking in persons, and employment discrimination based on sex, gender, disability, and national origin.

Falkland Islands

Fiji

The leading human rights problems included police and military abuse of persons in custody; restrictions on freedoms of speech, assembly, and movement; and restrictions on trade union and collective bargaining rights as well as strict limitations on the ability of workers in certain sectors to strike.

Other human rights problems included prison conditions, government corruption, violence and discrimination against women, sexual exploitation of children, and deep ethnic divisions

Finland

Societal discrimination continued against Roma and members of other ethnic and linguistic minorities. Small demonstrations and isolated incidents of xenophobic hate speech and violence accompanied the arrival of large numbers of asylum seekers from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Domestic abuse and other violence against women and children continued to be a problem.

Other human rights problems included inadequate medical services in detention centers; poor sanitation in some prison cells; excessive delay in moving detainees from police holding cells to remand prisons; excessive delays in notification of custody to family members; sexual exploitation of children; the reappearance of an anti-Semitic newspaper; harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and forced labor

Ethiopia

The most significant human rights problems included harassment and intimidation of opposition members and supporters and journalists; alleged torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces; and politically motivated trials.

Other human rights problems included alleged arbitrary killings; harsh and at times life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; detention without charge and lengthy pretrial detention; a weak, overburdened judiciary subject to political influence; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, including illegal searches; alleged abuses in the implementation of the government’s “villagization” program; restrictions on freedom of expression, including continued restrictions on print media and the internet, assembly, association, and movement; restrictions on academic freedom; interference in religious affairs; restrictions on activities of civil society and NGOs; limited ability of citizens to change their government; police, administrative, and judicial corruption; violence and societal discrimination against women and abuse of children; female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against persons with disabilities; clashes between ethnic minorities; discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation and against persons with HIV/AIDS; and limits on worker rights, forced labor, and child labor, including forced child labor

Spain

The most significant human rights problems included forced returns and mistreatment of asylum seekers by police, systemic corruption by government officials, and violence against women and children.

Other problems included the circulation of hate speech on the internet; the enactment of a new public security law that opponents alleged violates human rights; sexual harassment; inequality of opportunity and pay for women in the workplace; subjecting women and girls to sex trafficking; acts of anti-Semitic vandalism; and societal discrimination and violence against persons with disabilities, Muslims, ethnic minorities including the Roma, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons.

Eritrea

Best GHRD Links So Far: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/issues/item/human-rights-in-eritrea and http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/ethnic-cleansing-in-eritrea-the-case-of-the-afar 

Citizens did not have the ability to choose their government through the right to vote in free and fair elections. Incommunicado detention without charge continued under life-threatening conditions, which reportedly sometimes resulted in death. The government forced persons to participate in its national service program, routinely for periods of indefinite duration beyond the 18-month obligation.

Other abuses included killings and disappearances; torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; arbitrary arrest; executive interference in the judiciary; lack of due process and excessively long pretrial detention; politically motivated detentions; evictions without due process; infringement on privacy rights; restrictions on freedom of speech and press; restrictions on academic freedom and cultural events; restrictions on freedom of assembly, association, and religion; limits on freedom of movement and foreign travel; corruption and lack of transparency; violence against women; and alleged discrimination against ethnic minorities. The law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity. Female genital mutilation/cutting, human trafficking, and forced labor occurred. Government policies limited worker rights

Egypt

The most significant human rights problems were excessive use of force by security forces, deficiencies in due process, and the suppression of civil liberties. Excessive use of force included unlawful killings and torture. Due process problems included the excessive use of preventative custody and pretrial detention, the use of military courts to try civilians, and trials involving hundreds of defendants in which authorities did not present evidence on an individual basis. Civil liberties problems included societal and government restrictions on freedoms of expression and the press, as well as on the freedoms of assembly and association.

Other human rights problems included disappearances; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary arrests; a judiciary that in some cases appeared to arrive at outcomes not supported by publicly available evidence or that appeared to reflect political motivations; reports of political prisoners and detainees; restrictions on academic freedom; impunity for security forces; harassment of some civil society organizations; limits on religious freedom; official corruption; limits on civil society organizations; violence, harassment, and societal discrimination against women and girls, including female genital mutilation/cutting; child abuse; discrimination against persons with disabilities; trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against religious minorities; discrimination and arrests based on sexual orientation; discrimination against HIV-positive persons; and worker abuse, including child labor.

Estonia

There were no reports of egregious human rights abuses.

Human rights problems reported during the year included allegations that police at times used excessive force when arresting suspects, poor conditions in some detention centers, and a large number of noncitizen residents whose rate of naturalization remained low. Other problems included domestic violence; inequality of women’s and men’s salaries; incidents of child abuse; trafficking, primarily of women for sexual exploitation and men and women for forced labor elsewhere in the EU; inadequate access to public services by persons with disabilities, especially in rural areas; and harassment and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons, which reportedly remained routine within society.

Ecuador

The main human rights abuses were lack of independence in the judicial sector; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association; and corruption. Government regulatory bodies established under the 2013 communications law issued a series of sanctions, fines, and forced corrections and retractions, primarily against independent media and journalists. President Correa and his administration continued to engage in verbal and legal attacks against the media and civil society. Presidential decrees provided the government discretion to dissolve civil society organizations on broad and ambiguous grounds. Limits on freedom of assembly continued, particularly affecting environmental activists and indigenous groups protesting laws affecting their lands

Algeria

"The three most significant continuing human rights problems were restrictions on the freedom of assembly and association, lack of judicial independence and impartiality, and overuse of pretrial detention."

Dominican Republic

The most serious human rights problem was discrimination against Haitian migrants and their descendants. In 2013 the Constitutional Tribunal ruled that Dominican-born descendants of individuals considered to have entered the country illegally, most of whom were of Haitian descent, were not entitled to Dominican citizenship.

Other human rights problems included extrajudicial killings by security forces; overcrowded and dangerously substandard prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; lengthy pretrial detention; weak rule of law; impunity for corruption; chronic violence against women, including domestic violence, rape, and femicide; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity; and inadequate enforcement of labor laws.

Denmark

The country’s most significant human rights problems included instances of religious-focused vandalism and hate crimes, and rape and domestic violence against women. On February 14 and 15, a gunman shot five persons at a free-speech forum, killing one, and later shot and killed a volunteer guard at the Copenhagen Synagogue.

Djibouti

The most serious human rights problem was the government’s abridgement of the right of citizens to choose or significantly influence their government. The government did so by suppressing the opposition and refusing to allow several opposition groups to form legally recognized political parties; harassing, abusing, and detaining government critics; denying the population access to independent sources of information; and restricting freedom of speech and assembly.

Other human rights problems included the use of excessive force, harsh prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and prolonged pretrial detention, denial of fair public trial, interference with privacy rights, restrictions on freedom of association and religion, lack of protection for refugees, corruption, discrimination and violence against women, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), trafficking in persons, discrimination against persons with disabilities, and government denial of worker rights

Germany

Right-wing extremism and xenophobia continued to be the most significant human rights problems. Perpetrators attacked ethnic non-Germans on a number of occasions, including arson attacks on government-run housing for refugees and asylum seekers. Some police committed human rights abuses against migrants and refugees in their custody. A series of anti-immigrant protests aimed particularly at Muslim refugees and migrants took place during the year, and some turned violent. Continuing manifestations of anti-Semitism, including several anti-Semitic incidents and many instances of anti-Semitic behavior, were another serious source of concern. Authorities attributed the incidents to adherents of the extreme right as well as to some Muslims.

Czech Republic

Societal discrimination and violence against the Romani population remained a serious problem. With the growing influx of refugees and migrants from mostly Muslim countries into Europe, including from Syria and Afghanistan, anti-Muslim sentiment increased during the year, and the treatment of detained migrants and asylum seekers met with criticism. Official corruption remained a problem, despite enforcement efforts.

Other human rights problems included inflammatory speech by politicians and public figures; violence against women; sexual and other abuse of children; anti-Semitism; trafficking in persons; and discrimination against migrant workers.

Cyprus

The most significant problems during the year remained trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation and labor; police abuse and degrading treatment of persons in custody and asylum seekers; and violence against women, including spousal abuse.

Other problems during the year included: prison overcrowding; lack of separation of pretrial detainees from convicted criminals; prolonged detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants in prison-like conditions; deportation of rejected asylum seekers before they had an opportunity to appeal their asylum decision; lack of full access to and administration of some religious sites; government corruption; incidents of violence against children; instances of discrimination and violence against members of minority ethnic and national groups; and societal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and intersex (LGBTI) persons.

Cuba

The principal human rights abuses included the abridgement of the ability of citizens to choose their government; the use of government threats, physical assault, intimidation, and violent government-organized counterprotests against peaceful dissent; and harassment and detentions to prevent free expression and peaceful assembly.

The following additional abuses continued: harsh prison conditions; arbitrary, short-term, politically motivated detentions and arrests; selective prosecution; denial of fair trial; and travel restrictions. Authorities interfered with privacy by engaging in pervasive monitoring of private communications. The government did not respect freedom of speech and press, restricted internet access, maintained a monopoly on media outlets, circumscribed academic freedom, and maintained some restrictions on the ability of religious groups to meet and worship. The government refused to recognize independent human rights groups or permit them to function legally. In addition the government continued to prevent workers from forming independent unions and otherwise exercising their labor rights

Costa Rica

Principal human rights abuses included harsh prison conditions and treatment, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and infringement on the rights of indigenous people.

Colombia

Best GHRD Link: http://www.globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/we-women-warriors

The most serious human rights problems were impunity, an inefficient judiciary, forced displacement, corruption, and societal discrimination. An inefficient justice system subject to intimidation limited the government’s ability to prosecute effectively individuals accused of human rights abuses, including former members of paramilitary groups. The availability and influence of drug-trafficking revenue often exacerbated corruption. Societal discrimination against indigenous persons and Afro-Colombians at times restricted the ability of these groups to exercise their rights.

Other problems included extrajudicial and unlawful killings; slow pace of investigations, trials, and indictments in cases related to extrajudicial killings; insubordinate military collaboration with members of illegal armed groups; forced disappearances; overcrowded and insecure prisons; harassment and attacks against human rights groups and activists, including death threats and killings; violence against women and girls; trafficking in persons; and illegal child labor.

China

Best GHRD Link So Far: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/videographic-the-largest-migration-in-history 

Repression and coercion markedly increased during the year against organizations and individuals involved in civil and political rights advocacy and public interest and ethnic minority issues. The crackdown on the legal community was particularly severe, as individual lawyers and law firms that handled cases the government deemed “sensitive” were targeted for harassment and detention, with hundreds of lawyers and law associates interrogated, investigated, and in many cases detained in secret locations for months without charges or access to attorneys or family members. Officials continued to harass, intimidate, and prosecute family members and associates to retaliate against rights advocates and defenders. Individuals and groups regarded as politically sensitive by authorities faced tight restrictions on their freedom to assemble, practice religion, and travel. Authorities resorted to extralegal measures, such as enforced disappearance and strict house arrest, including house arrest of family members, to prevent public expression of critical opinions

Cameroon

The most important human rights problems were Boko Haram killings and other abuses in the Far North Region, including child soldiering, abductions, beheadings, and immolations; security force (police and/or gendarmerie) torture and abuse, primarily of Boko Haram suspects; denial of fair and speedy public trial; and life-threatening prison conditions.

Other major human rights abuses included cases of arbitrary arrests and detention, prolonged and sometimes incommunicado pretrial detention, and infringement on privacy rights. The government in some cases harassed journalists, restricted freedoms of speech and press, and impeded freedom of movement. Security forces seized private property, including livestock and fishery products. The government conducted several secret trials of Boko Haram suspects. Corruption was pervasive at all levels of government. Gender-based violence occurred, including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). 

Chile

Best GHRD Link So Far: http://www.globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/being-luis-a-chilean-life 

The principal human rights problems concerned harsh prison conditions; violence and discrimination against women, children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and societal conflict and discrimination against indigenous populations

Ivory Coast

The most serious human rights problems were security force abuses and the government’s inability to enforce the rule of law. The Republican Forces of Cote d’Ivoire (FRCI), the country’s military, and the gendarmerie were responsible for arbitrary detentions, including at informal detention centers. Prison and detention center conditions were harsh and life threatening. Corruption persisted in the judiciary, police, the military, customs, contract awards tax offices, and other government institutions, and the judiciary was inefficient and lacked independence.

There were allegations made by opposition groups of torture of political prisoners and of extrajudicial killings. There was a case of forced disappearance; and there were reports of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment; arbitrary arrest; and prolonged pretrial detention. 

Switzerland

The most significant problems included the occasional use of excessive force by security forces, particularly in connection with the arrests and deportations of asylum seekers and in detention facilities for the canton of Geneva. Authorities sometimes subjected asylum seekers to lengthy detention and mistreatment. Societal discrimination against Roma, members of other minorities, and immigrants also occurred.

Other human rights problems included overcrowded prisons, violence against women, forced marriages and female genital mutilation/cutting in some immigrant groups, child abuse, disparities in pay and unemployment rates for women and minorities, hostility toward Muslims, anti-Semitic incidents, and trafficking in persons

Republic of the Congo

The most significant human rights problems included arbitrary or unlawful killings by security forces; arbitrary arrests, beatings, and torture of detainees by police; and refugee abuse.

Central African Republic

While the human rights situation continued to improve since the September 2014 deployment of the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), the civilian population remained subject to killings, hostage-taking, mistreatment and torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and displacement. According to MINUSCA’s Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the Central African Republic, released on December 11, “serious violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law continued to be committed throughout the country by nonstate armed groups…and, to a lesser extent, by state actors.”

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Best GHRD Link: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/the-greatest-silence

"Most significant human rights problems included unlawful killings; sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) including rapes, abductions, torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and punishment; and widespread impunity and corruption throughout the government.

Other major human rights problems included disappearances; severe and life-threatening conditions in prisons and detention facilities; prolonged pretrial detention; arbitrary interference with privacy, family, and home; abuse of internally displaced persons (IDPs) by state security forces (SSF) and rebel and militia groups (RMGs); increased intimidation of political and civil rights activists and journalists in the form of arbitrary arrests, prolonged detention, and threats; restrictions on the ability to change the government peacefully; and RMG retention and recruitment of child soldiers. Societal discrimination and abuse, particularly against women; children; persons with disabilities; ethnic minorities; indigenous persons; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and persons with albinism as well as trafficking in persons, child labor, use of forced civilian and child labor, and lack of protection of worker rights also were major problems."

Canada

The principal human rights problems included violence against women, disparities in living conditions between indigenous and nonindigenous peoples, and trafficking in persons.

Belize

The most important human rights abuses included the use of excessive force by security forces (especially the police), lengthy pretrial detention, and harassment and threats based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Belarus

The most significant human rights problems continued to be: citizens were unable to change their government through elections; in a system bereft of checks and balances, authorities committed abuses; and former political prisoners’ political rights remained restricted while the government failed to account for longstanding cases of politically motivated disappearances. On August 22, President Lukashenka released six individuals considered political prisoners by human rights organizations, including 2010 presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich.

Botswana

Principal human rights abuses included violence, particularly sexual violence against women and children; discrimination against the Basarwa (or San) people; and child labor in cattle herding, agriculture, and other work.

Other significant human rights problems included occasional excessive use of force and abuse by security personnel; police corruption; government attempts to limit press freedom; and shortcomings in the judicial process, including lengthy delays and failure to inform defendants of their pretrial rights. Societal problems included trafficking in persons and discrimination against women and children; persons with disabilities; those with HIV/AIDS; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons

Bhutan

Principal human rights problems included discriminatory treatment of religious and ethnic minorities and the refusal by the government to readmit certain refugees with legitimate Bhutanese citizenship claims.

The Bahamas

The most serious human rights problems were mistreatment of irregular migrants (compounded by problems in processing them); an inefficient judicial system, resulting in trial delays and an increase in retaliatory crime against both witnesses and alleged perpetrators; and the perception of impunity on the part of law enforcement and immigration officials accused of using excessive force.

Other human rights problems included substandard detention conditions; corruption; violence and discrimination against women; sexual abuse of children; and discrimination based on ethnic descent, sexual orientation, or HIV status.

Brazil

The most significant human rights abuses included poor and at times life-threatening conditions in some prisons; corruption; sex trafficking, including of children; and exploitative working conditions, including forced labor.

Bolivia

The most serious human rights problems included widespread corruption and inefficiency in the country’s law enforcement and judicial system, leading to arbitrary arrest or detention, denial of a fair and timely public trial, and harsh prison conditions. Government officials actively promoted restrictions on freedom of press and association and used legal mechanisms to limit political opposition.

Brunei

The most serious human rights problems were the inability of citizens to choose their government through free and fair elections, restrictions on religious freedom, and exploitation of foreign workers.

Other human rights problems included limitations on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association

Benin

The major human rights problems included police use of excessive force; violence and discrimination against women and girls, including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); and harsh prison conditions.

Other human rights problems included arbitrary arrest and detention; prolonged pretrial detention; abuse of women and children, including sexual harassment, child sexual exploitation, early and forced marriage, and infanticide; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities; vigilante violence; and child labor.

Burundi

The principal human rights abuses included extrajudicial killings, including reports of victims disposed of in mass graves; arbitrary and politicized detention, often in inhuman and life-threatening conditions; and widespread government disregard for the freedoms of speech, press and media, assembly, and association.

Bulgaria

The marginalization of and societal intolerance towards the Romani minority remained the country’s most pressing human rights problem. Continued deterioration of the media environment and increase in media’s corporate and political dependence were also problematic. Corruption continued to be a drag on the government’s capabilities and undermined public and business confidence in the judiciary and other government institutions.

Other reported human rights problems included an unlawful killing; harsh conditions in prisons and detention facilities; police violence; and long delays in the judicial system. There were reports of religious discrimination and harassment; anti-Muslim demonstrations; shortcomings in refugee integration processes and policies; election fraud; gender-based violence and discrimination against women; violence against children; increasing online anti-Semitism; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and social stigma against persons with HIV/AIDS

Burkina Faso

The most significant human rights problems included security force killings and use of excessive force, including torture, against civilians and detainees; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; and violence and discrimination against women and children, including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

Other human rights problems included arbitrary arrest and detention; judicial inefficiency and lack of independence; violence against journalists; restrictions on freedoms of speech, expression, and assembly; official corruption; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities; societal violence; discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community; discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS; and forced labor, including by children

Belgium

The main human rights problem was discrimination against racial and religious minorities in employment, housing, and societal attitudes. Muslim women faced discriminatory dress restrictions in public and private sector employment, schools, and public spaces. Anti-Semitism remained a similar problem, although less acute than during the previous year

Bangladesh

The most significant human rights problems were extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, the killing of secular bloggers and others by groups espousing extremist views, some restrictions on online speech and the press, early and forced marriage and gender-based violence, and poor working conditions and labor rights.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Best GHRD Link: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/not-my-turn-to-die-memoirs-of-a-broken-childhood-in-bosnia-by-savo-heleta

"Government corruption remained among the country’s most serious problems, resulting in continued political and economic stagnation. Some political leaders manipulated deep-seated ethnic divisions, weakening democracy and governance, undermining the rule of law, fostering discrimination in most aspects of daily life, distorting public discourse in the media, and obstructing the return of persons displaced by the 1992-95 conflict. Harassment and intimidation of journalists and civil society limited the public’s access to accurate information and the accountability of political leaders."

Azerbaijan

1. Increased government restrictions on freedoms of expression, assembly, and association that were reflected in the intimidation, incarceration on questionable charges, and use of force against human rights defenders, activists, journalists, and some of their relatives. The operating space for activists and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) remained severely constrained. Multiple sources reported a continuing crackdown on civil society, including intimidation, arrest, and conviction on charges widely considered politically motivated; criminal investigations into NGO activities; restrictive laws; and the freezing of bank accounts that rendered many groups unable to function.2. Government use of the judicial system to punish peaceful dissent. There were reports that authorities engaged in arbitrary arrest and detention and politically motivated imprisonment, conducted trials that lacked due process, and subjected individuals to lengthy pretrial detention with impunity. The number of defense lawyers willing and able to accept sensitive cases declined due to actions by authorities. Authorities released some individuals widely considered to be incarcerated for exercising their fundamental freedoms, and granted conditional humanitarian release to two such individuals.

3. Government restrictions on the ability of citizens to change their government in free and fair elections.

Australia

Best GHRD Links: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/witnessing-australian-stories-history-testimony-and-memory-in-contemporary-culture?category_id=19 and http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/acting-from-the-heart-australian-advocates-for-asylum-seekers-tell-their-stories

"The main human rights problems were domestic violence against women and children, particularly in indigenous communities; indigenous disadvantage; and policies affecting asylum seekers, including detention and detention center conditions for some attempting to reach the country by sea."

Austria

There continued to be reports that police at times used excessive force, particularly against members of minority groups. Societal discrimination persisted against ethnic minorities, including Muslims, immigrants, Roma, Jews, and foreigners of African origin.

Argentina

The principal human rights problems included multiple reports of official corruption, torture by federal and provincial police, and gender violence.

Angola

Best GHRD Link: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/perspectives-on-transparency-human-rights-and-civil-society-in-angola

"The three most important human rights abuses were cruel, excessive, and degrading punishment, including reported cases of torture and beatings; limits on freedoms of assembly, association, speech, and press; and official corruption and impunity.

Other human rights abuses included arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life, harsh and potentially life-threatening prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention, lengthy pretrial detention, impunity for human rights abusers, lack of due process and judicial inefficiency, forced evictions without compensation, restrictions on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), trafficking in persons, limits on workers’ rights, and forced labor."

Armenia

The most significant human rights problems during the year were officials’ use of government resources to maintain the dominance of the ruling RPA, use of economic and political power by the country’s elite to enrich supporters and to corrupt the law enforcement and judicial systems, and limited judicial independence. During the December 6 constitutional referendum, local and international observers, members of civil society, and journalists reported witnessing numerous types of electoral violations, including use of administrative resources, multiple voting, ballot-box stuffing, and the intimidation of commission members and observers by officials. As of December 18, the Republic of Armenia Investigative Committee (RAIC) had initiated 34 criminal cases stemming from the referendum

Albania

The most significant human rights problems were pervasive corruption in all branches of government, particularly within the judicial and health-care systems, and domestic violence and discrimination against women.

Afghanistan

The most significant human rights problems were widespread violence, including indiscriminate attacks on civilians by armed insurgent groups; armed insurgent groups’ killings of persons affiliated with the government; torture and abuse of detainees by government forces; widespread disregard for the rule of law and little accountability for those who committed human rights abuses; and targeted violence of and endemic societal discrimination against women and girls.

United Arab Emirates

The three most significant human rights problems were the inability to change government; limitations on civil liberties (including the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and internet use); and arrests without charge, incommunicado detentions, and lengthy pretrial detentions.

West Bank

Portugal

The most important human rights problems included excessive use of force and abuse of detainees and prisoners by police and prison guards; poor, unhealthy, and overcrowded prison conditions; and violence against women and children.

Other problems included the incarceration of juveniles with adults and pretrial detainees with convicted criminals, denial of legal counsel and family contact to detainees, disregard of detainees’ rights by the Judiciary Police, lengthy pretrial detention, detention of asylum seekers, the practice of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) of girls in the Bissau-Guinean community, societal discrimination and exclusion against Roma, hindrances to labor organizing, trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation and forced labor, and a growing gap between pay for men and women.

Paraguay

The principal human rights problems were impunity in the judicial sector, together with lengthy pretrial detention and trial delays; harsh and at times life-threatening prison conditions; and police involvement in criminal activities, including unlawful killings by persons associated with police and the military.

Other human rights problems included the killing and intimidation of journalists by organized-crime groups; corruption, discrimination, and violence against women and indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; and trafficking in persons. Problems with child labor and violations of worker rights often occurred.

Qatar

The principal human rights problems were the inability of citizens to change their government peacefully through free and fair elections, restriction of fundamental civil liberties, and denial of the rights of foreign workers. The monarch-appointed government prohibited organized political parties and restricted civil liberties, including freedoms of speech, press, and assembly and access to a fair trial for persons held under the Protection of Society Law and Combating Terrorism Law.

Romania

Major human rights problems included police and gendarme mistreatment and harassment of detainees and Roma. Government corruption remained a widespread problem. Systematic societal discrimination against Roma affected their access to adequate education, housing, health care, and employment opportunities.

Other human rights problems included poor prison conditions and continued attempts by some political figures to compromise the independence of the judiciary. The government failed to take effective action to return Greek Catholic churches confiscated by the communist-era government. Personal and professional threats to journalists undermined media freedom. There were continued reports of violence and discrimination against women.

Republic of Serbia

The most serious human rights problems during the year included discrimination and societal violence against members of minority groups, especially Roma. Harassment of journalists and pressure on them to practice self-censorship was also a significant problem. Corruption existed in health care, education, and multiple branches of government, including the police. An inefficient judicial system that caused lengthy and delayed trials as well as long periods of pretrial detention also adversely affected citizens’ access to justice.

Russia

During the year the occupation and purported “annexation” of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 continued significantly and negatively to affect the human rights situation. The government continued to train, equip, and supply pro-Russian forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, who were joined by numerous fighters from Russia. International monitors and human rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) attributed thousands of civilian deaths and injuries, as well as widespread human rights abuses, to combined Russian-separatist forces in the Donbas region and the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea (for details see the Country Reports on Human Rights for Ukraine).

The most significant human rights problems during the year involved:

1. Restrictions on the Ability to Choose One’s Government and Freedoms of Expression, Assembly, Association, and the Media, as well as Internet Freedom: According to the country’s constitution and laws, citizens have the ability to choose their government through the right to vote in free and fair elections; however, authorities restricted this ability. The government increasingly instituted a range of measures to suppress dissent. The government passed new repressive laws and selectively employed existing ones systematically to harass, discredit, prosecute, imprison, detain, fine, and suppress individuals and organizations engaged in activities critical of the government, including NGOs, independent media outlets, bloggers, the political opposition, and activists. Individuals and organizations that professed support for the government of Ukraine or opposed the Russian government’s activities in Ukraine were especially targeted.

2. Political Prosecutions and Administration of Justice: Officials denied due process to defendants in politically motivated cases, including in the prosecutions and appeals of several defendants arrested after the 2012 anti-Putin demonstrations on Bolotnaya Square in Moscow; secret detentions and convictions based on treason and espionage charges; the harsh sentencing and imprisonment of environmental activist Yevgeniy Vitishko; the convictions of non-Russian citizens taken illegally from other countries, especially Ukraine, and brought to Russia for trial; and criminal cases opened against several other political activists and human rights advocates. The government stymied and stigmatized the work of NGOs through the “foreign agents” law and adopted an “undesirable foreign organization” law targeting non-Russian NGOs. Authorities failed to bring to justice the individuals responsible for the deaths of prominent journalists, activists, whistleblowers, and opposition politicians.

3. Government Discrimination against Racial, Ethnic, Religious, and Sexual Minorities: The government continued to discriminate against and selectively prosecute lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; members of some religious and ethnic minorities; and migrant workers. The government stoked Russian nationalism to implement its policies while stifling dissent. The law banning “propaganda” of nontraditional sexual relations to minors was increasingly used to harass members of the LGBTI community by threatening their jobs, blocking websites, and suppressing activism. 

Rwanda

Best GHRD Links: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/life-laid-bare-the-survivors-in-rwanda-speak and http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/left-to-tell-discovering-god-amidst-the-rwandan-holocaust

"The most important human rights problems in the country were government harassment, arrest, and abuse of political opponents, human rights advocates, and individuals perceived to pose a threat to government control and social order; security forces’ disregard for the rule of law; and restrictions on civil liberties. Due to restrictions on the registration and operation of opposition parties, citizens did not have the ability to change their government through free and fair elections."

Saudi Arabia

The most important human rights problems reported included citizens’ lack of the ability and legal means to choose their government; restrictions on universal rights, such as freedom of expression, including on the internet, and the freedoms of assembly, association, movement, and religion; and pervasive gender discrimination and lack of equal rights that affected all aspects of women’s lives.

Other human rights problems reported included: a lack of equal rights for children and noncitizen workers; abuses of detainees; overcrowding in prisons and detention centers; a lack of judicial independence and transparency that manifested itself in denial of due process and arbitrary arrest and detention; investigating, detaining, prosecuting, and sentencing lawyers, human rights activists, and antigovernment reformists; holding political prisoners; and arbitrary interference with privacy, home, and correspondence.

Solomon Islands

Tensions between persons from different islands, while reduced from past years, persisted. Violence and discrimination against women were prevalent.

Other human rights problems during the year included lengthy pretrial detention and government corruption.

Sudan

Government forces, government-aligned groups, rebels, and armed groups committed human rights abuses and violations throughout the year. The most serious human rights abuses and violations included: indiscriminate and deliberate bombings of civilian areas; ground attacks that included the killing and beating of civilians, sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement, looting and burning entire villages, and destroying the means necessary for sustaining life; and attacks on humanitarian targets, including humanitarian facilities and peacekeepers.

Other major abuses included: extrajudicial and other unlawful killings; torture, beatings, rape and other cruel or inhuman treatment or punishment; arbitrary arrest and detention by security forces; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; incommunicado detention; prolonged pretrial detention; obstruction of humanitarian assistance; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, religion, and movement; and intimidation and closure of human rights and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Societal abuses included discrimination against women; sexual violence; female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); use of child soldiers; child abuse; sexual exploitation of children; trafficking in persons; discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, persons with disabilities, and persons with HIV/AIDS; denial of workers’ rights; and child labor.

Sweden

The main human rights abuses included societal discrimination and incidents of violence against foreigners and members of ethnic and religious minorities, and domestic abuse of women and children. While the criminal justice system operated effectively in other respects, authorities subjected a high percentage of pretrial detainees to extended periods in isolation and limited their access to visitors, mail, and exercise

Slovenia

The most significant human rights problem was the treatment of the thousands of migrants and asylum seekers who transited Slovenia en route to Austria and Germany since September. Their sheer numbers initially challenged the country’s capacity to process cases and provide immediate services. The country’s Romani population suffered societal discrimination and occasional harassment that aggravated their harsh living conditions, sustained their high unemployment rate, and led to social isolation. Judicial and administrative backlogs and inefficiency resulted in trial delays, although there were signs of improvement.

Slovakia

Notable human rights problems included official corruption; a judiciary that was inefficient and engendered low public trust; and widespread discrimination against Roma, including excessive use of police force in Romani communities, societal discrimination and violence against Roma, and continued segregation of Romani children in education.

Sierra Leone

Best GHRD Link So Far: http://www.globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/30-women-and-politics-in-sierra-leone and http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/a-long-way-gone-memoirs-of-a-boy-soldier

The most significant human rights problems included a lack of universal access to justice; widespread official corruption in all branches of government; and trafficking in persons, including forced child labor.

Other major human rights problems included unlawful killing, torture, and abusive treatment by police; prolonged detention and imprisonment under harsh and life-threatening conditions; discrimination and violence against women and girls, including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); early and forced marriage; official and societal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals; and discrimination against persons with disabilities

Senegal

The most significant human rights problems included prison overcrowding, lengthy pretrial detention, and corruption, particularly in the judiciary.

Other major human rights problems included: physical abuse, including torture, by security forces; arbitrary arrests; questionable investigative detention; lack of judicial independence; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, and assembly; rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment of and discrimination against women; female genital mutilation/cutting; child abuse; early and forced marriage; infanticide; violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons; discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS; trafficking in persons; and child labor, including forced child labor.

Somalia

Best GHRD Links so far: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/somalia-elects-new-president?highlight=WyJzb21hbGlhIl0=

http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-articles/item/somalia-over-a-million-idps-need-support-for-local-solutions?highlight=WyJzb21hbGlhIl0=

Major human rights abuses included killings of civilians by al-Shabaab, Somali security forces, and unknown assailants. Violence and discrimination against women and girls, including rape and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), were widespread. Civilians did not have the ability to change their government through the ability to vote in free and fair elections.

Other major human rights abuses included disappearance; torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary and politically motivated arrest and detention; denial of fair public trial; use of excessive force and other abuses in internal conflict; restrictions on freedoms of speech and press, assembly and association, religion, and movement; forced eviction and relocation of internally displaced persons (IDPs); diversion of humanitarian assistance; corruption; trafficking in persons; abuse of and discrimination against minority clans and persons with disabilities; social stigmatization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals; restrictions on workers’ rights; forced labor; and child labor.

Suriname

The most serious human rights problem is the unresolved trial of President Bouterse and 22 codefendants for the 1982 extrajudicial killings of 15 political opponents, a trial that exemplifies deeper doubts about judicial independence in the country.

Other human rights problems included: police brutality; poor conditions in detention centers; self-censorship by media organizations and journalists; widespread government corruption; violence and abuse against women and children; trafficking in persons; continued lack of recognition of land rights for Maroons (descendants of escaped slaves who fled to the hinterland) and Amerindians; discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons and other minorities; and child labor in the informal sector.

South Sudan

Best GHRD Links So Far: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ngos/item/lost-boys-center-for-leadership-development and http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/we-come-as-friends-review

"The most serious human rights problems in the country were conflict-related abuses by government security forces, opposition forces, armed militia groups affiliated with the government and the opposition, and rival ethnic communities, including ethnically based killings of civilians and ethnically based discrimination and violence; extrajudicial killings, abuse, and mass displacement of civilians; and intimidation and other inhuman treatment of civilians such as arbitrary arrest and detention, abductions and kidnapping, recruitment and use of what the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimated to be 15,000 child soldiers; and conflict-related sexual violence. Attacks on military positions often resulted in rape, destruction of villages, theft, looting, and revenge attacks on civilians. Security force abuses unrelated to conflict included extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, intimidation, unlawful detention, and other inhuman treatment of civilians.

Other human rights abuses include harsh prison conditions; a lack of access to justice, including arbitrary arrest and indefinite pretrial detention; government restriction of freedoms of privacy, speech, press, and association; and abductions related to intercommunal and interethnic conflict, particularly of women and children. Corruption among government officials was pervasive. The government often restricted the movement of international organizations and NGOs, and attacks on and harassment of international organization and NGO workers increased. Violence and discrimination against women and children by government actors and within communities were widespread. Trafficking in persons, government incitement of tribal violence, and child labor, including forced labor, also occurred."

El Salvador

The principal human rights problems stemmed from widespread corruption; weaknesses in the judiciary and the security forces that contributed to high levels of impunity; and abuse, including domestic violence, discrimination, and commercial sexual exploitation of women and children, particularly among armed groups and gangs.

Syria

Best GHRD Links: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/issues/item/syrian-refugee-crisis and http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/bbc-syrian-uprising-documentary and http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/the-morning-they-came-for-us-dispatches-from-syria-by-janine-di-giovanni

"The most egregious human rights problems stemmed from the state’s widespread disregard for the well-being of a majority of its citizens. This manifested itself in a complete denial of citizens’ ability to change their government, a breakdown in law enforcement’s ability to protect the majority of citizens from state and nonstate violence, and the reported indiscriminate use of violence against civilians and civilian institutions. The government arbitrarily and unlawfully killed, tortured, and detained persons on a wide scale. Government forces reportedly conducted attacks on civilians in hospitals, residential areas, schools, and camps holding internally displaced persons (IDPs); these attacks included bombardment with improvised explosive devices, commonly referred to as “barrel bombs” (containing a combination of jet fuel and TNT, usually dropped by a helicopter). The government reportedly continued the use of torture and rape, including of children. It reportedly used the massacre of civilians, as well as their forced displacement, rape, and starvation, as military tactics. Government authorities rigorously denied citizens the ability to exercise civil liberties and freedoms of expression, movement, peaceful assembly and association, and the right to a fair public trial. Government authorities reportedly detained without access to fair trial tens of thousands of individuals including those associated with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), human rights activists, journalists, humanitarian aid providers, religious figures, and physicians."

Swaziland

The three main human rights abuses were police use of excessive force, including torture, beatings, and unlawful killings; restrictions on freedoms of association, assembly, and speech; and discrimination against and abuse of women and children.

Other human rights problems included arbitrary arrests and lengthy pretrial detention; arbitrary interference with privacy and home; prohibitions on political activity and harassment of political activists; trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community and persons with albinism; mob violence; harassment of labor leaders; child labor; and restrictions on worker rights.

Chad

The most significant human rights problems were security force abuse, harsh prison conditions, and discrimination and violence against women and children.

French Southern and Antarctic Lands

Togo

The main human rights problems included overcrowded, harsh, and life-threatening conditions in prisons, lengthy pretrial detention, and official corruption and impunity.

Other human rights abuses included executive influence on the judiciary; government restrictions on freedom of press and assembly; rape, violence, and discrimination against women; child abuse, including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and sexual exploitation; and trafficking in persons. Official and societal discrimination persisted against persons with disabilities, regional and ethnic groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons. Child labor, including forced child labor, was a problem

Thailand

In addition to limitations on civil liberties implemented by the NCPO, the most persistent human rights problems were abuses by government security forces and local defense volunteers in the continuing Malay-Muslim insurgency in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani, and one district of Songkhla; and occasional excessive use of force by security forces (police and military), including harassing or abusing criminal suspects, detainees, and prisoners. After the May 2014 coup, citizens no longer had the ability to choose their government through the right to vote in free and fair elections.

Tajikistan

The most significant human rights problems included citizens’ inability to change their government through free and fair elections; torture and abuse of detainees and other persons by security forces; and repression of political activists and opposition groups.

Other human rights problems included restrictions on freedoms of expression, press, and the free flow of information, including the repeated blockage of several independent news and social networking websites; poor religious freedom conditions; violence and discrimination against women; torture in the military; arbitrary arrest; denial of the right to a fair trial; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; prohibition of international monitors’ access to prisons; limitations on worker rights; and trafficking in persons, including sex and labor trafficking.

East Timor

Significant human rights problems included security force abuses, particularly during a joint police-military operation (see section 1), gender-based and domestic violence, and land tenure and expropriation concerns.

Other human rights problems included a lack of due process due to a weak judicial system, impingements on freedom of assembly and movement, trafficking in persons, and ineffective workers’ rights protections.

Turkmenistan

The most important human rights problems were arbitrary arrest; torture; disregard for civil liberties, including restrictions on freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and movement; and citizens’ inability to change the government through free and fair elections.

Other continuing human rights problems included denial of due process and fair trial; arbitrary interference with privacy, home, and correspondence; discrimination and violence against women; trafficking in persons; and restrictions on the free association of workers.

Tunisia

The most significant human rights problems included slow and opaque investigations into alleged security force human rights abuses, delays in prosecuting cases involving human rights abuses, and violence against journalists.

Other human rights problems included physical abuse of prisoners in detention centers and prisons, poor prison and detention center conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention, lack of judicial independence, lax prosecutorial environment with poor transparency, corruption, infringement of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) rights, gender-based violence, and societal obstacles to the full economic and political participation of women.


Turkey

The most significant human rights problems during the year were:

1. Government interference with freedom of expression: Multiple provisions in the law created the opportunity for the government to restrict freedom of expression, the press, and the internet. Government pressure on the media continued. As of November authorities had arrested an estimated 30 journalists, most charged under antiterror laws or for alleged association with an illegal organization. The government also exerted pressure on the media through security force raids on media companies; confiscation of publications with allegedly objectionable material; criminal investigations of journalists and editors for alleged terrorism links or for insulting the president and other senior government officials; reprisals against the business interests of owners of some media conglomerates; fines; and internet blocking. At least one journalist was physically attacked and injured in the wake of threats incited by a progovernment member of parliament. Self-censorship was common amid a prevailing fear that criticizing the government could prompt reprisals. Pressure on Kurdish-language and opposition media outlets in the Southeast reduced vulnerable populations’ access to information about the conflict with the PKK. A number of media outlets affiliated with the Fethullah Gulen movement were dropped from digital media platforms (cable providers) and five outlets were taken under the control of government-appointed trustees. Representatives of Gulenist and some liberal media outlets were denied access to official events and in some cases, denied press accreditation.

2. Impunity and weak administration of justice: Inconsistent application of the law and the appearance of overly broad application of antiterror laws remained problems. Wide leeway granted to prosecutors and judges contributed to politically motivated investigations and court verdicts that were not consistent with the law or with rulings in similar cases. Authorities applied the broad antiterror laws extensively with little transparency to arrest opposition political party members and individuals accused of association with the PKK or the Fethullah Gulen movement. Authorities continued to make arbitrary arrests, hold detainees for lengthy and indefinite periods, and conduct extended trials. The government also indicted six judges and prosecutors involved in investigating alleged corruption of high-level government officials, a move interpreted as an attempt by the executive branch to intimidate members of the judiciary.

3. Inadequate protection of civilians: In the renewed conflict with the PKK in the second half of the year, the government did not sufficiently protect vulnerable populations, with the result that both PKK fighters and, at times, government security forces reportedly killed and injured civilians. Dozens of civilians, including at least 20 children, reportedly were killed in clashes between security forces and the PKK. Medical workers, educators, and other officials reported intimidation and threats coming from both the government and PKK that reduced their ability to fulfill their civil roles. Restrictive curfews in a number of areas, which forced residents to remain indoors for days, reportedly resulted in inhumane conditions and deprived thousands of persons of access to food, shelter, and medical care for periods regularly exceeding a week

Trinidad and Tobago

The most serious human rights problems were police mistreatment of suspects, detainees, and prisoners; poor prison conditions and a slow judicial system; and violence and discrimination against women.

Other human rights problems involved high-profile cases of alleged bribery and corruption; inadequate services for vulnerable populations, such as children and persons with disabilities; and laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons.

Taiwan

Principal human rights problems reported during the year were labor exploitation of migrant workers by fishing companies, exploitation of domestic workers by brokerage agencies, and official corruption

Tanzania

The most widespread human rights problems in the country were security force use of excessive force resulting in deaths and injuries; mob killings and injuries; and gender-based violence, including rape, domestic violence, and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

Other major human rights problems included harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, lengthy pretrial detention, restrictions on political expression, limits to freedom of expression on the internet, restrictions on religious freedom, restrictions on the movement of refugees, rampant official corruption at many levels nationwide, child abuse, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and societal violence against persons with albinism. Trafficking in persons, both internal and international, and child labor were also problems

Ukraine

The most significant human rights developments in the country during the year were:

First, separatists, supported by Russian military and civil officials, continued to control parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions by force of arms, as self-proclaimed “people’s republics.” The United Nations reported that, as of November 15, more than 9,000 persons had died and approximately 18,000 had been wounded as a result of Russian aggression in these regions, including civilians, members of the Ukrainian armed forces, and Russian-backed separatists, since fighting began in 2014. More than two million persons have fled the region. Separatists systematically engaged in abductions, torture, and unlawful detention. To a lesser extent, there were also reports of these practices by government forces. Separatists also employed child soldiers and restricted humanitarian aid. Additionally, the government imposed restrictions on freedom of movement. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) faced difficulties obtaining legal documents, education, pensions, and access to financial institutions and health care.

Second, in Crimea, Russian occupation authorities committed numerous human rights abuses, targeting ethnic and religious communities, particularly Crimean Tatars, as well as independent journalists and anyone perceived as opposing the Russian occupation regime. Russia’s occupation of Crimea displaced more than 20,000 Crimeans.

Third, the country suffered from corruption and deficiencies in the administration of justice. Human rights groups and the UN noted there were few investigations into human rights abuses committed by security forces. In particular, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and Ministry of Internal Affairs operated with impunity. Corruption in the Prosecutor General’s Office and the judiciary was of particular concern.

Uganda

The three most serious human rights problems in the country included: lack of respect for the integrity of the person (unlawful killings, torture, and other abuse of suspects and detainees); restrictions on civil liberties (freedoms of assembly, expression, the media, and association); and violence and discrimination against marginalized groups, such as women (sexual and gender-based violence), children (sexual abuse and ritual killing), persons with disabilities, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community.

Other human rights problems included harsh prison conditions, arbitrary and politically motivated arrest and detention, lengthy pretrial detention, restrictions on the right to a fair trial, official corruption, societal or mob violence, trafficking in persons, and child labor

United States of America

Best GHRD Link: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/kidnap-capital 

Best Videoconference Speaker to Discuss Human Rights in the U.S.: http://www.globalhumanrightsdirect.com/profile/mjcasper 

From Human Rights Watch: "Particularly in the areas of criminal justice, immigration, and national security, US laws and practices routinely violate rights. Often, those least able to defend their rights in court or through the political process—racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, children, the poor, and prisoners—are the people most likely to suffer abuses."

Uruguay

Principal human rights problems included widespread use of extended pretrial detention that caused severe overcrowding and harsh conditions in some prisons and violence against women. Other human rights concerns included violence against children, societal discrimination against Afro-Uruguayans, and trafficking in persons.

Uzbekistan

The most significant human rights problems included: torture and abuse of detainees by security forces; denial of due process and fair trial; disregard for the rule of law; and an inability to change the government through elections.

Venezuela

Principal human rights abuses reported during the year included use of the judiciary to intimidate and selectively prosecute government critics; indiscriminate police action against civilians leading to widespread arbitrary detentions and unlawful deprivation of life; and government actions to impede freedom of expression and restrict freedom of the press. The government arrested and imprisoned opposition figures and did not respect judicial independence or permit judges to act according to the law without fear of retaliation. The government blocked media outlets, and harassed and intimidated privately owned television stations, other media outlets, and journalists throughout the year using threats, fines, property seizures, arrests, criminal investigations, and prosecutions.

Vietnam

The most significant human rights problems in the country were severe government restrictions of citizens’ political rights, particularly their right to change their government through free and fair elections; limits on citizens’ civil liberties, including freedom of assembly, association, and expression; and inadequate protection of citizens’ due process rights, including protection against arbitrary detention.

Vanuatu

Discrimination and violence against women remained the most prominent human rights abuses during the year.

Other human rights problems included police violence, poor prison conditions, an extremely slow judicial process, lengthy pretrial detention, and government corruption

Yemen

The most significant human rights problems were arbitrary killings, disappearances, kidnappings, and other violence committed by various groups, as well as a corrupt judicial system that did not provide for the rule of law, further weakened after the Houthi-Saleh takeover. The internationally recognized government-in-exile lacked the capacity to enforce laws protecting against human rights abuses, particularly after its exile in March.

Other human rights abuses included the use of excessive force and torture by security forces; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; lengthy pretrial detentions; infringements on citizens’ privacy rights; limits on freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, religion, and movement; lack of transparency; corruption; violence and discrimination against women, children, persons with disabilities, and minorities; use of child soldiers; restrictions on worker rights; and trafficking in persons to include forced labor. Government and Saudi-led coalition delays or denials of permits for commercial and humanitarian aid shipments bound for rebel-held ports exacerbated a deteriorating humanitarian situation, where a reported 82 percent of the population required aid. Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition resulted at times in civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure, including destruction of a medical facility operated by Doctors without Borders. The unstable security situation significantly complicated efforts to assess human rights practices.

South Africa

Best GHRD Links: http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/videos/item/hooking-in-joburg-the-complete-documentary-hd and http://globalhumanrightsdirect.com/ghrd-tools/human-rights-testimonials/hr-books/item/the-soft-vengeance-of-a-freedom-fighter-by-albie-sachs

Principal human rights problems included police use of lethal and excessive force, including torture; prison overcrowding and abuse of prisoners, including beatings and rape by prison guards; and vigilante and mob violence.


Other human rights problems included arbitrary arrest; prolonged pretrial detention and lengthy delays in trials; forcible dispersal of demonstrators; abuse of refugees and asylum seekers; corruption; pervasive violence against women and children; sexual harassment and societal discrimination against women; abuse of children; societal discrimination against persons with disabilities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community; trafficking in persons; attacks on foreigners; and child labor.

Zambia

The most significant human rights problems during the year were abuses by police, including reports of unlawful killings, torture, and beatings; political violence; restrictions on freedom of the press, assembly, association, and speech; and gender-based violence (GBV).

Other serious human rights problems included life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest; prolonged pretrial detention; arbitrary interference with privacy; displacement of landowners; government corruption; child abuse; trafficking in persons; discrimination against persons with disabilities and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community; and child labor. The government took selective and halting steps to prosecute or punish officials who committed abuses, targeting mostly those who opposed the ruling party. Impunity remained a problem, as ruling party supporters were either not prosecuted for serious crimes or, if prosecuted, released after serving small fractions of prison sentences.

Zimbabwe

The most important human rights problems remained the government’s targeting members of non-ZANU-PF parties and civil society activists for abduction, arrest, torture, abuse, and harassment; partisan application of the rule of law by security forces and the judiciary; and restrictions on civil liberties.

There were many other human rights problems. Prison conditions were harsh. The government’s expropriation of private property continued. Executive political influence and interference in the judiciary continued, and the government infringed on citizens’ privacy rights. The government generally failed to investigate or prosecute state security or ZANU-PF supporters responsible for violence. Authorities restricted freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and movement. The government continued to evict citizens; invade farms, private businesses and properties; and demolish informal marketplaces and settlements. The government arrested, detained, prosecuted, and harassed nongovernmental organization (NGO) members. Government corruption remained widespread, including at the local level. Violence and discrimination against women; child abuse; trafficking of men, women, and children; and discrimination against persons with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons, and persons with HIV/AIDS were problems. The government interfered with labor-related events

Northern Cyprus

Kosovo

One of the most serious human rights problems during the year was the obstruction, at times violent, of the parliament by opposition deputies during October- December, which blocked free debate and the passage of legislation. Endemic government and private-sector corruption and the lack of punishment for corrupt acts remained an important human rights problem. Societal violence and discrimination against members of ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community constituted a third significant area of concern.

Somaliland

Western Sahara

 Principal human rights concerns in the territory were government restrictions on the civil liberties and political rights of pro-independence advocates; limitations on the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association; and the use of arbitrary and prolonged detention to quell dissent.

Other human rights concerns were the same as those in internationally recognized territories of Morocco: citizens’ lack of the ability to change the constitutional provisions establishing the monarchical form of government, security forces’ reported torture and ill-treatment of persons arrested and imprisoned; the use of arbitrary and prolonged detention to quell dissent; corruption in all branches of government, harassment of journalists and human rights activists focusing on issues sensitive to the Moroccan government; and widespread disregard for the rule of law by security forces. Authorities physically and verbally abused detainees during arrest and imprisonment and continued to deny recognition to pro-independence associations. Because of these restrictions, associations could not establish offices, recruit members, collect donations, or visit Saharan pro-independence activists or POLISARIO separatists detained in facilities in Morocco.

Widespread impunity existed. Sahrawi human rights organizations claimed that the majority of police and other officials accused of torture remained in positions of authority. There were no reports of investigations or punishment of abuse or corruption within the government in Western Sahara.

French Guiana

About Global Human Rights Direct

GHRD is a place to make connections and hear from human rights experts from around the globe.  

GHRD is 1) a videoconference speakers bureau, 2) a social media site, and 3) a living archive for human rights. 

With GHRD you can:

  • Arrange for videoconferences with human rights experts
  • Connect with individuals and groups interested in similar human rights issues
  • Provide your human rights testimony - in written form, audio, or video. 
  • Learn more about important human rights issues
  • Publicize your human rights cause or organization. 
  • Challenge your current understandings of human rights
  • Learn more about how you can contribute to stopping human rights abuses

Continue Reading

Using GHRD for Videoconferencing

Imagine... 
  1. A high school teacher introducing the Rwandan genocide choosing between 25 witnesses of the genocide to appear in her class via videoconference.
  2. An NGO holding a workshop on women’s rights in West Africa choosing among 100 women’s rights experts to join via videoconference.
  3. A church group raising funds for a school in Nepal having Nepalese experts speaking with the congregation via videoconference.
  4. Organizers of a community event on Middle East peace choosing among 100 Palestinians and 100 Israelis willing to join via videoconference.
  5. Hybrid academic conferences consisting of videoconferences and in-person presentations.

Testimonials for Videoconferencing in the Classroom

  • I wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to speak with our class on Tuesday! I thought it was so neat that you took the time to share your experience.

    Undergraduate student

  • Be open to what you are going to learn, some topics are hard to handle. Engage the speakers--they’re incredible!

    Student

  • It was incredibly valuable to hear the actual voice of an eyewitness. Her narrative was powerful and I felt that--as a primary source--she brought me to a better understanding of the atrocities happening than any article could.

    Undergraduate Student

  • I am so delighted to share my story with you all. Always a pleasure to tell my experience to those working and learning to improve the human rights situation on our globe.

    Torture survivor

  • I am honored to have the opportunity to share my experience with you all. I am glad that you get something out of my story. My story is not a unique one. But I hope it will help something in the understanding of the cost of individual liberty that is being paid by many of people in different part of the world. And I believe that sharing experience will help to develop the global front in the struggle for justice. As MLK has put it "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

    Former Political Prisoner

  • I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to talk with your students. Many of them have written to me, with words of encouragement, support and thanks

    UN Special Rapporteur

  • Your career has inspired me to believing that it's possible to find something you enjoy and follow through with it despite demands to conform to policies and political pressures. I am a very strongly opinionated person, so seeing how you have taken the job you have and changed it for the better, gives me faith that one day I too can accomplish what I set out to do. Thank you again for taking time out of your day to Skype with my class!

    Undergraduate Student to US Federal District Court Judge

  • It was my great honor and pleasure to Skype with your class. The questions were so good it seemed like a law school class! I have unyielding faith in your generation, much more than in mine!!!! All my very best and I hope our paths cross again. It may happen!!!

    Federal Judge to Undergraduate Student

  • I wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to speak with our class on Tuesday! I thought it was so neat that you took the time to share your experience.

    Undergraduate Student

  • Your responses were filled with valuable words of wisdom and I feel as though I took a lot away from the class. One of the most potent was that the only thing we truly have control of is how hard we work. Another being that we don't often get a second chance to do justice, so we should stand up for it when possible.

    Undergraduate Student

  • I can't believe that a US Federal Judge replied to us AND said OMG in his reply!?!?!?! Too real--too cool!

    Undergraduate Student

  • Though I did not ask any questions during the conference call, I believe I speak for many of my peers when I say that this was because I was in awe after hearing all that you had to say. In my experience, I have heard of very few people who attempt to go so far above and beyond their job description in order to make a true difference. I have heard of fewer people who are actually successful and consistent in doing this.

    Undergraduate Student

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to skype with our class on Tuesday! Your passion for your work really resonated with me, and it was incredibly motivating to hear. What you said about the youthful generation and our obligation with regards to bending the moral arc--I've also taken that to heart, and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to just listen and learn from the experiences you shared. Thank you again!

    Undergraduate Student

  • I would just like to say that I personally felt very honored that you took time out of your day to have a conversation with me and my peers. It was truly amazing learning about you and your endeavors in person rather than reading about them in articles and textbooks. You are an inspiration, and I thank you so much for all that you do.

    Undergraduate Student

  • I bragged to my roommate that I got to talk with a federal judge that morning.

    Undergraduate Student

  • She was a wealth of information in addition to being charming, well spoken and a delight to listen to. She made an otherwise inaccessible or morose topic engaging and more interesting than it otherwise may have been.

    Undergraduate Student

  • How great an opportunity it was to have such a great and relevant speaker personally reach out to our class.

    Student

  • Being able to engage with the speaker and ask questions-bridged the gap between learning about these issues and how others are working on them professionally

    Community Member

  • The speaker was incredibly helpful and it was nice to be able to interact over the video conference.

    Community Member

  • Speaking with individuals who experienced Human Rights violations first hand was a much more powerful experience than reading about from a third party's point of view.

    Organizer

  • Speaking with the Lost Boys of South Sudan was an amazing experience. It is always great to see individuals who have gone through so much, happy and thriving in their new lives.

    Student

  • Speaking with UN Special Rapporteur was extremely interesting as well as informative. Its not every day you get to speak with someone who is not only an expert but also working for the United Nations.

    Community Member

  • The importance and impact of human rights issues increased by skyping and having guest speakers in class because it allows me to see how these issues personally affect individuals.

    Student

  • It was remarkable to see how the speakers remained calm and answered any question we asked.

    Student

  • In a way this can help survivors through their journey of overcoming their past and also teach us through personal experiences rather than emotionless knowledge from a book.

    Human Rights Activist

  • Understanding human rights voices is a constantly evolving subject. The only way to keep up is to keep listening.

    Activist

Quotations about Listening to Human Rights Voices

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights “is the voice of millions of human beings, victims of oppression, misery and ignorance, who aspire to live under conditions of greater justice, freedom and simple dignity”

    Rene Cassin, a key drafter of the UDHR

  • Perhaps, the first step in the activist journey of hyper solidarity is for human rights education activists to learn from the victims of the perfidies of power rather than to presume to educate them in the struggle for survival and justice. Humility before the victims of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, I believe, is critically indispensable for the would-be human rights education communities of the future. ...  The problem then becomes one of how may we educate the human rights educators, rather than the people whom they so ardently wish to serve?

    Upendra Baxi, Scholar, Attorney, and Activist

  • Of course, I don't deny that women are oppressed the world over. What I do deny is the right of "civilizing" or colonizing projects to claim to rescue and free women from this oppression. So I composed my firecracker of a sentence—"White men are saving brown women from brown men"—to put people on their guard, and to get them to ask of future civilizing missions: is this really about saving women? Or is it about a superpower further consolidating its power, and denying others speech?

    Gayatri Chakravarti Spivak

  • “As we know: the first world has knowledge, the third world has culture; Native Americans have wisdom, Anglo Americans have science. The need for political and epistemic de-linking here comes to the fore, as well as decolonializing and de-colonial knowledges, necessary steps for imagining and building democratic, just, and nonimperial/colonial societies.”

    Walter Mignolo

  • “Too often, the research agenda of developing countries is set by others outside the country. The golden rule of development – ‘He who has the gold makes the rules’ – usually applies.” Kwasi Wiredu

    Kwasi Wiredu

  • There is a strong, albeit contested, current within feminism which holds that speaking for others---even for other women---is arrogant, vain, unethical, and politically illegitimate. Feminist scholarship has a liberatory agenda which almost requires that women scholars speak on behalf of other women, and yet the dangers of speaking across differences of race, culture, sexuality, and power are becoming increasingly clear to all. 

    Linda Alcoff

  • The colonizers: “In the first place,they expropriated the cultural discoveries of the colonized peoples most apt for the development of capitalism to the profit of the European center. Second, they repressed as much as possible the colonized forms of knowledge production, the models of the production of meaning, their symbolic universe, the model of expression and of objectification and subjectivity”

    Anibal Quijano

  • Direct quotations from the poor often appear as disembodied voices at the beginnings of chapters, or carefully contained within case study boxes.  As such they do much to add ‘ethnographic interest’, but in contrast to the state intentions of PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) they do little to interrupt the ‘expert’ voices that dominate the main text”

    Glyn Williams

  • The formation of critical consciousness allows people to question the nature of their historical and social situation—to read their world—with the goal of acting as subjects in the creation of a democratic society (which was new for Brazil at that time). For education, Freire implies a dialogic exchange between teachers and students, where both learn, both question, both reflect and both participate in meaning-making.

    Paulo Freire

  • A recorded oral history is more than just a quote on a page in a book. It is a meaningful story expressed by the person who owns that story.  Doug Boyd

    Doug Boyd

  • What is of interest is the story of the interviewee's experience, not just facts or opinions. Try to get the specifics of his or her lived experiences before asking him or her to evaluate an experience or to offer analysis. In this connection, always ask the interviewee to speak in terms of his or her concrete experiences and not simply about what he or she thinks people in general felt or did.

    UCLA Center

  • The flow in narrated lives also becomes a means for increasing numbers of people around the globe to imagine themselves as global citizens within the contemporary human rights regime: the ensemble of discourses, instruments, institutions, and venues of advocacy and adjudication that address injustice and immiseration and manage their geopolitics.

    Sidonie Smith

  • “Some of the reasons that Western observers struggle to understand testimonio can be traced to the fact that this type of genre blurs the traditional boundaries that exist between fact and fiction, material truths and social truths, and the acts of recording and witnessing. In testimonio, notes Vilches-Norat (1990), ‘the construction of the text constitutes the articulation of the subaltern life. . .the once mute is allowed a voice, and it ultimately forms the ulterior motive of the storytelling’ (p. 155). By treating testimonio as a type of communal device for the creation and dissemination of truth, many Mayans and other Latin Americans feel that they are gaining a voice in the political conversations that take place in their region.” (Avant-Mier and Hasian 330-331).

    Avant-Mier and Hasian

  • "If anything, the factual discrepancies raised in Stoll's book make Menchú's story a richer subject of study. The best teaching devices are those that are gently flawed." - Timothy Brook on the Menchú controversy.

    Timothy Brook

  • “When I agreed to share my experience for the book, I found it was too painful to think about some of the things that happened, so I made a compromise in my mind. I altered some details that I thought wouldn’t matter. I didn’t want to tell exactly what happened in order not to relive these painful moments all over again.” 

    Shin Dong-Nyuk