Human rights under extreme threat globally

International law is being increasingly disregarded internationally. ‘The rule of law and human rights are under greater threat worldwide than they have been for decades’, writes the human rights organisation Amnesty International in its 2023/24 annual report. ‘We condemn the fact that nationalist, racist and misogynist forces are gaining support worldwide’, says Amnesty Secretary General Julia Duchrow. Because these forces ‘attack the idea of equal dignity and equal rights for all people in word and deed’.
Civilians are particularly at risk
The report points out that civilians ‘are increasingly defenceless in armed conflicts because governments, security forces and armed groups trample on international law’, according to the press release. This applies to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. But also for the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas. Among other things, Amnesty criticises war crimes on both sides. And calls on all states, including Germany, ‘not to supply weapons to Israel or other parties involved in the conflict’. Instead, the states should campaign for the release of the hostages and an immediate and lasting ceasefire.
A close look at the Middle East
In individual chapters, Amnesty sheds light on the situation in certain regions—including the Middle East. This includes Syria, Iraq and Iran, where security forces suppressed protests ‘with unlawful, sometimes lethal violence, mass arrests and enforced disappearances’. Amnesty’s conclusion: ‘In the vast majority of cases, these human rights violations went unpunished.’
Women and girls are oppressed
Furthermore, discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion is ‘still widespread and in some countries even enshrined in law’. Amnesty devotes a section specifically to discrimination against women and girls, oppression and gender-based violence against them. One point of criticism: in Afghanistan, girls are only allowed to attend primary school and are banned from working in many areas, according to another report.
Criticism of developments in Germany
However, Germany has also been criticised for anti-human rights developments. In 2023, attacks and politically motivated offences—such as attacks on people seeking protection and refugee shelters—as well as anti-Semitic and racist violence continued to increase. Among other things, the Secretary General criticised the fact that Germany was doing too little ‘to protect people from hate crime’.
The chapters on individual regions can also be found there.


Kriegsgebiet in der Ukranine. Zerstörte Gebäude. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL/ Yana Rudenko.








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