Friday, February 28, 2014

The Report Card for 2013

The U.S. State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 has been released and is available here. The introduction to the report states:
More than six decades after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a widening gap persists between the rights conferred by law and the daily realities for many around the globe. More than one third of the world’s population still lives under authoritarian rule. Serious human rights violations continue to occur, often unchecked and en masse, in closed societies. Millions are denied civil liberties, persecuted, harassed or silenced for their beliefs, subjected to torture, detained arbitrarily and unlawfully, or labor in harsh or coercive conditions, often without mechanisms for redress or accountability.
And yet, as demonstrated this past year, the courageous pursuit of human dignity remains enduring and undeterred. At the end of 2013, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were braving violence and political repression to demand their rights and freedoms. Libyans risked their lives, marching to replace the rule of militias with the rule of law. The world came together to mourn the passing of human rights icon Nelson Mandela and saw a new generation celebrate a new champion, Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. We witnessed the continued release of political prisoners in Burma and the implementation of a law that prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in Haiti.