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HRW’s World Report Suggests Human Rights, Health Under Threat By Autocratic Leaders, But ‘Rise Of Resistance’ Shows Hope

The Lancet: At the turn of the tide: human rights and health in 2019
Editorial Board

“…This year’s annual report [from Human Rights Watch] sends a clear message: that human rights violations propagated by autocratic leaders throughout 2018 continue to imperil the health of the world’s most vulnerable populations. … But there are reasons for hope. Unlike previous annual reports, World Report 2019 paints a brighter picture of the future. … [A]mid political chaos and despite mounting pessimism around rights abuses and attacks on democracy by populists on both the far left and far right, 2018 was a remarkable year for human rights. … This rise of resistance against the autocracy must not lose momentum in 2019. Every day, in so many parts of the world, the health of women and children is attacked and reproductive rights are violated. In countries facing the consequences of pollution and climate change, or fighting outbreaks of infectious disease, vulnerable, marginalized, and minority populations are being overlooked. An access abyss in palliative care persists, and mental health is still neglected. Much of the pushback in the past year played out at the U.N. and the European Parliament, underlining the importance of solidarity and the collective voice. This global unity is a force that needs to be harnessed to truly shift the power dynamics in 2019 and to make it a year of triumph for both human rights and health. It will be a tough journey” (1/26).