Around the Globe

World Report 2024 – a snapshot

Each year Human Rights Watch releases an annual review of human rights around the globe. The 2024 report has just launched – here are some key issues it covers.

Women and girls

The Taliban continues its gender persecution of women and girls in Afghanistan. In September 2021, girls were banned from studying beyond the 6th
grade and this was extended to universities in December 2022.

In Iran, authorities have cracked down on the “women, life, freedom” protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s “Morality Police”. Papua New Guinea is still a dangerous place for women and girls, with lawlessness and violence increasing pervasive sexual and gender-based violence.

In Pakistan, human rights defenders estimate 1000 women are murdered as “honour killings” each year while North Korea has again failed to take any action to address women’s rights violations.

The participation and representation of women in politics is in decline in Nigeria after only 20 of the 469 seats in the National Assembly went to women in the 2023 election.

Climate crisis

As the world faces global warming and climate change, Iraq is one of the most vulnerable countries. Large swathes of the country are expected to become inhabitable in the coming years due to droughts and desertification. Canada lost more than 17 million hectares of forest to wildfires and Japan experienced its hottest summer on record, with older people and pregnant women impacted the most.

Despite China being the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China also leads the world in renewable energy production. While this may seem like good news, China’s supply chain contains concerning links to forced labour in Xinjiang, and the country’s hunger for lithium is fast-tracking environmental destruction and overshadowing human rights abuses in Tibet.


In mid-2023, Kenya announced a plan to transform Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps into integrated settlements to promote the socioeconomic inclusion of refugees. Meanwhile, the European Union and its member states doubled down on repressive deterrence measures for people arriving at their borders.

Germany extended protection for more than 1 million refugees from Ukraine while a new humanitarian program for Afghans was plagued with delays. Yet Germany also failed to uphold international obligations regarding bilateral reparations to address the ongoing impact of colonial crimes committed in Namibia.

Japan accepts very few refugees each year but recently passed a bill to make it easier to deport asylum seekers. Australia’s rights record continues to be tarnished by its cruel treatment of refugees.

In Syria, 6.7 million people are internally displaced, with another 12.3 million having fled since 2011.Neighbouring Lebanon has the highest population of refugees per capita and Türkiye hosts the largest number of refugees in the world.

LGBT rights

In good news, the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the government to register same-sex marriages, Bolivia recognised civil unions for same-sex couples and Japan passed its first law on sexual orientation and gender identity. These positive gains were offset by India’s Supreme Court failing to legalise same-sex marriage and Uganda’s President signing a law criminalising same-sex conduct. Meanwhile state-sponsored discrimination against LGBT people remained pervasive in Malaysia.

In China, LGBT people experienced increased harassment and censorship with a string of forced shutdowns of LGBT groups and deletion of social media accounts while Russia prosecuted streaming services and blocked websites featuring scenes with LGBT content. Colombia registered homicides against 134 LGBT people while LGBT people in El Salvador remain targets of transphobic and homophobic violence with many seeking safety abroad.

In Georgia, the Tbilisi Pride Festival was cancelled after being violently stormed by right-wing hate groups. In Lebanon, Hezbollah’s leader called for the killing of gay and lesbian people, sparking terror in the LGBT community.

In Iran, same-sex relations are punished by flogging and death penalty (for men) while the situation became more hostile in Iraq as media outlets were ordered to replace the term “homosexuality” with “sexual deviance” and were banned from using the term “gender.”

Around the Globe brings you international news about injustices and workers’ rights. If injustice exists anywhere, it exists everywhere.

Katie Camarena