While there have been numerous significant developments in global human rights issues this year, it is important to note that this list may not cover all key events and is subject to interpretation. However, here are ten key developments in global human rights issues in 2021:
1. COVID-19 Pandemic: The ongoing global health crisis has significantly impacted human rights, with concerns related to access to healthcare, vaccine distribution, economic inequality, and the restriction of civil liberties.
2. Mass Protests: Numerous countries witnessed large-scale protests demanding political and social reforms, including movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, demonstrations in Belarus following a disputed presidential election, and protests against military rule in Myanmar.
3. Mounting Anti-Asian Hate Crimes: As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, hate crimes against individuals of Asian descent surged worldwide. Xenophobia and racism became pressing human rights concerns, prompting many governments to take action.
4. Gender-Based Violence: Gender-based violence, including domestic violence and femicide, remained a pressing issue globally. The pandemic exacerbated these issues, with reports suggesting a rise in cases due to lockdown measures and limited access to support services.
5. Violations in Conflict Zones: Ongoing conflicts and wars in numerous countries continued to cause human rights violations, including civilian casualties, displacement, and the targeting of vulnerable populations, particularly in Yemen, Syria, and Myanmar.
6. Cybersecurity and Surveillance: Governments’ increased use of surveillance technologies during the pandemic raised concerns about privacy and potential abuse of power, with notable instances such as China’s surveillance practices in Xinjiang and the use of spyware like Pegasus.
7. LGBTQ+ Rights: Despite progress in some countries, LGBTQ+ individuals in many parts of the world faced marginalization, discrimination, and legal obstacles. Notable developments include Hungary’s controversial anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and the push for marriage equality in various regions.
8. Racial Injustice and Police Brutality: The global conversation on racial injustice intensified, particularly in the wake of the George Floyd killing. Calls for police reform, tackling systemic racism, and racial profiling gained significant attention worldwide.
9. Climate Change and Human Rights: The intersection of climate change and human rights gained increased recognition. The impact of climate change on vulnerable communities, displacement, and lack of access to clean water and adequate resources became pressing concerns.
10. Refugee and Migrant Rights: The treatment of refugees and migrants faced ongoing challenges, including issues relating to forced displacement, discrimination, inadequate reception conditions, and violations of the rights of asylum seekers in various parts of the world.
It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and other key human rights developments have occurred globally throughout the year.