World by region

A young boy guides a blind Nuba refugee through the main market of Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, April 2012.

© Pete Muller


Africa

The deepening crisis in Mali in 2012 reflected many of the region’s deep-rooted problems. Across Africa, people’s lives and their ability to realize their rights continued to be hindered by conflict, ubiquitous poverty and abuses by security forces and armed groups. These highlighted the inherent weakness of regional and international human rights, peace and security mechanisms.

Human rights in Africa »

Indigenous people at judicial proceedings for Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemala City, January 2012.

© REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez


Americas

The widespread human rights violations of the past, and the failure to hold those responsible to account, have cast a long shadow over many countries in the region. However, key prosecutions in 2012 in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala and Uruguay marked further important advances in the quest for justice for violations committed during past military governments. Nevertheless, for some, the struggle for meaningful access to justice and an end to impunity continued. In Haiti, for example, proceedings against former President Jean-Claude Duvalier remained stalled in the courts. And in the USA, little progress was made in holding to account those responsible for abuses committed as part of the CIA’s programme of secret detentions during the Bush administration. 

Human rights in Americas »

A woman cries as her home is demolished in Yangji village, Guangzhou city, Guangdong province, China.

© AP Photos / Imagine China


Asia Pacific

In countries across Asia-Pacific, the simple act of publicly expressing one’s opinion – whether on the streets or online – was met with brutal state oppression. People were routinely harassed, attacked, jailed and killed for daring to challenge the authorities.

Human rights in Asia Pacific »

A Romani man prepares food in Valeni 2, a Roma community in Piatra Neamţ, Romania.

© Mugur Vărzariu


Europe and Central Asia

A rare example of the democratic transition of power for the former Soviet Union took place in the parliamentary elections in Georgia. Elsewhere, authoritarian regimes retained their grip on power. The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize but was unable to guarantee basic shelter and security for refugees in all its member states, nor equal rights for its six million Roma citizens. The European Court of Human Rights, for so long the jewel in the crown of Europe’s human rights protection system continued to be undermined by the refusal of member states to implement judgements and by attempts to reduce the scope of its authority.The European Court of Human Rights, for so long the jewel in the crown of Europe’s human rights protection system continued to be undermined by the refusal of member states to implement judgements and by attempts t o reduce the scope of its authority.

Human rights in Europe and Central Asia »

A victim of shelling by the Syrian military awaiting burial in Aleppo, Syria, October 2012.

© EPA/MAYSUN


Middle East and North Africa

The popular uprisings that swept across North Africa and the Middle East from late 2010 continued to shape human rights developments around the region in 2012.

Human rights in Middle East and North Africa »

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Africa

The deepening crisis in Mali in 2012 reflected many of the region’s deep-rooted problems. Across Africa, people’s l ...

Americas

The widespread human rights violations of the past, and the failure to hold those responsible to account, have cast a ...

Asia Pacific

In countries across Asia-Pacific, the simple act of publicly expressing one’s opinion – whether on the street ...

Europe and Central Asia

A rare example of the democratic transition of power for the former Soviet Union took place in the par ...

Middle East and North Africa

The popular uprisings that swept across North Africa and the Middle East from late 2010 continued ...

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