2018 marked the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, an important milestone in recognising the legitimacy of individuals and groups who work non-violently to defend the rights of their communities. Human rights defenders (HRDs) have long struggled to achieve inclusive, equitable and sustainable societies and have made significant progress in that time. Yet, as outlined below, many of the gains made by the human rights movement over the past two decades are increasingly under attack as the trend towards populist politics predicated on exclusionary nationalism and neo-liberal or protectionist policies continues to take hold. Elections which took place during the course of the year often gave platforms to xenophobic, racist and misogynist voices and visions for the future of their countries, while in some regions they were used as excuses for full-on crackdowns against HRDs who were systematically silenced.
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Categories: Human Rights Defenders