Around the world, millions of people carried on the struggle for freedom and human rights in 2013. There were gains, to be sure, but unfortunately many more setbacks. Here are some of the best and worst developments in human rights over the past year.
UPDATE: On February 10, 2014, Freedom House is joining human rights groups in a global day of action against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The climate for LGBTI persons in Uganda is hostile, and the threat the anti-homosexuality bill poses to LGBTI people reiterates the need for President Museveni to reject the bill in an effort to protect the fundamental freedoms of Ugandans.
On October 11 and 12, the AU will meet in an extraordinary summit to discuss pulling out of the Rome Statute, the agreement that created the ICC. Such a decision would have major implications both for ICC itself and for accountability for perpetrators of human rights abuses in Africa and around the world. The nearly three dozen African countries that are currently party to the Rome Statute must vote against this proposal and reaffirm their commitment to justice for victims, an end to impunity at the highest levels for the gravest crimes, and an international system that supports the rule of law.
Freedom House condemns the passage of the Public Order Management Bill by Uganda’s Parliament on August 7, 2013, which gives the government of President Yoweri Museveni broad powers to restrict free speech, curtail freedom of assembly, and stifle political dissent.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.