RIGHTS WHY OUR MOVEMENT MATTERS TODAY

First published in 2018
by Amnesty International Ltd
Peter Benenson House, 1 Easton Street
London WC1X 0DW, UK

As 2018 draws to a close, we reflect on the 70 years that have passed since the United
Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and ask ourselves: “How
far have we come?”

The Universal Declaration pronounces rights that each and every one of us possesses,
by the very fact that we are human. Every year since 1948, progress has been made
towards every person enjoying all those rights. More and more people are living lives
free from want, fear and discrimination. And yet there are always places where
humanity takes a step backwards too. Much more work remains to be done before we
fully realize the Universal Declaration’s vision of a world where all are free and
equal. Conflict, prejudice, unequal sharing of resources and poor governance are just
some of the reasons why many of us have yet to enjoy all our rights.

In this summary of the state of the world’s human rights, we turn our attention to a
handful of key issues and themes that have been prominent in 2018. We examine some
of the defining moments for each region, look at key movements that have called
for change, and consider in particular how the rights of women have fared during the
year. We also acknowledge the many human rights defenders working around the world
today, and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives or freedom in the course of
their work. Even in the darkest moments, their courage gives us the strength to
continue our fight for human rights. 

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