9 Eye-Opening Facts about the State of Human Rights Worldwide

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In 2014, Amnesty International recorded and investigated human rights abuses in 160 countries and territories worldwide*.

While progress is being made in some areas, the frightening facts and figures below show that for many people the human rights situation is getting worse.

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Armed groups committed abuses in at least 35 countries, more than 20% of the countries Amnesty International investigated.

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82% of countries, 131 out of 160, tortured or otherwise ill-treated people.

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War crimes or other violations of the “laws of war” were carried out in at least 18 countries.

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28 countries around the world have laws which completely ban abortion even in cases where a woman’s life or health is in danger and in cases of rape.

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According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, 78 countries have laws in effect that are used to criminalize consensual sexual relationships between adults of the same sex.

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58% of countries, 93 out of 160, conducted unfair trials. In unfair trials, justice is not served for the accused, the victim of the crime or the public.

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More than 1/3 of governments, 62 out of 160, locked up prisoners of conscience – people who were simply exercising their rights and freedoms.

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Almost 3/4 of governments, 119 out of 160, arbitrarily restricted freedom of expression. There were crackdowns on press freedom in many countries, with newspapers being forcibly closed and journalists threatened.

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Refugees and migrants were at particular risk during 2014. More than 3,400 people are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Europe. Of the 4 million refugees who have fled the conflict in Syria, 95% were being hosted in neighboring countries.

Read more in our 2014/2015 State of the World – Human Rights Report.


*Statistics refer to 160 countries where Amnesty International documented or received information from credible sources on specific human rights violations during 2014, unless otherwise stated.

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6 thoughts on “9 Eye-Opening Facts about the State of Human Rights Worldwide

  1. I am not surprised at these statistics. After serving 3 tours in the Las Vegas County Jail, and 1tour in the City Jail and as an undergraduate – writing on Prisoners Rights, I believe your statistics to be honest and vital.
    Within County, on a Suicide Watch, I was placed nude in a 6 by 3 cell, with no pillows nor a blanket nor clothing nor a sheet. I slept on a slab of ice cold cement. In there for 24 hours per day and allowed to shower in a metal cage on 2 occasions. I had no books, pencils, paper and no one to talk to for eleven days.
    I endured this travesty of justice because of not attending two Court Ordered classes and for previously being in a Psych hospital.
    And, to think, I went to college to be lawyer for Children's Rights and Criminal Defense.
    The US, American, system of justice kills, maims and brutally treats the prisoner. I will never support American Justice – it is high time that amnesty and other organizations submit their Investigations to the Hague for International review, and for trial. Let the Hague's findings wash out injustice and allow the perpetrator his repercussions.
    Justice MUST prevail,
    But won't in today's mock attempt.
    Carry the dirt to light, and expose it. This will be the only way to have JUSTICE!

  2. Even with 20 years experience in criminal law i can't imagine what it must have been like for you to live with in a world without justice. That probably sounds strange to some people considering we are talking about a prison. Too many people are too quick to judge and spout idiotic quotes like "if you can do the time, then don't do the crime" It sounds like you suffered from depression in there which is understandable and it is a sickness to start with but and it sounds like you were being punished because of it. Where is the rehabilitation for prisoners? When you think about how many will be released back into society at some point and probably carrying a grudge or a slight mental disorder as a result of their treatment inside the jail. They are just creating sleeping volcanos and releasing them into the world to go off. Reform is needed and starting from the top.
    I hope you get your life back on track JM and i wish you all the best for the future.

  3. I can't tell if I'm surprised by this news or not. After all, we know some pretty bad things happen in other parts of the world, but it makes me wonder how many of these statistics came from America. I like the visuals, though, very straightforward and they got your point across.

  4. Yes criminilozation and prevention of consensual sex is a crime against humanity. In the concentration camps, Adolf hitter prevent the Jewish community of having the right of consensual sex. Unfortunately, these sexual concentration camps type of torturr still exist today

  5. it sickens me in stomach to see how cruel people can be today. Human cruelty is here and abroad. There are several inhumane beating videos circulating on Facebook of Haitians being beaten by Dominicans. It's sick!

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