World Report 2018 is Human Rights Watch’s 28th annual review of human rights practices around the globe. It summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide, drawing on events from late 2016 through November 2017.
In his keynote essay, “The Pushback Against the Populist Challenge,” Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth says that the surge of authoritarian populists appears less inevitable than it did a year ago.
Then, there seemed no stopping a series of politicians around the globe who claimed to speak for “the people” but built followings by demonizing unpopular minorities, attacking human rights principles, and fueling distrust of democratic institutions.
Today, a popular reaction in a broad range of countries, bolstered by some political leaders with the courage to stand up for human rights, has left the fate of many of these populist agendas more uncertain. “Where the pushback is strong, populist advances have been limited,” Roth explains, “but where capitulation meets their message of hate and exclusion, the populists flourish.”