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Human rights issues

In the past few years we have seen an increase in human rights issues worldwide. A majority of countries face some sort of threat to human rights, whether it be related to racial injustices, refugees, gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, climate change or personal privacy. These issues are often interlinked, and must be addressed as such.

The world is currently experiencing the worst refugee crisis to date, with millions of people being displaced both internally and externally. Armed conflicts, as well as an increase in climate change- related incidents, are factors contributing to the high numbers of refugees. These people often endure prejudice and persecution in their new homes, and face issues settling down in new communities. According to some accounts, the problem will only grow worse in the coming years and decades. Armed conflicts and environmental problems do not have a straightforward solution, but if the root cause is not addressed, we can not hope to sufficiently improve human rights either.

Racial injustices are prevalent in all corners of the world. It has received heightened attention in the recent years, due to the issue being raised more in social media and the news. The Black Lives Matter movement largely started in 2013, but it was fuelled further in 2020 after George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, US. The movement aims to accomplish numerous things. The goal of BLM activists is to raise awareness of the numerous ways that Black people in society face discrimination, as well as how institutions, governments, and practices contribute to this injustice. Through political demonstrations, campaigning, and nonviolent protests, the mission has opposed racism in all levels of our societies. BLM works to stop for-profit jail mistreatment, excessive police presence in minority neighbourhoods, and police brutality.

The COVID-19 pandemic also sparked an outrage over the hate that Asian people endure in many countries. Asians and individuals with Asian heritage have reported countless incidents where both physical and verbal abuse has been prevalent. The Stop Asian Hate movement first started in 2021 in the United States, as more and more people received abuse during the pandemic. The movement quickly spread on social media under #StopAsianHate, and people took to the streets to protest the maltreatment. The goal of the movement is both to increase awareness of the problem, and to encourage change in government policies and laws to protect individuals from the hate.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights' guiding principles on human rights is also threatened by discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. Currently, prejudice and violence directed at members of the LGBTQ+ community is far too common, and sentiments fuelled by homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic notions are still pervasive in many cultures. Many countries have passed legislations protecting their rights as human beings, but the truth is that many people are still not protected under the law, and free to be who they truly are.

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