10 Countries With The Worst Human Rights


10 Countries With The Worst Human Rights Records 10. The Philippines If you’re at all plugged into current affairs,
you’ll probably have noticed that there’s a rising tide of populist politics around
the world, from Bolsonaro in Brazil to Orban in Hungary. Under President Rodrigo Duterte, The Philippines
might be the most violent example. The former mayor of Davao City was elected
to high office based on his hardline stance on drug dealing. And when I say hardline, I mean murderous. Since 2016, Duterte has undertaken a “drug
war” against suspected dealers, with government forces and private militias carrying out extrajudicial
killings in the streets. According to official figures, there have
been 6,600 deaths, but outside estimates suggest as many as 27,000, many of which likely aren’t
even drug dealers. But while it’s common to see human rights
abuses obscured, denied or covered up by governments, Duterte is shockingly brazen about what’s
going on in his country. In reference to claims of crimes against humanity,
Duterte said: “What crime against humanity? In the first place, I’d like to be frank
with you, are they humans? What is your definition of a human being? Tell me.” 9. Somalia Thanks to centuries of underdevelopment from
colonisation, countries across the African continent have faced decades of instability. That’s set the stage for corrupt governments
and militias to take advantage of the situation, perhaps no more than in Somalia. According to the Mo Ibrahim, Somalia ranks
lowest in terms of African governance based on factors like rule of law, economic opportunity,
human development and, crucially, human rights. That’s due to abuses by the government,
their allied militias, the Al-Shabaab terrorist sect and, perhaps the most well known, pirates. Children’s rights are under particular threat
in Somalia, with both Al-Shabaab and Pirate groups forcibly employing child labour. And when villages refuse to hand over their
children, they carry out aggressive and lethal retaliation campaigns. All of that, along with ongoing conflict between
insurgent groups and government forces has led to around 2.6 million displaced people,
tens of thousands of which have had their temporary settlements destroyed by the government
with no warning. Despite all of that, the state is yet to endorse
any nominees for its human rights commission, so it doesn’t look like things’ll change
any time soon. 8. Syria Over the course of this decade, the deteriorating
situation in Syria has led to an incredibly messy civil war involving Government forces,
ISIS-affiliated groups and various rebel outfits. That’s all on a backdrop of proxy conflicts
involving the US, Russia, Iran, Israel, Turkey, and the Kurdish PKK. But in the tangled web of international conflicts,
it’s easy to overlook the massive effect that the situation in Syria is having on the
human rights of its citizens. Over the course of the Syrian civil war, the
Syrian government under Bashar Al Assad has carried out serious attacks on its own citizens. Those include unlawful detentions and extrajudicial
killings, and most shockingly, using banned chemical weapons. That’s along with abuses carried out by
ISIS and Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, despite the fact that most of their territory has
been taken back by Government and Rebel forces. All of that had led to an estimated 600,000
deaths along with 6 million displaced people, and while the situation is improving with
tenuous ceasefires, the abuse doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. 7. Democratic Republic of Congo Having been in a state of conflict since 2003,
the DRC has descended to a position where civilians face rights violations across the
spectrum, ranging from the government to the many warring factions in the region. In fact, members of various militias and other
140 armed groups have been charged with crimes against humanity. But the abuses going on in Congo aren’t
just some abstract injustice going on in a distant part of the globe. Actions in the wider world are having a real
impact on the state of Congolese human rights. That’s because the country has rich resources
of substances like tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold, which feature heavily in modern-day
tech like smartphones and computers. But those resources are also known as ‘conflict
minerals’, meaning that a lot of the fighting in the region is vying for control over the
resources that WE need. Of course, companies make an effort to ensure
there are no conflict minerals in the supply line, but it’s not necessarily possible. So bear that in mind next time you’re offered
a shiny new phone upgrade. 6. China China has a long history of restricting freedom
of speech and oppressing activists, like in the case of Tibet and Tiananmen Square, and
not to mention the one child policy. But right now, the most pressing human rights
situation is the treatment of the Uighur [Wee-ger] Muslims. The group is largely Turkic [Ter-kick], so
it has more in common culturally with central Asia than the 90% Han majority in China. Because of that, the Xinjiang [Shin-szang]
region that they call home has seen a serious security crackdown recently. Under the guise of counterterrorism, the state
has implemented incredibly sophisticated security apparatus to track Uighurs. Streets are littered with security personnel
and cameras monitoring conversations, shopkeepers are forced to carry out security drills twice
daily and there are biometric scanning checkpoints every few hundred yards. Worst of all, an estimated million people
have supposedly been “disappeared” into ‘re-education camps’, which the US state
department has called “concentration camps.” Inmates are kept in squalid conditions and
mistreated by staff while their culture is slowly replaced by pro-Chinese ideology. It’s so repressive that a recent VICE undercover
documentary described it as “the most dystopian place in the world” 5. Venezuela There’s a lot to be said about whether it’s
down to socialist president Maduro’s economic mismanagement or whether tumbling oil prices
and US economic sanctions have crippled the South American nation of Venezuela, but either
way, there are a LOT of problems over there right now. For one thing, there’s a major humanitarian
crisis going on right now, with widespread malnutrition, unemployment, impoverishment
and hyperinflation. That’s led to thousands of countrywide protests
against the government which have led to serious clampdowns in response, including alleged
extrajudicial killings of protesters. And for citizens, there’s almost no recourse
against abuse, since, over the years, the courts have been packed with judges sympathetic
to Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez. That’s led to the jailing of political opponents,
civilians tried in military courts and an opposition stripped of pretty much any power. That’s despite the US formally recognising
opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president. But unlike a lot of the other entries on this
list, there’s a good chance a shift in this unstable situation. What it looks like though is anyone’s guess. 4. Egypt As the home to perhaps the best-known wonder
of the world, it’s all too easy to think of Egypt as a tourist hotspot. But that’s just a small part of the country
and a pretty misleading one at that. Since the election of President Abdel Fattah
El-Sisi in 2013, the country has begun ramping up its attacks on the rights of citizens in
the wake of the Arab Spring. Egypt has become one of the worst countries
for imprisoning journalists, along with China and Turkey. Hundreds have been detained for indefinite
periods with no trials for reporting on government activities in a critical way. On top of that, there are record levels of
detainments of political opponents, “justified” under the guise of combatting terrorism. But here’s the kicker. According to human rights organisations, the
prisons where those people are detained are actually functioning as breeding grounds for
ISIS recruiters. You really have to rethink your strategy when
your actions are causing the problem you claim to be solving. 3. Myanmar While Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist
country, it’s also home to a group called the Rohingya – a Muslim minority with roughly
one million people in the country. Well, I should say there WERE roughly one
million. In recent years, that figure has dropped dramatically
as a result of systematic persecution of the Rohingya people. An estimated 700,000 people have fled the
country over their treatment, which includes the pillaging of Rohingya villages carried
out by the military and backed by civilian mobs. The government claims that so-called ‘clearance
operations’ ended in September 2018, but the evidence suggests it’s still going on. This current crisis is rooted in the 2014
census, which refused to recognise the Rohingya as rightful Myanmarese [Mee-an-mar-ees] citizens. Instead, they’re seen as illegal Bangladeshi
immigrants, regardless of how many generations they’ve been in the country. It’s so serious that the UN has described
the situation as “textbook ethnic cleansing”, with its human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein
saying that genocide “cannot be ruled out.” 2. Saudi Arabia Along with China and North Korea, Saudi Arabia
is undoubtedly one of the best-known nations for its disregard for human rights. Most recently, the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin
Salman has come under international scrutiny for the apparently state-sanctioned killing
of journalist Jamal Kashoggi, over which the UN said there was “credible evidence”
linking MBS to the killing. But that’s just one small part of the country’s
abuses. Freedom of speech is restricted across the
board and dissent is not treated kindly, especially when it comes to calls for greater rights. That’s especially true for women, who, despite
graciously being allowed to drive in 2018, are still segregated in most of public life
and have their major life decisions decided by men. And for those who do transgress, the state
will often respond with physical violence for punishments. That’s lashings, stoning and beatings, often
to the point of execution. AND if that wasn’t enough, the government
isn’t shy of resorting to torture, which, according to Human Rights Watch, includes
“electric shocks and whipping the women on their thighs.” And despite all that, they’re a major player
on the world stage. 1. North Korea Of all the entries on this list, North Korea
is probably the one you’re going to know best – not only because of the political repression
that would be considered cartoonish if it wasn’t so horrific but because the presidents
meetings regularly bring its leader to the world stage. Famously, the North Korean state has created
a political environment of extreme oppression at even the most minor hint at opposition
to the Workers’ Party of Korea. That usually ends up with forced detention,
labour camps and forms of torture that are as inventive as they are cruel, like making
inmates stay in stress positions until they collapse or beating their chests until they
vomit blood. But it’s not just dissenters that suffer
under the regime. Exploitation and forced marriage are common
occurrences for North Korean women, thanks to an ingrained culture where men are heavily
preferred for positions of authority and they’re expected to be subservient. And people can even suffer on the circumstances
of their birth since a caste system called ‘songbun’ has developed based on family
history of political loyalty. All I can say is the sooner reunification
happens, the better.

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