According to the executive director Kenneth Roth:
Looking back at human rights developments in 2013, several themes stand out. The unchecked slaughter of civilians in Syria elicited global horror and outrage, but not enough to convince world leaders to exert the pressure needed to stop it. That has led some to lament the demise of the much-vaunted “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, which world governments adopted less than a decade ago to protect people facing mass atrocities. Yet it turned out to be too soon to draft the epitaph for R2P, as it is known, because toward the end of the year it showed renewed vitality in several African countries facing the threat of large-scale atrocities: Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Democracy took a battering in several countries, but not because those in power openly abandoned it. Many leaders still feel great pressure to pay lip service to democratic rule. But a number of relatively new governments, including in Egypt and Burma, settled for the most superficial forms—only elections, or their own divining of majoritarian preferences—without regard to the limits on majorities that are essential to any real democracy.
Since September 11, 2001, efforts to combat terrorism have also spawned human rights abuses. The past year saw intensified public discussion about two particular counterterrorism programs used by the United States: global mass electronic surveillance and targeted killings by aerial drones.
We have added a link to this report on our international human rights page on Human Rights: HSC Legal Studies. This report is an excellent place to identify human rights issues to explore.
As this report notes, several African countries are facing the threat of large-scale atrocities. You will find useful information on these issues on the following research guides:
- Central African Republic - World Order: HSC Legal Studies
- South Sudan - World Order: HSC Legal Studies
If you are interested in pursuing the current crisis in Syria you will find the following research guides helpful:
- Syria - World Order: HSC Legal Studies
- Responsibility to Protect or R2P - World Order: HSC Legal Studies