Pressing pause on life

Anna Triponel
January 13, 2023
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Every year, when the Human Rights Watch report comes out, I press pause on my life in London and bring to mind all the people I’ve met while living and traveling in other countries. I think back to my time living in Kenya working on the country’s new Constitution following the post-election violence, being one of the first ‘internationals’ to fly out to Libya after Qadhafi’s death to work on human rights and constitutional reform amidst militia groups, traveling around Myanmar meeting communities just days after the country opened up, etc.… I bring to mind the many, so wonderful, people I’ve met - the community leaders, the families, the political prisoners, the trade union reps, the workers, the civil society activists, the governmental representatives…

All of these people, living and working in these countries. Where are they now? What is their reality like now? Are they still alive? Reading the HRW report is an opportunity to reflect on the human rights situation people are living in. Are they living in countries where they can be killed for being homosexual? Do they need to fear police brutality? If they say something online that does not align with the authorities’ views of things, do they risk being tracked and silenced? Take a look at countries that you’ve lived in, traveled to, are sourcing from, or are operating in. What is the reality for people in these countries?