Our key takeaway: What was the state of human rights in 2022? Really not great, according to the Amnesty International’s latest report. In fact, it descended into a “fully-fledged landslide.” This was exacerbated by multiple crises such as climate change, rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, new and existing conflicts and increasing inequality and poverty. Despite attempts to address these crises by, for instance, the UN General Assembly recognising the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, and governments passing laws to protect women and girls’ rights, we cannot turn a blind eye to the deterioration of human rights on the ground. This highlights the importance of assessing the effectiveness of pledges and actions to protect human rights and its actual impact on people. The report also highlights how we need to look at the multiple crises we’re facing through a human rights lens and vice versa. We cannot tackle the climate crisis without tackling the human rights crisis. We cannot tackle the economic crisis without tackling the human rights crisis. We cannot tackle the humanitarian crisis without tackling the human rights crisis. As poignantly stated by Agnès Callamard, Secretary General Amnesty International: “2023 must be a turning point for upholding human rights: anything less from the world's leaders is a betrayal which could take the world to the abyss.” So what does this mean for companies? This is a call to action for companies to be leaders in upholding human rights in the private sector. It may be harder than ever, but it’s also more important than ever.
Amnesty International released its The State of the World’s Human Rights report (March 2023), analysing the human rights situation in 156 countries during 2022: