Human Rights Watch named incoming President Donald Trump as a threat to human rights on Thursday.
In its 687-page World Report, now in its 27th edition, the renowned human rights organization said:
“Trump and various politicians in Europe seek power through appeals to racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and nativism. They all claim that the public accepts violations of human rights as supposedly necessary to secure jobs, avoid cultural change, or prevent terrorist attacks.
“In fact, disregard for human rights offers the likeliest route to tyranny.”
Human rights experts have been sounding the alarm about Trump for some time.
In October 2016, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the Human Rights Chief of the United Nations said Trump’s election would be “dangerous from an international standpoint.”
The following month, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney warned that Trump’s suggestion that a religious test should be imposed for immigrants to the U.S. and his support for state-sponsored torture would both constitute clear violations of human rights. And Amnesty International’s Executive Director Margaret Huang said:
“The xenophobic, sexist and other hateful remarks made by Trump have no place in government. President-elect Trump must publicly commit to upholding the human rights of all without discrimination.”
The new report from HRW criticizes Trump as one part of a growing body of leaders who turn a blind eye to human rights. Viktor Orban in Hungary, Recep Erdogan in Turkey, and Rodrigo Duterte in the Phillipines are just some of the many leaders around the world who rose to power on a populist wave and now govern in an authoritarian style.
HRW says that fear of terrorist attacks, anxiety over international economic forces, and social inequality allowed Trump and others like him to take the reins of government. Indeed, Trump capitalized on these very fears in his campaign.
Fortunately, the HRW report offers some solutions. Here in the U.S., we can mobilize nongovernmental organizations, political parties, and media outlets – including social media – to oppose Trump and demagogues like him. HRW’s Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes:
“The best antidote is for the public to demand a politics based on truth and the values on which rights-respecting democracy has been built.”
Featured image via YouTube video.