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The scourge of conflict remained entrenched and showed little promise of abatement. However, there was limited progress across the region towards ensuring victims’ rights to truth, justice, reparation and accountability for grave violations and abuses of human rights that may amount to crimes under international law.

Almost all countries in the region contended with the devastating economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Recovery efforts were hindered by conflicts, economic disruptions arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and extreme weather conditions, which were exacerbated by climate change. Consequently, the rights of millions of people to food, health and an adequate standard of living were seriously undermined.

Authorities across the region deployed various tactics to silence peaceful dissent. Crackdowns on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly intensified as authorities used national security or Covid-19 as a pretext to ban, suppress or violently disperse protests. Human rights defenders, activists, journalists and opposition members faced intimidation and harassment, including arrests, detention and prosecution as authorities tightened their grip on the rights to freedom of expression and association.

The number of people fleeing conflict or climate crises continued to rise. Yet, international funding shortfalls left authorities barely equipped to adequately address refugees’ urgent basic needs.

The prevalence of violence against women across the region reflected the entrenched patterns of gender discrimination and other forms of inequality. In some countries, LGBTI people and people with albinism were not protected from discrimination and violence.

The high risk of environmental degradation or displacement of communities resulting from planned or existing mining or infrastructural projects persisted.

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