Asia and the Pacific

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There were modest gains for the rights of women and LGBTI people in several countries; a new law criminalizing torture and enforced disappearance was adopted in Thailand; and the mandatory death penalty was abolished in Malaysia. Yet, overall, the outlook for human rights in the Asia-Pacific region remained bleak.

Escalating armed conflict in Myanmar resulted in yet more civilian deaths and displacement. In Afghanistan, the Taliban intensified their repression especially against women and girls. A growing intolerance of dissent was evident throughout much of the region as restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association tightened in multiple countries and territories. Critics of government policies and actions, including human rights defenders, political activists and journalists, were arbitrarily arrested and detained; protests against injustice were often met with unlawful, sometimes lethal, force.

Long-standing patterns of discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities and so-called lower castes, women and girls, LGBTI people and Indigenous Peoples persisted. People belonging to these and other marginalized groups were particularly hard hit in countries suffering economic crises. They were also the first to suffer the often-deadly consequence of climate-change induced weather events, yet governments across the region failed to take effective action to curb carbon emissions or to put in place effective protection and adaptation measures.

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