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UN Human Rights Annual Report 2021: Global upheaval deepened inequalities

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has issued its annual report. The Human Rights Report 2021 presents the highlights of UN Human Rights activity in 2021, including its Covid-19 response, its priorities and developments.

“Pandemic-related inequalities magnified existing gaps between the marginalized and privileged, conflicts erupted and intensified and the deadly consequences of climate change wreaked havoc in many countries”, said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - Michelle Bachelet.

According to the report, during the second year of the global pandemic, UN Human Rights continued to advocate for prioritizing human rights. Its activity pushed the governments to strengthen social protection, health, and other economic and social rights and to focus on the rights of the vulnerable and marginalized groups. The Office expanded its monitoring, reporting, tracking and advocacy efforts to address human rights concerns during the crisis. UN Human Rights partnered with UNICEF and UN Women to provide accurate support for COVID-19 Rapid Gender Assessments implementation. The Office continued to help people impacted by human rights violations in conflict as well as to raise awareness of the link between human rights and the environment.

Some of the top priorities for UN Human Rights in 2021 included: the protection of the right to access information on COVID-19 and its impacts; building and sustaining peace; fighting for the human rights of those impacted by conflict; dismantling systemic racism and racial discrimination; placing human rights in the centre of climate change adaptation and migration policies; promoting the rights of women and girls; and protecting freedom of expression in the digital sphere.