Education, Présence

Populists in Power in Europe

During the coming year, Human Rights Watch will launch a major initiative called “Populists in Power,” to research and expose human rights abuses that affect ordinary people in Hungary, Poland, and Austria—countries that have proven fertile ground for authoritarian populists. We will focus on abuses including media censure, prosecution of protestors, challenges to reproductive health services, and people’s limited ability to rely on the courts to secure their rights. All of these affect European youth and influence their perception of citizenship, as they enter the public sphere. Our intention is to show that xenophobic populists in government in Europe can have a far-reaching effect on democratic institutions, human rights, and the rule of law—an impact that extends beyond regular politics. The project will demonstrate that, far from responding to the needs of ordinary citizens, populist governments undermine their rights.