“This year, we have witnessed particularly serious attacks on human rights, on a massive scale, ranging from Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine that has caused and continues to cause inconceivable human suffering, to the grave human rights violations and abuses in Afghanistan, Belarus, Ethiopia, and Myanmar/Burma”. The EU High Representative Josep Borrell said this in a statement issued on the eve of Human Rights Day on 10 December, which also marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. “The EU has also expressed deep concern about the further deteriorating human rights situation in Russia and addressed the human rights situation in China as well as the ongoing violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in Iran”, he added. “Women and girls have been particularly targeted by repression and restrictive policies in many countries, and have suffered disproportionately from human rights abuses in conflict settings”. Freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, both online and offline, and media freedom remain under serious threat. “Human rights are universal, indivisible, inalienable, interdependent and interrelated. The genuine respect and fulfilment of human rights is also indispensable for peace, democracy and sustainable development”, he concluded. The 24th EU-NGO Human Rights Forum will serve as “a platform to engage with human rights defenders across the globe”.