Top UN official says human rights debates have caused a massive backlash

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Andrew Gilmour, who is the outgoing assistant secretary-general for human rights, told the Associated Press that the regressions seen in the 2010s did not equal the advances made in the 1970s , but there are still authoritarian leaders who make negative comments about LGBT people and infusing into people’s mind that it is okay to hate them. Among such leaders he named Russian president Vladimir Putin, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban. Gilmour also said that the US specifically is “aggressively pushing” back against women’s reproductive rights, which was causing regression in the area in other countries which fear losing US aid. Gilmour added that he sincerely hopes that the Generation 2020 will see this regression and try its best to overturn it. He added that although the state of human rights was worse during the Cold War, “there wasn’t a pushback as there is now.” But, he said: “What gives me hope as we start a new decade is that there will be a surge in youth activism that will help people to get courage, and to stand up for what they believe in.”

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