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A group of women sit holding protest signs that read "My Life Is Not Your Porn"

Top Human Rights Videos of 2021

South Korean women protest against non-consensual filming and sharing of intimate images on August 4, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. © 2018 Jean Chung/Getty Images

You watched and we noticed. Here are the most-viewed videos of 2021, with views counted on social media and YouTube. One trend was clear – roughly half of the videos focus on Asia and South Asia. But topics span the gamut, from digital sex crimes in South Korea to China-funded construction in Cambodia. Unsurprisingly, two of the top videos hone in on Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control in August. Scroll down to see our most-watched video of the year.

10. My Life is Not Your Porn: Digital Sex Crimes in South Korea

In South Korea, the widespread posting of sexual images of women and girls on the internet without consent has a devastating impact on the victims. Despite legal reforms in South Korea, women and girls targeted in these digital sex crimes face significant difficulty in pursuing criminal cases and civil remedies, in part due to entrenched gender inequity.

9. Taliban Kill Ex-Officials in Afghanistan

Between August 15 and November 29, Taliban forces in Afghanistan had summarily executed or forcibly disappeared more than 100 former police and intelligence officers in just four provinces.

8. In Cambodia, China’s Belt and Road Is a Rights Disaster

A large hydroelectric dam in Cambodia, completed in 2018 and financed by the Chinese government, severely harmed the livelihoods of thousands of Indigenous and ethnic minority people.

7. Refugees Returning to Syria Face Grave Abuses

Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias.

6. Myanmar Forces Targeted Protesters in March Massacre

Following the February 1 military coup against Myanmar’s democratically elected government, Myanmar security forces deliberately encircled and used lethal force during the March 14 anti-junta protests in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar township.

5. HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth on US Policy

Executive Director Kenneth Roth speaks of Joe Biden’s election as a catalyst for change and asks Biden to cement human rights in US policy.

4. Brazilian President Bolsonaro Blocks Critics on Social Media

This Portuguese-language video was our fourth-most-watched video of 2021: President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil is blocking social media followers who criticize him, violating their rights to free speech and access to information, and to participate in the conduct of public affairs. (Here is the English version)

3. HRW Investigates Israeli Strikes on Gaza

Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups carried out attacks during the May 2021 fighting in the Gaza Strip and Israel that violated the laws of war and apparently amount to war crimes.

2. Afghans at Risk from Taliban Need Protection 

This August 16th video shows how chaos reigned in Kabul as Taliban grabbed power in Afghanistan

And the most-watched video of 2021:

  1. Israel Committing Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution

Israeli authorities are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution, Human Rights Watch said in a report released April 27, 2021.

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