The regional overview summarizes the human rights situation and developments in the region throughout 2016.
During 2016, millions of people across the Middle East and North Africa saw their lives thrown into turmoil, torment and tragedy, and their homes and livelihoods destroyed, by unrelenting state repression and continuing armed conflicts that were marked on all sides by appalling crimes and abuses. So intense was the political and human rights crisis that tens of thousands risked their lives in perilous attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea rather than remain in the region. In Syria, more than five years of fighting had resulted in the biggest human-made humanitarian crisis of our time, and the armed conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Yemen also took a heavy toll on civilians. Armed conflict and repression exploited and exacerbated long-standing fault lines and increased political and religious polarization, further undermining respect for human rights.