Amnesty International is warning that powerful countries are back-tracking on human rights.
It says politicians using dehumanising rhetoric are creating a more divided and dangerous world.
The charity's annual report on the 'State of the World's Human Rights' claims 36 countries violated international law last year by turning away refugees whose lives were in danger.
It has also accused global leaders, including US President Donald Trump, of using "them versus us" tactics to turn entire groups of people into scapegoats.
Amnesty says President Trump's recent travel ban is both "hateful" and "xenophobic".