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Human Rights Watch Inc

Overview

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization, supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly.

Mission

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

History

Human Rights Watch started in 1978 as Helsinki Watch, to monitor the compliance of Soviet bloc countries with the human rights provisions of the landmark Helsinki Accords. In the 1980's, Americas Watch was set up to counter the notion that human rights abuses by one side in the war in Central America were somehow more tolerable than abuses by the other side. The organization grew to cover other regions of the world, until all the "Watch" committees were united in 1988 to form Human Rights Watch.

Program

Human Rights Watch is the largest human rights organization based in the United States. Human Rights Watch researchers conduct fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in all regions of the world. Human Rights Watch then publishes those findings in dozens of books and reports every year, generating extensive coverage in local and international media. This publicity helps to embarrass abusive governments in the eyes of their citizens and the world. Human Rights Watch then meets with government officials to urge changes in policy and practice -- at the United Nations, the European Union, in Washington and in capitals around the world. In extreme circumstances, Human Rights Watch presses for the withdrawal of military and economic support from governments that egregiously violate the rights of their people. In moments of crisis, Human Rights Watch provides up-to-the-minute information about conflicts while they are underway. Refugee accounts, which were collected, synthesized and cross-corroborated by our researchers, helped shape the response of the international community to recent wars in Kosovo and Chechnya.

Impact

* We successfully led an international coalition to press for the adoption of a treaty banning the use of child soldiers. Currently, as many as 300,000 children are serving in armies and rebel forces around the world. The treaty raises the minimum age for participation in armed conflict to eighteen.
* We and our partner organizations in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for our work campaigning against this indiscriminate weapon. The mine-ban treaty was approved more quickly than any big multilateral treaty in history.
* We were among the first to call for an international war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and have worked extensively with the tribunal's investigators and prosecutors. Six of the seven counts on which the tribunal finally indicted Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in 1999 were cases that Human Rights Watch had documented in Kosovo.
* We have provided extensive evidence of human rights abuses to the war crimes tribunal for Rwanda, where the genocide in 1994 killed more than half a million people. Our expert testimony and legal analysis have helped convict several genocidaires.
* We played an active role in the legal action against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in London and helped to buttress the important principle that even former heads of state can be held accountable for the most heinous human rights crimes. The "Pinochet precedent" has established that dictators who block their prosecution at home can be tried anywhere in the world.

CEO

Kenneth Roth is the executive director of Human Rights Watch, a post he has held since 1993. Human Rights Watch investigates, reports on, and seeks to curb human rights abuses in some 70 countries. From 1987 to 1993, Mr. Roth served as deputy director of the organization. Previously, he was a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington. He also worked in private practice as a litigator.

Mr. Roth has conducted human rights investigations around the globe, devoting special attention to issues of justice and accountability for gross abuses of human rights, standards governing military conduct in time of war, the human rights policies of the United States and the United Nations, and the human rights responsibilities of multinational businesses. He has written more than 80 articles and chapters on a range of human rights topics in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, the International Herald Tribune, and the New York Review of Books. He also regularly appears in the major media and speaks to audiences around the world.

A graduate of Yale Law School and Brown University, Mr. Roth was drawn to the human rights cause in part by his father's experience fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938. He began working on human rights after the declaration of martial law in Poland in 1981, and soon also became deeply engaged in fighting military repression in Haiti. In his thirteen years as executive director of Human Rights Watch, the organization has quadrupled in size, while greatly expanding its geographic reach.

Board

Board of Directors
Jane Olson, Chair
Bruce J. Klatsky, Vice-Chair
Sid Sheinberg, Vice-Chair
John J. Studzinski, Vice-Chair
Omar Amanat
Lloyd Axworthy
David M. Brown
Jorge Castañeda
Tony Elliott
Michael G. Fisch
Michael E. Gellert
Richard J. Goldstone
Vartan Gregorian
James F. Hoge, Jr.
Wendy Keys
Robert Kissane
Joanne Leedom-Ackerman
Josh Mailman
Susan Manilow
Kati Marton
Linda Mason
Barry Meyer
Pat Mitchell
Joel Motley
Samuel K. Murumba
Catherine Powell
Sigrid Rausing
Victoria Riskin
Kevin P. Ryan
Darian W. Swig
John R. Taylor
Shibley Telhami

Emeritus Board
Roland Algrant
Lisa Anderson
Robert L. Bernstein
Founding Chair, (1979-1997)
William Carmichael
Dorothy Cullman
Adrian W. DeWind
Edith Everett
Jonathan F. Fanton
Chair (1998-2003)
Alice Henkin
Steve Kass
Marina Pinto Kaufman
Peter Osnos
Kathleen Peratis
Bruce Rabb
Orville Schell
Gary Sick
Malcolm Smith

Countries 

Belgium, Canada, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States

States 

California, District of Columbia, Illinois, New York

Contact 

350 5TH AVE

NEW YORK, NY 10118-0110

Phone: (212) 290-4700

http://hrw.org

EIN: 13-2875808


Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. Your gift will provide for 1 week of satellite telephone service for a Human Rights Watch researcher

Satellite Phone

1 week of service

Human Rights Watch Inc

Your gift will provide for 1 week of satellite telephone service for a Human Rights Watch researcher in the field. This will help to give a voice to victims of human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from...

Regular price $100.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. This gift will pay for two days of translating interviews with witnesses and victims of human rights

Field translation

2 days of translation

Human Rights Watch Inc

This gift will pay for two days of translating interviews with witnesses and victims of human rights abuses from the field. These translations help us to investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable. With your gift, you are helping us to challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

Regular price $50.00