Human Rights Watch World Report 2008

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  2. Human Rights Watch highlights abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia
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  5. Global - Challenges ( Draft) - Human Rights and Gender Equality

The majority of sumangali-bonded laborers came from the SCs [scheduled castes — Dalits] … most sumangali workers did not report abuses due to fear of retribution. Bonded labour of Dalit children and discrimination against them was also found to severely impede their possibilities for staying in school. There were also reports that teachers refused to correct the homework of Dalit children, refused to provide midday meals to Dalit children, and asked Dalit children to sit separately from children of upper-caste families.

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Sort order. Feb 19, Diogenes rated it it was amazing. I should just copy and paste what I wrote about WR , since Human Rights Watch is, in my opinion, the most professional, empathetic, and humanitarian-centered organization on Earth, and constantly consistent in their reporting. HRW needs support, now more than ever. This annual tome catalogs the pulse of human rights in every pocket of the world, nation by nation.

I believe they publ I should just copy and paste what I wrote about WR , since Human Rights Watch is, in my opinion, the most professional, empathetic, and humanitarian-centered organization on Earth, and constantly consistent in their reporting. I believe they publish all of their reports in multiple languages too. HRW's reports [31] and related publications included some criticism of the Libyan regime but also contained clear endorsements of the Qaddafi family and foundation.

Human Rights Watch highlights abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

Although there is no information regarding which journalists, if any, were involved, or their ability to pose uncensored questions, a leaked U. S State Department memo noted that this singular event helped to "solidify Saif al-Islam's reputation as a 'reformer.

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Following the press conference, two op-eds written by HRW officials on Libya were published, one in the U. I recently went to Tripoli where we held a news conference to release a report about human rights in Libya. That's right—a public event in Libya's capital at which Human Rights Watch staff sharply criticized the government led by Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi. Mundane in many countries, in Libya this was a momentous event.

But it was only one of the breakthroughs we observed on the trip. Just two days before our report release the Qaddafi Foundation, headed by Saif al-Islam, a son of the Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi, issued a hard-hitting report about human rights similar to ours. In shockingly blunt language, it challenged the role of the security agencies, questioning the "legitimacy of a government that is unable to implement court decisions" and adding: "This raises the deeper question of who is ruling the country, is it the General People's Committee [the cabinet] or is it other forces?

The language used by Whitson—characterizing HRW's Tripoli press conference as sharply critical, and Saif al-Islam's report as "hard hitting"—is highly exaggerated and transparently self-serving. In HRW's condemnations of Israel, terms such as "war crimes" and "collective punishment" are used repeatedly, accompanied by demands for international sanctions and legal action via the International Criminal Court and other bodies.

But in Tripoli, Whitson used mild language, and her action items were limited to calls for more "reform. As described in The Tripoli Post , the organization "attributed all advancements in human rights to the establishment of the society by the Qaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation ten years ago, which, according to [Mohammad al-Alaqhi ], has been able to open some sensitive files on human rights in Libya.

The halo effect generated by HRW's support and greased by petro-dollars continued to aid Saif al-Islam's quest for credibility. Some analysts note that integrating into the community of NGOs is a strategy for increasing credibility. The issue of bribery, or perhaps "greasing the wheels," is one that lurks below the surface of any authoritarian regime's rehabilitation. In March , LSE established an independent inquiry to investigate links between the Libyan government and the university.


The resulting report cited Saif al-Islam's reputation as a reformer as explanation for accepting the gift. The nature of HRW's tainted relationship with the regime reached the heights of hypocrisy in the case of Fathi Eljahmi, a prominent Libyan dissident who was imprisoned in , tortured, held in solitary confinement, and subsequently died in during the visit of another Amnesty delegation to the country.

His brother condemned HRW for hesitating "to advocate publicly for Fathi's case" because it wanted to avoid "antagonizing Qaddafi. Saif al-Islam's dalliance with human rights was, in any event, short-lived. On December 16, , he announced that he "will no longer be involved in promoting human rights and political change in the North African country.

In fact, in that report, published on January 24, , HRW repeated the claim: "The only organization able to criticize human rights violations publicly is the Human Rights Society of the Qaddafi Foundation, which is chaired by Saif al-Islam al-Qaddafi. Less than a month later, the demonstrations against the Qaddafi regime began and were brutally repressed, with Saif al-Islam going on Libyan television and declaring that the regime will "fight until the last man … to the last bullet.

Saif Islam in fact abandoned his nascent reform agenda long before the past week's demonstrations rocked 'Brother Leader' Moammar Kadafi's rule. Saif Islam last year announced his withdrawal from political life and said that his foundation would no longer focus on human rights and political affairs. While HRW commented extensively on the court's warrant and the capture of Saif al-Islam, [52] it made no mention of its own direct involvement with him or the regime prior to the uprising.

Similarly, Aryeh Neier, HRW's first executive director and present-day supporter of the group, conspicuously erased the Qaddafi connection in his recent history of the international human rights movement.

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During the first six months of , the organization, in its new-found role as Libyan critic, listed thirty-five items in its Libya section, including press releases, statements, commentaries, letters, and U. Human Rights Council statements [54] —a rate far above the average prior to , further illustrating its opportunistic concern when the media spotlight shines the brightest.

Often referred to and quoted as a "highly respected human rights organization," HRW's publications and submissions to various official bodies are all too often immediately accepted and repeated without a perceived need for independent verification.

There seem to be no apparent consequences for their fundamental errors of judgment, no sanctions, and no mechanisms for learning from mistakes. With a semi-permanent circle of leaders—Ken Roth has been executive director since ; Sarah Leah Whitson has been director the MENA division for almost ten years—no transparency in decision-making processes, and no independent review mechanisms such as an ombudsman, the pressures and incentives for error correction are minimal.

Global - Challenges ( Draft) - Human Rights and Gender Equality

HRW's recent flood of seemingly authoritative statements on human rights-related developments in Libya make no reference to the earlier cooperation with the Qaddafi regime and particularly with Saif al-Islam. Gita Sahgal's critique of the organization and its record of drumming up "support for specific regimes" in the Middle East is particularly applicable in the case of pre Libya. Instead of providing the watchdog function its officials claim, and which much of international media, as well as diplomats, political leaders, and academics accept without question, HRW was very much a part of the marketing of a false "Tripoli spring" orchestrated by the Qaddafi family.

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For the consumers of HRW's product, particularly in the Middle East, this should be a cautionary tale. Gerald M.