Human Rights Watch

Topics: Iraq, Human rights, Saddam Hussein Pages: 5 (1629 words) Published: November 3, 2005

"Recognition of the inherent dignity and of equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world… Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person."

With these few words, the United Nations has pretty much summed up the mission of Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization whose only aim is to ensure the well being and the inherent rights to life that all human beings are entitled to. By using means such as the media for example, Human Rights Watch sets out to not only insure that all human beings live their lives with dignity but to also bring to justice those who, through merciless dictatorships, suppress the happiness and basic human rights of their people. This paper will first explain briefly the history of Human Rights Watch; second, it will describe a major undertaking, mainly its role in the War on Iraq, past and present, third, reasons of the success of the organization in this undertaking, and finally the implications of the said undertaking in international relations and international organizations. THE HISTORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

Human Rights Watch was founded in 1978 and was known first as Helsinki Watch. It was originally intended to enforce the provisions on human rights that were laid out by the Helsinki Accords. It then spread to Central America in the 1980s in response to the countless human rights abuses that were made in many of the civil wars that took place there. Soon enough it began spreading throughout the world, forming different Watch committees through out the world, such as the Middle East, Central America, South America, and Asia, etc. In 1988, all the different watch committees united to form one committee, thus forming Human Rights Watch. Their headquarters are located in different parts of the world, mainly New York, London, Brussels, Moscow, and over 70 countries. In regions where there are extensive investigations, they set up temporary offices to accommodate their investigations.

How does Human Rights Watch make the world aware of human rights abuses in a country? The answer can be found on their website, where they post their strategy for ensuring the human rights of all. "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." After that, they then "meet 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 conclusion, Human Rights Watch will use any viable resources in order to ensure that the world is informed of Human Rights abuses that occur in the world, and set out to remind the world that, yes, it is their business to get involved and do something about it. One cannot just stay put and do nothing while someone uses their god-given power to suppress a nation. IRAQ – ONE OF THE MANY MAJOR UNDERTAKINGS OF H.R.W.

Sadaam Hussein took over as president of Iraq in 1979 and was known to many, especially to Human Rights Watch, as one of the most ruthless, merciless leaders who has ever been in power. Although claiming to be a devout Muslim, he was a "member of the Sunni minority", and "repressed and persecuted Iraq's restive Shiite majority". His cruelty was not reduced only to the Shiite majority. According to Human Rights Watch, Sadaam Hussein ordered that chemical weapons be tested on his own people, the Iraqi Kurds that lived in Northern Iraq. Iraqis were subjected to torture if they were even suspected of not liking Hussein's regime. In...

Bibliography: 1. White, Lyman Cromwell, International Non-Governmental Organizations; Rutgers University Press, 1951
2. Korn, David, Human Rights in Iraq (Middle East Watch); New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990
3. Hayden, Patrick, The Philosophy of Human Rights; St. Paul, MN, Paragon House, 2001
4. Williams, Mary E., Human Rights; Gale Group,1998
7. Buergenthal, Thomas, International Human Rights in a nutshell (West Pub.Co., 1995)
8. Iraq: The Death Penalty, Executions, and "Prison Cleansing": A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper,
11. Janis, Mark & Noyes, John, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Law: Cases and Commentary, 2001
12. Iraq 's Crime of Genocide by Human Rights Watch, Helsinki Staff, Yale University, 1995
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