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Written Assignment #3

985 words - 4 pages

The Non Governmental Organization that I am researching is Human Rights Watch. This organization is a non-profit entity that does not take any government funding or any funding from any private source that will comprise its goal as an independent defender or the rights of the individual world wide.
The Human Rights Watch mission, as it's mission statement is available on their website, is to investigate human rights violations, disseminate information regarding these violations through reports and lobbying efforts, and to encourage the powers that be to respect the individual's inalienable human rights and to seek redress on those that fail to comply.1
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This is just a sample of the work, reporting and fact-finding that Human Rights Watch has done from its inception. Some of the current reports in the different committee regions include:
Africa Watch: Atrocities in Angola, government repression in Ethiopia, war crimes in Democratic Republic of Congo; Americas Watch: counterterrorism issues in United States, violence against women in Haiti, no justice for killings in Haiti; Asia: Extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh, religious freedom issues in Indonesia, political dissent violations in Vietnam; Middle East and North Africa Division: excessive use of lethal force by security forces in Egypt, stateless people in Kuwait, chemical weapons attack in Syria4
This is just a small sample of the critical fact-finding and reporting this NGO is doing currently.
As mentioned earlier, Human Rights Watch helped establish the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. This work has helped groups of people in many war torn nations live in a world free of landmines and is currently helping new groups of people never see and feel the horrors of anti-personnel landmines. This treaty bans the use, stockpiling, transfer and production of land mines. It also requires the nation-state of destroy stockpiles and clear the land mines within a set period of time. 161 states have joined the treaty and there are also provisions for land mine survivors. And in fact, the Land Mine Monitor 2012 states that 19 State Parties have completed their obligation to clear landmines.5
The main challenge Human Rights Watch now encounters is credibility. A previous chairman and founder of Human Rights Watch suggested that the NGO has unfairly attacked Israel on human rights issues. Also, George Soros, the billionaire financier, is a major contributor to Human Rights Watch through his foundations. This type of high profile backer can be a hindrance to its credibility. Human Rights Watch needs to be seen as a politically neutral observer for its reports and lobbying efforts to be successful. It needs to be very...

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