Special Collections

Human Rights Collection

Description: Bookshare presents a selection of titles published by Human Rights Watch. These titles aim to shed light human rights conditions around the globe, in order to press for changes in policy and practice that promote human rights and justice.


Showing 1 through 25 of 136 results

Some Transparency, No Accountability: The Use of Oil Revenue in Angola and Its Impact on Human Rights

by Human Rights Watch

This report analyzes the IMF’s overall relationship with the government and successes and failures of the Oil Diagnostic to date. It examines what the Oil Diagnostic and failed efforts at reform can tell us about Angolan government oil revenue mismanagement, and what continuing difficulties in obtaining basic information from the government and major gaps in the data tell us about the ground still to be covered before the Angolan government can meaningfully be said to embrace transparency and accountability. It also analyzes how much money is missing in comparison to how much has been spent on activities and institutions that could facilitate Angolans’ enjoyment of their civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Thai Policy toward Burmese Refugees and Migrants

by Human Rights Watch

The policy of the Royal Thai Government towards Burmese refugees and migrants is in a state of flux. On the one hand, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s forging of closer economic and political ties with the Burmese government has resulted in an increasingly hardline stance by Thailand towards Burmese exiles, refugees, and migrants—especially those who are visibly and vocally opposed to the military government in Rangoon. This has included the arrests and intimidation of Burmese political activists living in Bangkok or along the border, harassment of Burmese human rights and humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), deportations of Burmese asylum seekers, migrants, and refugees to Burma, and the government’s suspension of screening of new applicants for asylum from Burma by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).At the same time, Thailand has signaled a new receptivity to pressure by the United States and the United Nations to broaden resettlement opportunities for Burmese refugees now living in Bangkok and other urban centers in Thailand. While this should help to improve the situation, Human Rights Watch is concerned that Thailand may offset its agreement to resettle urban refugees by intensifying its crackdown on undocumented Burmese migrants and sealing the border to new asylum seekers from Burma. In addition, with the January 2004 ceasefire agreement between Rangoon and one of the main rebel factions, the Karen National Union (KNU), Thai authorities may begin to pressure increasing numbers of the 142,000 Burmese living in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border to “voluntarily” repatriate to Burma.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Undue Process: Terrorism Trials, Military Courts, and The Mapuche in Southern Chile

by Human Rights Watch

The strategy employed by the Chilean government to quell unrest sparked by land conflicts in the country’s southern regions is apparently bearing fruit. The level of violence in the zone has decreased since 2002, and the organization the government holds responsible for the worst violence has apparently been disbanded. Yet the government’s successes come at a high price for the Mapuche people, who for centuries inhabited the region as an independent people. While the living standards of the rest of the country continue to improve, Mapuche in the south live in an impoverished enclave. On top of the discrimination from which they have suffered for years, many now feel the additional weight of political persecution.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Empty Promises: Diplomatic Assurances No Safeguard against Torture

by Human Rights Watch

This report analyzes the use of diplomatic assurances by governments and commentary on their use from the U.N. system, North America, and the Council of Europe region. It includes Human Rights Watch’s research on several cases that involve the use of diplomatic assurances. The report examines cases in which courts have ruled on the adequacy of such assurances, frequently finding that diplomatic assurances are not an effective safeguard against torture. The report highlights returns or proposed returns based on diplomatic assurances from Austria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States to countries where torture is a serious or systematic human rights problem, including Egypt, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Uzbekistan. This is not an exhaustive survey, but reflects relevant information available to Human Rights Watch indicating inherent problems and dangers with respect to the use of diplomatic assurances and how select legal systems have addressed the use of such assurances.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Divorced from Justice: Women's Unequal Access to Divorce in Egypt

by Human Rights Watch

The Egyptian government has created two widely disparate systems for divorce, one for men and one for women. Egyptian men have a unilateral and unconditional right to divorce. They never need to enter a courtroom to end their marriages. Egyptian women, on the other hand, must resort to Egypt's notoriously backlogged and inefficient courts to divorce their spouses. In the courts, women face procedural and evidentiary hurdles to divorce that are inherently discriminatory. Men, who can divorce their spouses at will with an oral renunciation later registered by a religious notary, can simply sidestep these procedures. Obtaining a divorce can also take years as men manipulate the many defenses and tactics Egyptian law reserves only for them. As a result, many Egyptian women, like Amira Ahmad, avoid the courts and are left with two equally distressing options: either remain in an unwanted marriage and possibly endure physical and psychological abuse, or beg their husbands to divorce them, giving up everything they own and cherish in return. The consequences of this two-tiered system are often financially and emotionally devastating for women. In some cases, they can be life-threatening.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


In a Time of Torture: The Assault on Justice In Egypt's Crackdown on Homosexual Conduct

by Human Rights Watch

Since early 2001, a growing number of men have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for having sexual relations with other men. Human Rights Watch knows the names of 179 men whose cases under the law against "debauchery" were brought before prosecutors since the beginning of 2001; in all probability that is only a minuscule percentage of the true total. Hundreds of others have been harassed, arrested, often tortured, but not charged. More than men who have sex with men are among the crackdown's victims, however. Its effects reach beyond the broken bodies, wrecked families, and ruined lives lying in its immediate trail. The offense against the marginalized potentially endangers everyone; the offensive against privacy corrupts the principles of public life. Every Egyptian's dignity and integrity are under threat in a time of torture, when the law accepts violence as investigation and stigma as certainty.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Iraq: State Of The Evidence

by Human Rights Watch

The report focuses on two major sources of that evidence, documentary and forensic. It surveys what’s been done—and not done—by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority and the interim Iraqi authorities since the invasion of March-April 2003 to preserve the evidence, and assess the implications for justice for Ba`thist era abuses and for some resolution regarding the fate of victims whose families live with uncertainty.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


No Rest: Abuses Against Child Domestics in El Salvador

by Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch conducted research for this report in El Salvador in February 2003 and subsequently by telephone and electronic mail from New York. During the course of our investigation, we spoke with fifteen current and former domestic workers and over fifty teachers, parents, activists, academics, lawyers, and government officials. We assess the treatment of child domestic workers according to international law, as set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and other international human rights instruments. These instruments establish that children have the right to freedom from economic exploitation and hazardous labor, the right to freedom from discrimination based on their gender, and the right to an education, among other rights.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


"If We Return, We Will Be Killed": Consolidation of Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur, Sudan

by Human Rights Watch

Since February 2003, in the context of a military counter-insurgency campaign against two rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Sudanese government forces and government-backed ethnic militias known as "Janjaweed" have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and "ethnic cleansing" in the Darfur region of Sudan. Government forces and militias have systematically targeted civilian communities that share the same ethnicity as the rebel groups, killing, looting, raping, forcibly displacing and destroying hundreds of villages. For their part, the rebel groups have abducted civilians, attacked police stations and other government institutions, and raided and looted substantial numbers of livestock and commercial goods from trucks and vehicles traveling on roads in Darfur. The rebels have also been responsible for some direct and indiscriminate attacks that have resulted in deaths and injuries to civilians and for the use of child soldiers. This report documents and analyzes the continuing violence by all parties to the conflict, obstacles to return and to the reversal of ethnic cleansing, the government's efforts to end impunity and the international community's response so far to the ongoing human rights crisis in Darfur.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Demolished: Forced Evictions and the Tenants' Rights

by Human Rights Watch

This report, based largely on published Chinese-language sources—including press accounts, Internet discussions, expert commentary, and government laws, regulations, and statements—details the problems many Chinese citizens face as they are evicted from their homes, sometimes violently, by state and private actors. Many of these forced evictions violate basic human rights protections in both Chinese and international law. The report also provides an overview of current eviction and demolition practices in China’s cities, the regulations governing such practices, and the parties involved. It traces the emergence over the past several years of a vibrant tenants’ rights movement and the government’s recent crackdown on some of the leading figures. The issue of forced evictions in China has begun to receive attention in official circles, and has even prompted a constitutional amendment, but significant hurdles remain. If the deficiencies in implementation of laws are not remedied and rights of evictees not upheld, eviction practices can be expected to serve as a continuing source of high profile social unrest and at times extreme forms of protest. In Beijing, the clearing of new sites for Olympics venues likely will continue to be a flashpoint.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


'Enduring Freedom' Abuses by U. S. Forces in Afghanistan

by Human Rights Watch

On Afghan soil, the United States is maintaining a system of arrests and detention as part of its ongoing military and intelligence operations that violates international human rights law and international humanitarian law (the laws of war). In doing so, the United States is endangering the lives of Afghan civilians, undermining efforts to restore the rule of law in Afghanistan, and calling into question its commitment to upholding basic rights.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Setting an Example? Counter-Terrorism Measures in Spain

by Human Rights Watch

The March 11, 2004 deadly attack in Madrid focused the world's attention and compassion on Spain. In ten virtually simultaneous explosions on four different commuter trains, 191 people lost their lives and over 1,400 people were injured. While the Popular Party government of José María Aznar initially blamed Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), the police investigation quickly pointed to the involvement of Islamic fundamentalists. In a videotape located two days after the attacks, a purported spokesman for al-Qaeda claimed responsibility. However, the extent of coordination between the militants in Spain who perpetrated the attacks and al-Qaeda remains unclear. Spanish authorities had long considered Spain a recruitment and logistical operations site for al-Qaeda. Soon after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States, Spanish authorities launched a multi-phased police operation to dismantle an alleged al-Qaeda cell located in Spain; most of those detained had been under police surveillance for several years. That Spain should become a direct target for al-Qaeda shocked a nation already weary from four decades of internal political violence. Since the 1960s, ETA has waged a violent campaign to establish an independent state in what is now the autonomous Basque region in northern Spain and a part of southwestern France. The March 11 bombings - referred to in Spain as 11-M - added an international dimension to Spain's struggle against terrorism. Spain's strict antiterrorism measures, shaped by years of grappling with ETA violence, have been applied to all those arrested for alleged links to al-Qaeda as well as for alleged participation in the March 11 bombings.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Human Rights Watch World Report 2005

by Human Rights Watch

This report is Human Rights Watch's fifteenth annual review of human rights practices around the globe. It summarizes key human rights issues in sixty-four countries, drawing on events through November 2004. Each country entry identifies significant human rights issues, examines the freedom of local human rights defenders to conduct their work, and surveys the response of key international actors, such as the United Nations, European Union, Japan, the United States, and various regional and international organizations and institutions. The volume begins with four essays addressing human rights developments of global concern in 2004. The lead essay examines far-reaching threats to human rights that emerged during the year: large-scale ethnic cleansing in Darfur in western Sudan, and detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, symptomatic of a broader problem of torture and mistreatment of detainees by U.S. forces. It argues that the vitality of human rights defense worldwide depends on a firm response to both of these threats.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Egypt: Mass Arrests and Torture in Sinai

by Human Rights Watch

On October 7, 2004, a massive car-bomb wrecked the Taba Hilton hotel located on the Egyptian-Israeli border. There were two smaller bombings later that night at nearby tourist campsites. The attacks killed more than thirty and wounded more than one hundred. Most of the victims were tourists, many of them Israelis, as well as Egyptian hotel staff. Initial speculation by Egyptian and Israeli authorities focused on al-Qaeda or other international groups that have carried out large-scale attacks against civilians. But just over two weeks later, on October 25, Egypt's Ministry of Interior announced that it had identified nine persons responsible for the attacks, all from the North Sinai area: five were in custody, two had been killed carrying out the attack, and two remained at large. Meanwhile, around October 13, Egypt's State Security Investigation service (SSI) began a campaign of mass arbitrary arrests in and around al-`Arish, the government and commercial center of North Sinai, apparently as part of its investigation into the Taba attacks. These arrests continued unabated after the October 25 announcement through early December. Egyptian human rights groups said that security forces had rounded up as many as three thousand persons, including several hundred persons detained solely to secure the surrender of wanted family members.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The International Criminal Court: How Nongovernmental Organizations Can Contribute To the Prosecution of War Criminals

by Human Rights Watch

In many conflicts around the world, armies or rebel groups attack ordinary people and commit terrible human rights abuses against them. Often, these crimes are not punished by the national courts. But since July 2002, we have an international court for such crimes. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a permanent international tribunal created for the prosecution of crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. The International Criminal Court is currently in the process of preparing its first cases and is based in The Hague.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Justice At Risk: War Crimes Trials In Croatia, Bosnia And Herzegovina, And Serbia And Montenegro

by Human Rights Watch

The armed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s were characterized by widespread violations of human rights and humanitarian law. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) will have adjudicated only a relatively small number of cases involving the most serious crimes by the time it ceases operating. All other war crimes cases -whether initiated domestically or referred back from the ICTY-will have to be tried by national courts in the states of the former Yugoslavia. Human Rights Watch has carried out extensive monitoring of domestic war crimes trials in the states of the former Yugoslavia. The monitoring indicates that, as a rule, the ordinary national courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina (particularly in Republika Srpska, one of the two "entities" in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Croatia, and Serbia and Montenegro are not currently equipped to hear war crimes cases-which are often politically and emotionally charged, as well as legally complex-in a fair manner. Key obstacles include: bias on the part of judges and prosecutors, poor case preparation by prosecutors, inadequate cooperation from the police in the conduct of investigations, poor cooperation between the states on judicial matters, and ineffective witness protection mechanisms.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Like the Dead in Their Coffins--Torture, Detention, and the Crushing of Dissent in Iran

by Human Rights Watch

No one knows how many people are held in Iran's prisons and secret detention centers for the peaceful expression of their views. Over the past four years, as the window of free expression has closed in Iran, abuse and torture of dissidents have increased in Evin Prison's solitary cells and secret detention centers. In the years following the election of President Mohammad Khatami in 1997, on a platform of supporting rule of law and civil society, independent newspapers and journals flourished in Iran. In 2000, a large class of more vocal and reform minded representatives entered a revitalized parliament, promising to introduce new laws that would challenge the status quo. Intellectuals, journalists, and writers debated publicly some of the most critical issues facing Iranian society. In response, the judiciary and the extra-legal security and intelligence agencies of the Iranian state have sought to destroy these voices. Since then Iran's independent newspapers have been almost completely destroyed, the result of a campaign launched by the Office of the Leader and the judicial authority in April 2000 to silence growing dissent.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Claims in Conflict: Reversing Ethnic Cleansing in Northern Iraq

by Human Rights Watch

A crisis of serious proportions is brewing in northern Iraq, and may soon explode into open violence. Since 1975, the former Iraqi government forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of Kurds, Turkomans, and Assyrians from their homes, and brought in Arab settlers to replace them, under a policy known as "Arabization." With the overthrow of that government in April 2003, the Kurds and other non-Arabs began returning to their former homes and farms. Ethnic tensions between returning Kurds and others and the Arab settlers escalated rapidly and have continued to do so, along with tensions between the different returning communities-particularly between Kurds and Turkomans-over control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. In the absence of a speedy implementation of plans to address the conflicting land and property claims and the needs of the different communities, ownership disputes may soon be settled through force.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Honoring The Killers: Justice Denied For "Honor" Crimes In Jordan

by Human Rights Watch

In 2003, a man fatally stabbed his daughter twenty-five times because she refused to tell him where she had been following a three-week absence. In 2002, a man killed his sister after seeing her "talking to a strange man during a wedding party." In 2001, a man killed his sister "after seeing a man leave her house." In none of these cases, nor dozens more such "honor" killings in Jordan in recent years, did the perpetrators serve more than six months in prison. Unfortunately, neither the violent killings nor the weak response to these crimes are exceptional. In Jordan today, as in many other countries in the Mediterranean and Muslim worlds, "honor" killings of girls and women by their male relatives remain among the most prevalent physical threats to women. It is the most extreme form of domestic violence, a crime based in male privilege and prerogative and women's subordinate social status. Although the absolute number of murders is not high (though the numbers are very likely underreported), the effects are felt throughout society. "Honor" killings are the most tragic consequence and graphic illustration of deeply embedded, society-wide gender discrimination.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Political Freedoms In Kazakhstan

by Human Rights Watch

Kazakhstan's vast energy wealth has, in recent years, made it an important geostrategic partner for many countries. It has also raised the political stakes inside the country significantly. As a consequence, throughout the past two years the government has undermined freedoms to shield itself from public scrutiny and political rivals, and to protect its substantial control over the hydrocarbon sector. Unless the government and international community act now to protect political freedoms, the country's parliamentary elections, scheduled for October 2004, are unlikely to meet international standards.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Failure to Protect: Anti-Minority Violence in Kosovo, March 2004

by Human Rights Watch

On March 17 and 18, 2004, violent rioting by ethnic Albanians took place throughout Kosovo, spurred by sensational and ultimately inaccurate reports that Serbs had been responsible for the drowning of three young Albanian children. For nearly forty-eight hours, the security structures in Kosovo-the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), the international U.N. (UNMIK) police, and the locally recruited Kosovo Police Service (KPS)-almost completely lost control, as at least thirty-three major riots broke out across Kosovo, involving an estimated 51,000 participants.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


How to Fight, How to Kill: Child Soldiers in Liberia

by Human Rights Watch

Over the last fourteen years, Liberians have known little but warfare. Conflict and civil war have devastated the country and taken an enormous toll on the lives of its citizens, especially children. Thousands of children have been victims of killings, rape and sexual assault, abduction, torture, forced labor and displacement at the hands of the warring factions. Children who fought with the warring parties are among the most affected by the war. Not only did they witness numerous human rights violations, they were additionally forced to commit abuses themselves.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Aceh Under Martial Law: Problems Faced by Acehnese Refugees in Malaysia

by Human Rights Watch

Thousands of Indonesians have fled to Malaysia since the start of military operations and martial law in Indonesia's Aceh province in May 2003. They are fleeing a brutal conflict marked by grave human rights violations, including extra-judicial executions, forced disappearances, kidnappings, beatings, arbitrary detentions, and strict limitations on freedom of movement. Young men, in particular, are singled out by Indonesian security forces on suspicion that they are separatist rebels or supporters. Ongoing fighting, massive internal displacement, drastic restrictions on movement, and restrictions on humanitarian assistance have made the province an unbearable place to live for many Acehnese. Braving a difficult, dangerous, and costly journey, many have fled to Malaysia to seek refuge. Upon arrival in Malaysia, Acehnese refugees face a new set of challenges. Malaysia does not have a system to provide protection for refugees and asylum seekers. It does not recognize Acehnese fleeing the armed conflict at home as refugees. As a result, the Malaysian government has arrested, detained, and deported Acehnese refugees back to the very conflict they are fleeing. Those who manage to avoid deportation frequently live in situations of extreme poverty and are regularly subject to extortion from local police.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


In the Name of Security: Counterterrorism and Human Rights Abuses Under Malaysia's Internal Security Act

by Human Rights Watch

Nearly one hundred men currently languish in Malaysia's Kamunting detention center-some have been there for more than two years-without being charged with a crime or any prospect of a trial. Almost all are accused of being involved with organizations implicated in terrorist activity. While in detention, detainees report that they have been mistreated, some subjected to sexual humiliation, others slapped and kicked. All were held incommunicado for several weeks after they were first detained. Family members report that detainees showed signs of more extensive physical abuse when they first were able to meet with them. These men are being held under Malaysia's Internal Security Act (ISA), a form of administrative detention that permits the government to detain individuals without charge or trial, denying them even the most basic due process rights. The ISA allows the government to hold detainees for two years after arrest, and then renew this period indefinitely without meaningful judicial approval or scrutiny:

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Struggling to Survive: Barriers to Justice for Rape Victims in Rwanda

by Human Rights Watch

The 58-page Human Rights Watch report, “Struggling to Survive: Barriers to Justice for Rape Victims in Rwanda,” investigates the persistent weaknesses in the Rwandan legal system that hamper the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence. The report also documents the desperate health and economic situation of rape survivors. Many of the women who were raped became infected with HIV. Women who were raped during the Rwandan genocide and afterwards are still struggling to find justice. Rwanda’s legal system remains ill-equipped to address sexual violence cases. Weaknesses in the legal system include insufficient protection for victims and witnesses, lack of training for authorities on sexual violence crimes, and poor representation of women among police and judicial authorities. Genocide survivors, including women and girls who were raped in 1994, have not been able to obtain reparations such as monetary compensation or other assistance for the human rights abuses they suffered. The report recommends that the Rwandan government enact pending legislation to provide reparations in the form of monetary compensation or other assistance, which would allow rape victims to seek the care they require. The government should also better train doctors and other medical personnel to collect medico-legal evidence, and it should regularly train prosecutors and judges on how to prosecute and try cases of sexual violence.

Date Added: 05/25/2017



Showing 1 through 25 of 136 results