If you’re like me, Human Rights Watch is a name you’ve heard subtly embedded in news stories, specifically those about Syria, but that you never really knew much about. Because of that, I decided to do some research and profile them for this week’s post. I’ve heard positive things about them from a professor that I had, and my research reinforced that they truly are doing important work. Most of all, they are doing work that we should be paying attention to. This is because they research and publish serious violations in human rights. If no one is listening, however, these reports will fall on deaf ears.
HRW bases their investigations on integrity and they are independent of government or political affiliation, in order to remain objective. Additionally, their definition of human rights is based on international declaration, which helps them to shy away from a Western imperialist attitude and focus solely on the dignity of the individual. They address everything from Syria to the World Cup. I believe that they are partially responsible for getting the information to the public, which resulted in subsequent government actions, regarding multiple human rights abuses of the past, such as the genocide in Srebrinica.
Because they are an organization with so much integrity- we can change the world by listening to what they say is occurring and speaking up. There are crimes against humanity occurring in the world as you read this. Sometimes it feels like we can’t do much, but we can remain informed, raise awareness, and campaign for action (or inaction) at a political level.
Watch this video to see what they are doing in Syria. It is incredible, but hard to watch because of the terrible events described.