History of Human Rights Watch|What We Should Know About Human rights

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch is a non-governmental organization that calls for actions to resolve human rights violations.

This article will introduce basic facts about Human Rights Watch and will explain what you need to know about the history of human rights.

A better understanding of human rights can help reduce the problem of human rights abuses.

Human Rights Watch – Summary

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch identifies the causes of human rights violations and provides solutions.

The following three sections will describe Human Rights Watch in concrete terms.

  • Composition
  • Role
  • Funding


Human Rights Watch is headquartered in New York and has a staff of about 400 people in 90 countries.

Its staff includes the following experts

  • Regional Experts
  • Lawyers
  • Journalists
  • Academics

We also work with other human rights organizations around the world to conduct human rights research and publish reports and briefing papers.



We have a role to play in addressing the causes of human rights violations and working to ensure that people around the world can live without fear for their safety.

We conduct in-depth human rights research, devise strategies based on this research and create mechanisms to take action to resolve human rights violations.

We employ various methods with a view to ensuring results in the long term rather than in the short term.


We work with other human rights organizations to carry out fundraising in order to raise the cost of human rights abuses.

As an independent, non-governmental organization, Human Rights Watch does not accept government funding, whether directly or indirectly.

Our work is supported by donations from individuals, foundations and other human rights organizations around the world.

History of Human Rights Watch

History of Human Rights Watch

Over time, Human Rights Watch has developed an important influence on international organizations, thanks to a large budget.

A better understanding of history can lead toa better understanding of human rights issues.


Human Rights Watch began withthe establishment of Helsinki Watch, which supported citizens’ groups formed throughout the Soviet Union with the aim of monitoring government compliance with the 1975 Helsinki Accords.

At the outset, Helsinki Watch was an organization that opposed abusive governments through direct interaction with policy makers and the media.

By shining an international spotlight on human rights abuses in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, it was credited with contributing to dramatic democratic reforms.

In the 1980s, the following organizations were established.

  • Asia Watch (1985)
  • Africa Watch (1988)
  • Middle East Watch (1989)

The above organizations were officially renamed under the inclusive name of Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch was a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, for which it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, and played a role in establishing the Convention to Ban Cluster Munitions in 2008.



Human Rights Watch’s areas of activity include the following issues:

  • Weapons
  • Business
  • Children’s rights
  • Rights of disabled people
  • Freedom of expression
  • Environment
  • Insurance and sanitation
  • Health and safety
  • International Justice
  • LGBT rights
  • Immigration
  • Refugees
  • Anti-terrorism
  • Torture
  • United Nations
  • Women’s rights

By sending investigators to the scenes of human rights violationso investigate perpetrators and victims, we can shed light on human rights issues.

Human Rights Watch is also characterized by a high degree of credibility due to the mixture of thorough investigative reporting and objective perspectives, which puts pressure on governments to ensure that human rights violations are not committed.

History of human rights

History of human right

Human rights are defined as follows:

They are rights that each of us is born with. In today’s increasingly diverse world, the importance of human rights is being reaffirmed.

The creation of the United Nations

The United Nations was formally established on 24 October 1945 as an institution bringing together independent countries that pledged to work together for world peace and economic and social development.

It grew from 51 member states to 193 today.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris on 10th December 1948.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted as “a common standard to be attained by all peoples and all nations”.

It is not legally binding, but it is treated as a landmark, being the first document that enshrined human rights.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Source:Universal Declaration of Human Rights|United Nations

Human Rights Covenants

Human Rights Covenants are treaties based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and were adopted in 1976.

Specific human rights covenants include the following:

  • International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • First Optional Protocol
  • Second Optional Protocol

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was not binding, turning it into a human rights covenant helped to broaden public awareness of human rights issues.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Source:Universal Declaration of Human Rights|United Nations

Subsequent human rights documents

human rights documents

The UN has adopted more than 20 major conventions to cover the broadest possible range of human rights.

  • 1951: Convention relating to the Status of Refugees
  • 1979: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
  • 1989: Convention on the Rights of the Child

In addition,in Africa, Europe and North Americaregional instruments on the promotion and protection of human rights have extended the International Covenants on Human Rights

This demonstrates that the idea of respect for human rights is widespread throughout the world.

Establishment of Human Rights Watch

Governments and citizens alike believe in the importance of respecting human rights.

Human Rights Watch, as well as the following non-governmental organizations (NGOs)、have played an important role in helping the international community to spread the word about human rights.

  • Amnesty International
  • Anti-Slavery Society
  • International Working Group on Indigenous Issues

Human rights are created by each of us.

Human rights are created by each of us.

Human rights allow all human beings to express their views freely and to exchange information and opinions across borders.

By deepening each person’s understanding of human rights, it is possible to create a better society where there is no suffering.

It is said that human rights are not granted by anyone but are created by each individual and need to change with the times.

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