Exposing Fundamental Injustices, Upholding Rights

Published on May 1, 2015

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For nearly four decades, Human Rights Watch has built a reputation for accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy. It publishes more than 100 reports and briefings annually in nearly as many countries.

Since our initial grant to HRW, we have followed their activities and learned more about different sectors of their work. We attended a film about the organizations “Emergencies Team” or E-TEAM, and members of our executive committee attended an Emergencies Division training led by Associate Director for Program and Emergencies Anna Neistat and Emergencies Senior Researcher Ole Solvang. We left with a clearer understanding of how HRW conducts human rights investigations.

With a small, highly leveraged grant, Human Rights Watch has investigated and uncovered practices that criminalize poverty and trap innocent people in a cycle of debt. Their reports have shown how the consequences of practices such as predatory lending or disproportionate punishments for parolees are unjust and restrict fundamental rights of people already suffering from severe economic hardships and social stigma. More on this report:

This research ignited an ongoing frank conversation about class, race, and poverty in the United States that is long overdue.

The briefing paper on pervasive debt in Native American reservation generated press from NBC News. It also led to further research that further exposed financial problems and mismanagement impacting Native Americans, according to the author, Arvind Ganesan, director of business and human rights for HRW.

Through the nature of HRW’s exacting research, the two projects initiated by this grant continue to lead to new projects, furthering greater advocacy for the equality of chances.


HRW in the news: