Human Rights Watch
Is the largest human rights organization based in the United States. Human Rights Watch researchers conduct fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in all regions of the world. Human Rights Watch then publishes those findings in dozens of books and reports every year, generating extensive coverage in local and international media. This publicity helps to embarrass abusive governments in the eyes of their citizens and the world. Human Rights Watch then meets with government officials to urge changes in policy and practice -- at the United Nations, the European Union, in Washington and in capitals around the world. In extreme circumstances, Human Rights Watch presses for the withdrawal of military and economic support from governments that egregiously violate the rights of their people. In moments of crisis, Human Rights Watch provides up-to-the-minute information about conflicts while they are underway. Refugee accounts which were collected, synthesized and cross-corroborated by researchers, helped shape the response of the international community to recent wars in Kosovo and Chechnya.
Human Rights Watch started in 1978 as Helsinki Watch, to monitor the compliance of Soviet bloc countries with the human rights provisions of the landmark Helsinki Accords. In the 1980's, Americas Watch was set up to counter the notion that human rights abuses by one side in the war in Central America were somehow more tolerable than abuses by the other side. The organization grew to cover other regions of the world, until all the "Watch" committees were united in 1988 to form Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Watch is based in New York, with offices in Brussels, London, Moscow, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Washington.