Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Human Rights Watch

As part of my job, I see a lot of books come across my desk. I can't possibly read them all, but a quick glance of the titles is enough to make me depressed sometimes. We all know that there are sad things happening all over the world, but Human Rights Watch actually specializes in documenting those sad things and then they send those books out to libraries and other people who buy them. Think life in the U.S.A. sucks? Look at some of these titles, and maybe you will get a different perspective on things--

"All The Men Have Gone"
War Crimes in Kenya’s Mt. Elgon Conflict

"As If They Fell From the Sky"
Counterinsurgency, Rights Violations, and Rampant Impunity in Ingushetia

"Bullets for Each of You"
State-Sponsored Violence since Zimbabwe’s March 29 Elections

"So Much to Fear"
War Crimes and the Devastation of Somalia

"They Shot at Us as We Fled"
Government Attacks on Civilians in West Darfur in February 2008

"You Can Detain Anyone for Anything"
Iran’s Broadening Clampdown on Independent Activism

A Question of Life or Death
Treatment Access for Children Living With HIV in Kenya

Denied Status, Denied Education
Children of North Korean Women in China

And there are many, many more. There were 82 reports published in 2008 alone, a few about the US, but mostly about other countries. If you go to the Human Rights Watch website you can find long lists of these and they aren't expensive. Depressing to read or skim through though. Even the covers of some of them are enough to evoke emotions. There are stories of "unaccompanied migrant children" in Turkey and Greece. Okay, we can't call them orphans because we don't know if their parents are really dead or if they just didn't make it across the border with these kids. There are stories of little girls being exploited all over the world, and stories of refugees being beaten and abused by the countries they are fleeing from and then again by the countries that they are fleeing to escape. Horrible, sad, stories of injustice all over the globe. If you thought you life was bad, these are real eye-openers and tear-jerkers.

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