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   Human Rights Watch Records, 1977-1997 [Bulk dates: 1989-1995]

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Human Rights Watch Records, Record Group, Box Number; Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

Record Group documents Africa Watch’s (AFW) three-pronged strategy to curb human rights abuses on the Continent through reports, missions and cooperative efforts with other NGOs. First, AFW monitored abuses and produced such comprehensive reports during war as Evil Days: Thirty Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia, and Conspicuous Destruction: War, Famine and the Reform Process in Mozambique . Second, although access remained difficult in many African countries, Africa Watch was still able to conduct missions to investigate human rights conditions in Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa. AFW circumvented this predicament by exchanging information gathered by local in country monitors with other NGOs. Third, besides engaging in collaborative monitoring activities, Africa Watch engaged in many joint documentation projects and lobbying efforts geared toward ending political and ethnic violence in Africa. Finally, other documentary materials include correspondence and e-mail communications, professional, personal and monitoring activity, field notes, testimonies, interviews, advocacy, policy planning material, and briefing papers.

At a Glance

Call No.:HR#0002
Bib ID:7746709 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Human Rights Watch(Organization). Africa Watch.
Title:Human Rights Watch Records, 1977-1997 [Bulk dates: 1989-1995]
Physical description:76.25 linear ft. (61 record cartons)
Language(s):Arabic, English, French
Access: This collection is located off-site. Please consult the Rare Book and Manuscript Library for further information. The HRW Records are restricted. Access to the HRW Records may only be granted with the written permission of HRW.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This Record Group is arranged into 6 series:

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Description

Scope and Content

Materials include correspondence and e-mail communications, mission reports, testimonies and interviews, addresses and contact lists, confidential interoffice memos, legal and advocacy material, internal planning and policy material, declassified government and United Nations documents, published and unpublished human rights reports from individuals and fellow non-governmental organizations (NGOs), press clippings and news releases, and maps. Another category of documents consists of HRW reports and briefing papers, as well as press releases and open letters to heads of state, governments and various government agencies.

Materials related to missions contain unpublished information on sources, cases, and the state of affairs in various countries. They include professional and personal mission notes taken by country researchers and monitors during investigative field trips, testimonies by and interviews with victims of various human rights abuses, pre-mission and post-mission memos, material on research methodology, correspondence and e-mail communications, addresses and contact lists, as well as photographic records.

Regionally and thematically, these documents cover the various democratic transitions on the African continent such as in South Africa. The papers also comprise such human rights advocacy initiatives as the attempt to prosecute the Rwandan genocide, the international effort to ban land mines, the challenge to ban the use of child soldiers; and the campaigns to promote freedom of expression and academic freedom.

Series 1: Karen Sorensen, 1979-1996

This series contains files relating to Karen Sorensen’s work as a HRW/Africa Watch Research Associate during the early to mid-1990s. In 1996, Ms. Sorenson became an HRW on-line research associate. The series is divided into two subseries: subject and country files.

Subseries 1: Subject Files, 1981-1996

Subject files are arranged alphabetically. The country files are arranged alphabetically and represent the following nations: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Cambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe. The files contain correspondence, Rwandan mission notes and predominantly research files utilized in the compilation of Africa Watch reports produced from 1989 to 1996.

Subseries 2: Country Files, 1979-1995

The country files are arranged alphabetically and represent the following nations: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Cambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe. The files contain correspondence, Rwandan mission notes and predominantly research files utilized in the compilation of Africa Watch reports produced from 1989 to 1996.

Series 2: Bronwen Manby Files, 1977-1996

This series represents Ms. Manby’s work as a consultant on South Africa from 1992 to the mid-1990s. After moving through various positions during her tenure at HRW/Africa Watch, she resigned as Deputy Director in 2003. In 2003, Ms. Manby became the Director of the Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) at the Open Society Institute in London.

Subseries 1: South Africa Files, 1977-1996

Subseries 1: South Africa, 1977-1997 The files are arranged alphabetically by subject and include correspondence, manuscripts, memorandums, newspaper clippings, newsletters and research reports. Through these preceding archival materials, the researcher may trace South Africa’s internal political developments from its intense repression of the “independent” homelands to its transformation to a democratic state positively engaged with its neighbors.

Series 3: Other Country Files, 1985-1997

In the early 1990s, HRW/Africa expanded its mission beyond its initial concentration on southern Africa and the Horn of Africa to include the entire continent. The files comprise the following states: Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, West Africa, Zaire, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The files contain archival materials collected or produced by Africa Watch staff, and are arranged alphabetically by country and subject. The files consist of articles, correspondence, memoranda, mission notes, newsletters, press clippings, publications, and general reports.

Series 4: Liberian Coalition for Relief, Resettlement & Reconstruction, 1979-1992

In 1989, Liberia experienced a violent civil war. In its aftermath, thousands of Liberians were either internally displaced or became refugees. Established in August 1990, the Liberian Coalition for Relief, Resettlement & Reconstruction (Coalition) sought to address the issues confronting refugees in Liberia and the United States. In October 1990, the Coalition, utilizing space donated by Human Rights Watch (HRW), organized a multi-pronged humanitarian effort that sought to alleviate the suffering of Liberians by shipping food stuffs and medical supplies; engaging in collaborative relief activities with other human rights organizations; addressing refugee issues with Liberian and U.S. officials; hosting fundraising events; and giving lectures to churches, universities and organizations. The series is divided into two subseries: general and subject files.

Subseries 1: General Files, 1990-1992

The general files are arranged alphabetically and contain predominantly reference materials such as fact sheets and press clippings.

Subseries 2: Subject Files, 1979-1992

Subject files are also arranged alphabetically and comprise correspondence, fundraising documents, publications and reports.

Series 5: Rakiya Omaar Files, 1989-1995

This series represents Ms. Omaar’s work as Executive Director of Africa Watch from 1989-1994. The series is divided into two subseries: general and subject files.

Subseries 1: General Files, 1991-1993

The general files are arranged alphabetically and contain primarily articles and correspondence.

Subseries 2: Subject Files, 1989-1995

Subject files are also arranged alphabetically and include correspondence, memos and monitoring reports.

Series 6: Publications, 1990-1991, 1996

This series contains two publications collected by Human Rights Watch/Africa staff. The first, BBC Monitoring-Summary of World Broadcasts comprises May through December 1991; and January through August and November 1996. The second, Afrique includes runs from May through December 1990; and April through December 1991.

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Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

 This collection is located off-site. Please consult the Rare Book and Manuscript Library for further information.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

The HRW Records are restricted. Access to the HRW Records may only be granted with the written permission of HRW.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Human Rights Watch Records, Record Group, Box Number; Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed 2008 Christopher M. Laico and Craig P. Savino (NYU, 2008)

Finding Aid written 2008 Christopher M. Laico

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion August 14, 2012 Finding aid written in English. Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    2012-08-14 File created.
    2012-08-29 xml document instance created by Christopher M. Laico.

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Angola--History--Civil War, 1975-2002--Atrocities.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Cameroon--Social conditions--1982-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ethiopia--Ethnic relations--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ethiopia--Politics and government--1991-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human Rights Watch (Organization)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ivory Coast--Politics and government.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mozambique--History--1994-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mozambique--History--Independence and Civil War, 1975-1994.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mozambique--Politics and government--1994-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Nigeria--Ethnic relations--Political aspects--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Nigeria--Politics and government--1993-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rwanda--Ethnic relations--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rwanda--History--Civil War, 1994--Atrocities.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Somalia--Politics and government--1991-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
South Africa--Politics and government--1994-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
South Africa--Race relations--Political aspects--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Uganda--History--1979-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Uganda--Social conditions--1979-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zambia--Politics and government--1991-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zimbabwe--Foreign relations--1980-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zimbabwe--Politics and government--1990-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zimbabwe--Social conditions--1980-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

In the early 1990s, HRW/Africa expanded its mission beyond its initial concentration on southern Africa and the Horn of Africa to include the entire continent.

The files comprise the following states: Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, West Africa, Zaire, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The files contain archival materials collected or produced by Africa Watch staff, and are arranged alphabetically by country and subject. The files consist of articles, correspondence, memoranda, mission notes, newsletters, press clippings, publications, and general reports.

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