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   Asia Watch records, 1978-1997 [Bulk, 1987-1997].

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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 6 documents Asia Watch's (AW) three-branched program of documentation, campaigning, and lobbying in order to promote the observance of internationally recognized human rights norms throughout the region. Utilizing this paradigm, for example, AW tackled such difficult issues as economic aid and democratization efforts; the plight of political prisoners and refugees; the advancement of the freedom of expression, the suppression of political violence in Indonesia and Sri Lanka; and the effect of AIDS and prostitution on women. In the late 1990s, AW expanded its mission by seeking allies within the NGO and business communities in Europe and Japan in order to bring more direct pressure on human rights offenders.

At a Glance

Call No.:HR#0002
Bib ID:7748599 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Human Rights Watch (Organization)
Title:Asia Watch records, 1978-1997 [Bulk, 1987-1997].
Physical description:152.5 linear ft. (122 record cartons)
Language(s):In Chinese, Dutch, English, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Tamil, and Vietnamese.
Access: This collection is located off-site. Please consult the Rare Book and Manuscript Library for further information. The records of Human Rights Watch are restricted and require the permission of the organization to view, copy, and/or publish. If you wish to request boxes from this collection, please send an email to rbml@columbia.edu detailing the collection, series, and box numbers in which you are interested. Once Human Rights Watch has reviewed the request, the scholar and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library will be contacted with specific instructions.  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 AW country researchers during investigative missions, testimonies by and interviews with victims of various human rights abuses, pre-mission and post-mission memos, addresses and contact lists.

Thematically, these documents deal with the various political and social transitions in Asia. The papers comprise such human rights advocacy initiatives as the attempt to alleviate the plight of political prisoners and refugees; the promotion of freedom of expression; the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre; the suppression of political violence in Indonesia and Sri Lanka; and the effect of Aids and prostitution on women.

Series 1: Robin Munro, China Files, 1979-1993

This series contains files relating to Robin Munro's work as HRW/Asia Watch chief China researcher from 1989 to 1998. The alphabetically arranged files focus predominantly on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and their aftermath. Files include materials on dissident intellectuals, drafts of articles and press reports.

Series 2: Country Files, 1978-1997

Country files are arranged alphabetically and represent the following nations: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Maldives, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Caledonia, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tibet, and Vietnam. The files contain correspondence, mission notes and predominantly research files utilized in the compilation of Asia Watch publications and reports produced from 1987 to 1997.

Series 3: General Files, 1988-1997

General files are arranged alphabetically by subject. Subject files consist of newsletters, press releases, reports and project materials dealing with women's issues and the World Bank.

Series 4: Jeannine Guthrie, Sri Lanka Files1985-1997

This series consists of subject files associated with Jeannine Guthrie's work as a research associate for Sri Lankan issues and later as NGO Liaison. The files are arranged alphabetically and comprise such issues as military operations, refugees, and women's rights.

Series 5: Fraser Wood, China Files, 1989-1992

Fraser Wood worked as a research associate for Human Rights Watch/Asia from 1989 to 1992. This series is arranged alphabetically by subject. The files contain materials associated with groups affected by the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square Massacre such as journalists, political prisoners, and students.

Series 6: Mickey Spiegel, China Files, 1985-1991

Mickey Spiegel has been with Human Rights Watch since 1990 with responsibilities for work on China and Tibet. Among the reports she has authored and coauthored are a series on religious freedom in the People's Republic of China, a directory of political prisoners, and profiles of Tibetans in exile. This series is arranged alphabetically by subject.

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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 records of Human Rights Watch are restricted and require the permission of the organization to view, copy, and/or publish. If you wish to request boxes from this collection, please send an email to rbml@columbia.edu detailing the collection, series, and box numbers in which you are interested. Once Human Rights Watch has reviewed the request, the scholar and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library will be contacted with specific instructions.

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

Finding Aid written 2008 Christopher M. Laico

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion November 26, 2012 Finding aid written in English. Finding aid adheres to that prscribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    2012-11-26 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
Afghanistan--History--1989-2001.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Aung San Suu Kyi.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bangkok (Thailand)--Social conditions.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Burma--Politics and government--1988-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Cambodia--Politics and government--1979-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
China--Economic conditions--1976-2000.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
China--Economic policy--1976-2000.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
China--History--Tiananmen Square Incident, 1989.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
China--Intellectual life.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
China--Politics and government--1986-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
China--Relations--Tibet.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Civil rights--Asia.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Dissenters--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Economic development--Moral and ethical aspects--Southeast Asia.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Family policy--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Freedom of expression--Asia.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hong Kong (China)--History--Transfer of Sovereignty from Great Britain, 1997PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hong Kong (China)--Relations--China--Macau (Special Administrative Region)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human Rights Watch (Organization)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human rights--China--1989-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human rights--India--Jammu and Kashmir.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human rights--Korea (South)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human rights--Philippines.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human rights--Singapore.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Insurgency--Philippines.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Labor--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Malays (Asian people)--Malaysia--Sarawak.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Pakistan--Military policy.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Philippines--Military policy.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Philippines--Politics and government--1986-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Political atrocities--Timor-Leste.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Political persecution--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Political prisoners--Indonesia.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Political refugees--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Political refugees--Vietnam.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Political violence--Indonesia.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Political violence--Sri Lanka.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Prisoners--Civil rights--Japan.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Prisons--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Prisons--Japan.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Prostitution--Thailand.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Protest movements--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Refugees--Cambodia.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Sarawak--Politics and government.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Singapore--Politics and government--1990-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Thailand--Foreign relations--1988-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United Nations--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States--Foreign relations--China--Decision making.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

This Record Group contains the records of Human Rights Watch/Asia (AW). Established in 1985, Asia Watch monitors and promotes the observance of internationally recognized human rights in Asia. Since its founding, AW has kept refining a three-pronged strategy of documentation, campaigning, and lobbying to expose abuses in the region. By the late 1980s, this strategy came to fruition with regard to China. To illustrate, even before the Tiananmen Square Massacre, AW had been working with Chinese human rights groups to support efforts to record the plight of Chinese political prisoners. In early May 1989, in turn, an AW mission traveled to Beijing in order to speak with pro-democracy demonstrators. These labors were combined with first-hand reports and lobbying campaigns before Congress. Asia Watch China Specialist, Robin Munro, for example, wrote an eyewitness account of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. AW executive staff, in turn, became vocal advocates for sanctions against China on Capitol Hill. Finally, AW set up a branch headquarters in Hong Kong. This office enabled AW to tap into the extensive information-gathering network in Hong Kong. It also facilitated work on behalf of pro-democracy activists who escaped there after the massacre.

Through the 1990s, through their three-pronged model, AW had expanded the number of countries it covered, the issues it addressed and the advocacy techniques it employed in the region. AW, for example, began seeking allies within the NGO and business communities in Europe and Japan in order to bring more direct pressure on human rights offenders in Asia.

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