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   Human Rights Watch Records 1966-1994 [Bulk Dates: 1980-1994].

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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

At a Glance

Call No.:HRW RG 5
Bib ID:8960940 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Human Rights Watch (Organization). Americas Division.
Title:Human Rights Watch Records 1966-1994 [Bulk Dates: 1980-1994].
Physical description:96.25 x linear ft. (77 record cartons)
Language(s): In English and Spanish
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. 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

Record Group 5 is arranged into 4 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material, internal planning and policy material, declassified government and United Nations documents, published and unpublished human rights reports from individuals and fellow non-governmental organizations (NGOs), press clippings and news releases, and maps.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 AmW 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 the Americas. 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; and the suppression of political violence.

Series 1: Aryeh Neier, 1978-1989

This series documents Executive Director, Aryeh Neier's efforts from 1981 to 1989 to establish Americas Watch (AmW) as a full operating division of Human Rights Watch (HRW). The series is divided into three subseries: chronological correspondence, country, and general files. The correspondence files span 1981 to 1986 and record AmW's founding and initial human rights projects. Chile, El Salvador and Peru comprise the alphabetically arranged country files. Covering the period 1978 through 1984, these files cover such subjects as anti-terrorism efforts, democratic reform initiatives, and the plight of political prisoners and refugees. Arranged alphabetically, the general files comprise mainly AmW fundraising data, press releases, and staff memorandums.

Series 2: Cynthia Brown, 1980-1994

Cynthia Browns initial work as Associate Director for Americas Watch stressed investigative missions to El Salvador, Guatemala and Colombia. In 1983, she inaugurated yearly trips to monitor the human rights situation in Chile. Extending from 1980 to 1992, the alphabetically arranged country files, therefore, emphasize Chile. Other nations include Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Organized alphabetically and running from 1982 to 1994, the general files predominantly contain such administrative files as inter-office correspondence, memorandums, press releases, reports, and schedules. The alphabetical professional files hold correspondence (1984; 1987-1989) with human rights groups, advocates, and Congressional testimony. Finally, the subject files include labor rights, police targets, the United Nations, U.S. policy, and women's issues.

Series 3: Guatemala Files, 1966-1990

Divided into three alphabetically arranged subseries, this series encompasses the work of three individuals involved in AmW's Guatemala projects. Represented in the first sub series (1966-1988) is Jean-Marie Simon, an American photo-journalist and human rights activist, who AmW engaged as a consultant in the early 1980s. The sub series contains correspondence, interviews, notes and subject files related to her contributions to several AmW Guatemala reports and her personal photographic book project: Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny (Norton, 1987). The second subseries (1978-1984) holds Eliecer S. Valencia's Guatemalan refugee project files collected during the research for his volume, Guatemalan Refugees in Mexico, 1980-1984 (AmW, 1984). Embodied in the third subseries are Frank E. Howard's efforts as a legal consultant (1989-1990) on behalf of AmW handling asylum cases.

Series 4: Mary Jane Camejo, 1971-1994

The series is divided into two alphabetically arranged subseries of country and general files. Mary Jane Camejo was an AmW Research Associate, who focused on Latin American politics specifically in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The country files reflect this specialization with the largest group of material associated with these three nations. The files document the plight of Cuban artists, dissidents and political refugees, and Haitian sugar cane labors. Other represented countries include Antigua, Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. The general files consist primarily of human rights law and policy reports.

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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. 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.

      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 December 19, 2012 Finding aid written in English. Finding aid adheres to that prscribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    2012-12-21 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.

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Additional Creators

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Radio Martí Program (U.S.).--Office of Research & Policy.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bolivia--Politics and government--1982-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Catholic Church.--Archdiocese of Santiago (Chile).--Vicaría de la Solidaridad.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Chile--Foreign relations--United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Chile--Politics and government--1973-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Communism--Cuba.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Cuba--Intellectual life--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Cuba--Politics and government--1959-1990.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Dissenters--Cuba.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Dominican Republic--Foreign relations--United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Forced labor--Dominican Republic.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Government, Resistance to--Cuba.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Haiti--Foreign relations--United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Haiti--Politics and government--1986-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Haiti--Social conditions.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human rights workers--Peru.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human rights--Chile.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human rights--Cuba.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Land reform--El Salvador.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Law reform--Cuba.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mariel Boatlift, 1980.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Migrant labor--Dominican Republic.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Oakdale Federal Alien Detention Center (Oakdale, La.)--History.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Paraguay--Foreign relations--United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Paraguay--Politics and government--1989-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Peace--Government policy--Central America.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Political prisoners--Cuba.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Politics and literature--Cuba.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Press--Chile--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Prisoners--Cuba.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Refugees--Haiti.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Sugar workers--Dominican Republic.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Trials (Political crimes and offenses)--Paraguay.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Violence--Colombia--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

Record Group 5 contains the records of Human Rights Watch/Americas Watch (AmW). Established in 1981 as an outgrowth of the Helsinki Watch Committee, the AmW division promotes human rights in the Western Hemisphere. It concerns itself particularly with harassed human rights groups in repressive countries. AmW, for example, assists Latin American monitoring organizations in disseminating information about oppressive practices. It also mounts external pressure within countries to ensure human rights protections through sponsored human rights missions and publishes reports on their findings.

The Americas Watch division is funded by private foundations, citizens, and does not accept government funds. As a strictly non-political, non-partisan group, it investigates and attempts to report objectively on human rights conditions. Its policy recommendations, in turn, relate solely to ways in which the United States can assist human rights monitors in countries with poor human rights records.

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