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Chapter 1 The Global State of Human Rights
1 Global Human Rights: An Overview Amnesty 23
Despite progress in many areas of human rights, a number of governments have placed politics before justice. Powerful countries were able to escape accountability for human rights abuses.
2 The European Union Is Falling Short on Human Rights Commitments Stephanie Siek 29
The countries of the European Union have not fulfilled the commitments they have made to human rights. These countries have much work to do in the areas of discrimination against migrants and minorities as well as torture, extraordinary rendition, and police brutality.
3 Bangladesh Is Failing to Address Human Rights Abuses Md. Masum Billah 34
A journalist writing in the Dhaka Courier, a Bangladeshi journal/magazine, reports on a recent example of human rights abuse by the Bangladeshi government and protests against extrajudicial killings and unnecessary violence against critics.
4 Tibetans Are Suffering from Human Rights Abuses by China Isaac Beech 40
The Tibetan people have endured long-standing human rights abuses at the hands of China, both in Tibet and China. The harsh treatment of Tibetan protesters in 2008 is another example, though the Chinese authorities try to deny it and claim bias on the part of their critics.
5 The Arab World Is Experiencing a Deterioration of Human Rights Cairo 47
The human rights situation in the Arab world deteriorated in 2009. In many countries there are grave abuses against women, ethnic and religious minorities, and refugees as well as a lack of accountability for such crimes in the region.
6 Israel Is Violating International Law and the Human Rights of Palestinians John Dugard 55
Israel has consistently acted in violation of international law during its history. Its worst crimes have been against the Palestinian people: systematic discrimination, torture, forced relocation, and ethnic cleansings.
7 The United States Must Face Its Own Record of Human Rights Abuses China 69
China issued a special report to counter a U.S. report on China's human rights abuses. China details numerous violations of human rights in the United States and by its citizens abroad, and it argues that the United States should get its own act together before it starts criticizing China.
Periodical and Internet Sources Bibliography 79
Chapter 2 Human Rights and Politics
1 Britain's New Government Must Make Human Rights a Top Priority Kate Allen 81
Britain's new foreign secretary, William Hague, has an opportunity to pursue an agenda of human rights at home and abroad. Britain has a chance to establish global leadership on such issues and be a force for good in the world.
2 Myanmar's Government Must Be Pressured to Hold Fair Elections U Win Tin 86
The military regime governing Myanmar has systematically oppressed political opposition through restrictive election laws, imprisonment of political dissidents and opponents, and violence. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) must pressure Myanmar's government to finally hold fair elections and to respect the will of the people.
3 China Must Stop Supporting Authoritarian Regimes Martin Walker 92
China has supported at least five authoritarian regimes, directly or indirectly: North Korea, Myanmar, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Uzbekistan. Its economic strength and its insistence on its autonomy in internal affairs make it difficult for international opinion to influence its policies on human rights issues.
4 Israel Violates Human Rights and the European Union Is Complicit Badriya Khan 98
An international tribunal has ruled that Israel has violated international law, and the European Union (EU) is complicit. It is recommended that the EU refrain from contributing to Israel's lawbreaking and the subsequent oppression of the Palestinian people.
5 North Korea Must Shut Down Its Concentration Camps Lee Jong-Heon 107
The concentration camps in North Korea have allowed the authoritarian regime to stifle all political dissent and maintain power for many years. Some South Koreans, defectors from North Korea, and escapees from the concentration camps urge the international community and authorities to investigate these camps and their human rights abuses and to put the North Korean dictator on trial for them.
6 The European Union Should Support Democracy and Human Rights in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan Jos Boonstra 113
The European Union should continue its attempts to strengthen ties with the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in hopes of encouraging hu-man rights reforms in both countries.
7 The Honduras Truth Commission Faces a Daunting Task Honduras News 121
The independence and honesty of the Honduras truth commission set to investigate human rights abuses that occurred during the June 2009 political upheaval are under scrutiny. Human rights activists will be monitoring the proceedings very closely to ensure a fair and open process.
Periodical and Internet Sources Bibliography 126
Chapter 3 Human Rights and Minority Populations
1 Global Caste-Based Discrimination Should Be Treated as a Human Rights Violation Nicola McNaughton 128
Discrimination based on caste remains a problem in rural areas of southern Asia. A number of organizations, both international and India based, are acting on behalf of the lowest caste of dalits ("untouchables"). One offers advice on how businesses can pursue corporate social responsibility, while another empowers the dalits to act together to improve their understanding and circumstances.
2 China Continues to Tyrannize the Uyghur Minority Amy Reger 136
The Chinese government has instituted a heavy-handed repression of millions of Uyghurs (or Uighurs), a Muslim minority-often using "terrorism" as a reason for brutal crackdowns and violence. The international com-munity should learn more about the Uyghur population and its treatment at the hands of Chinese authorities.
3 Estonia Is Discriminating Against Ethnic Russians Kai Joost 143
Estonia often ignores the widespread discrimination against ethnic Russians. A debate over how the Russians came to live in the region years ago is part of the friction.
4 Sudan Violates the Human Rights of Its Citizens Lotte Leicht 148
Under the government forces of a brutal scorched-earth campaign of killings, rape, destruction, and displacement, human rights violations were carried out against the people of Darfur. Since the Sudanese government disregards charges imposed by the International Criminal Court against those responsible, sanctions should be placed on Sudan.
5 Iranian Persecution of the Bahá'í Is an Injustice and Rejection of True Iranian Identity Payam Akhavan 154
The brutal and systematic repression of the Bahá'í com-munity in Iran is a crime against humanity and against the identity of the Iranian people. This harsh treatment is a reflection of a national government that propagates violence and exclusion and does not respect the intrinsic value of all people.
6 Israel Must Safeguard the Rights of All People Within Its Borders Michael Schwartz 162
Israel has a unique responsibility to safeguard universal human rights because of the Jewish experience of the Holocaust as well as its history full of injustice and tragedy. The physical and spiritual strength of the Jewish people and the state of Israel is guaranteed by unwavering commitment to human rights and peace.
7 Sri Lanka Tries to Escape Accountability for War Crimes Against the Tamil People Satheesan Kumaaran 167
The Sri Lankan government continues to deny its numerous crimes against the Tamil people. The international community cannot falter in its determination to investigate Sri Lanka and its actions.
8 Developing Countries Have a Poor Record on Gay Rights 176
The Economist Many developing countries around the world are imposing draconian laws against homosexuality. These laws risk undermining progress made on fighting HIV/AIDS and may be a disaster for public health in these countries.
Periodical and Internet Sources Bibliography 181
Chapter 4 Human Rights Challenges
1 Chad Has a Problem with Violence Against Women 183
Violence against women is ignored in Chad. Many women, however, are fighting to strengthen laws and fight the prevailing cultural acceptance of the practice.
2 Saudi Arabia Must Address the Issue of Male Guardianship Christoph Wilcke 189
Although Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Commission stated it would abolish the practice of male guardianship over women's lives, it has failed to do so. The rights of Saudi women are still being violated by this antiquated system.
3 Sudan's Merowe Dam Has Sparked Several Human Rights Abuses Adrian Kriesch 195
The construction of the Merowe Dam has caused the flooding of historical sites and the displacement of thousands of people. There has to be consideration for the human rights of people in large government projects, no matter the benefit in other ways.
4 Africa Must Rely on the International Criminal Court to Address Human Rights Violations Olivier Kambala wa Kambala 200
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the only option for people in some African countries that lack a national initiative to prosecute war crimes, genocide, and other violations of human rights. The ICC must balance expectations and reality, and it must forge a practical approach to its basic mission.
5 Haiti's Human Rights Challenge Amnesty 208
In the wake of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, there -are a number of major human rights challenges. These include preventing the exploitation of children, establishing security, protecting the displaced and the rights of women, and ensuring the accountability of international forces working in Haiti.
Periodical and Internet Sources Bibliography 213
For Further Discussion 214
Organizations to Contact 216
Bibliography of Books 223