> Human Rights Watch <
Human Rights Watch was founded in 1978 as “Helsinki Watch,” when we began investigating rights abuses in countries that signed the Helsinki Accords, most notably those behind the Iron Curtain. Since then, our work has expanded to five continents. We investigated massacres and even genocides, along with government take-overs of media and the baseless arrests of activists and political opposition figures. At the same time, we expanded our work to address abuses against those likely to face discrimination, including women, LGBT people, and people with disabilities. When families victimized by war crimes found no justice at home, we championed international justice and international courts. While we rely on in-person interviews, our research methods have also changed with the times, and today we use satellite imagery to track the destruction of villages and city blocks, and we mine big data for patterns in arrest rates or the deportation of immigrants. Everything we do circles back to our commitment to justice, dignity, compassion, and equality.