Human Rights

The Takeaway

Status of Escaped Chinese Dissident Overshadows Diplomatic Talks

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner arrive in China Wednesday morning. Ahead of their visit, American diplomats reportedly met with officials at the Chinese Foreign Ministry to quickly reach an agreement on what to do about Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng. David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for our partner The New York Times explains the strain Chen's position is putting on U.S.-China relations.


The Takeaway

Britain Deports Terror Suspects Wanted in the U.S.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, ruled today that Britain can legally deport five suspects wanted in the United States on charges of terrorism. The ruling came despite an argument from European attorneys that prison conditions in the U.S. are inhumane for terror suspects and convicts. John Burns is the London bureau chief for The New York Times.


The Leonard Lopate Show

North Korea, Past and Future

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Victor D. Cha, the former Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council discusses North Korea, the world's most controversial and isolated country. His book The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future documents the rise of the Kim family dynasty, and the obsessive personality cult that empowers them, and he illuminates the repressive regime's complex economy and culture.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: How to Save the World—World Peace

Friday, February 24, 2012

This week's Please Explain is the final installment of our series How to Save the World. Jeffrey Sachs discusses whether it's possible to achieve world peace. He's Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. His most recent book is The Price of Civilization.


Comments [26]

The Takeaway

Apple Announces Independent Inspectors for Chinese Suppliers' Factories

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recent reporting by our partner The New York Times raised fresh concerns over the safety and well-being of the workers that staff Apple's supplier factories in China. Apple now says that it has requested an independent labor group to audit the conditions at its suppliers' factories, with the first inspections under way starting yesterday.


The Brian Lehrer Show

Syria in Crisis

Friday, February 03, 2012

Executive director of the Middle East & North Africa Division for Human Rights Watch, Sarah Leah Whitson discusses the humanitarian crisis within Syria and the international response.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Old Behind Bars

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Jamie Fellner, a Senior Advisor, U.S. Program, Human Rights Watch, talks about the soaring number of aging prisoners. The Human Rights Watch report “Old Behind Bars: The Aging Prison Population in the United States” documents the dramatic increases in the number of older U.S. prisoners and the need for the prison system to adapt.


Comments [10]

The Takeaway

Shedding Light on the World's Most Mysterious Regime

Thursday, January 12, 2012

To citizens around the world, what goes on above the 38th parallel is largely a mystery. Though there are no questions about the numerous human rights abuses that go on in North Korea — extreme food rationing and hunger, arbitrary violence by the state, the impossibility of traveling past the country's borders — the daily reality of living through them have gone undocumented. Through years of research, Adam Johnson attempts to convey the very real and existential crises North Koreans face with his new novel.


The Takeaway

Obama, Clinton Call on World to End LGBT Discrimination

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

In a possibly historic move, the Obama administration announced its dedication to promoting LGBT rights around the world. In a memorandum from the president, and a speech from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the administration equated LGBT rights with human right, vowing to spend $3 million to finance LGBT rights organizations. "In reality, gay people are born into — and belong to — every society in the world," Clinton said to an audience of representatives of 47 nations, who gave her a standing ovation. (Watch the speech after the jump.)


The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: The Exploitation of International Domestic Workers

Thursday, November 17, 2011

On this week’s Underreported, Human Rights Watch researcher Nisha Varia describes abuses of migrant domestic workers in Asia and the Middle East, and why Cambodian women are particularly vulnerable to mistreatment in Malaysia. Plus, a look at efforts to implement international labor standards for domestic workers.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Narrative Threads

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lawrence Weschler, director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU and author of Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative, revisits some of his past "adventures" in essays on topics ranging from digital imagery to human rights in the Balkans and Rwanda.

Comments [1]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Alan Wolfe on Political Evil

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Political scientist Alan Wolfe examines political evil and why, in an age of genocide, terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and torture, it threatens us in ways radically different from tsunamis and financial panics. In Political Evil he looks at where and why evil is used for political gain, and sheds light on the creation of policy and on a concrete path to a more just future.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Intervention in Uganda

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Earlier this month President Obama deployed 100 U.S. troops to Uganda in an advisory role to aid the fight against the Lords Resistance Army. Nate Haken, who works on conflict assessment issues in Uganda, and Patricia Taft, who served an adviser to the government of Uganda on war crimes prosecution and its case against the LRA, look at why this action was taken and the controversy surrounding it. Haken and Taft both work for The Fund for Peace.

Comments [2]

The Takeaway

UN Report Details Human Rights Abuses in Iran

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A new United Nations report says Iran's authoritarian regime has been secretly executing hundreds of prisoners, possibly shedding light on alleged human rights abuses committed by the Iranian government. The report focuses on the period of time since the disputed presidential election of 2009. Since that event, an uprising has taken place and hundreds of activists, journalists, students, and lawyers have been detained by the Iranian government.



Activists Demand Gulnara Karimova's Fashion Show Be Shut Down

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

After Fashion Week cancelled Gulnara Karimova's show, there's word that the oldest daughter of the controversial leader of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, will relocate the catwalk to Cipriani restaurant. Activists plan to gather there on Thursday to protest Uzbek policies on child labor in the cotton industry.

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The Takeaway

Libyan Atrocities May Come to Light

Friday, August 26, 2011

As the Libyan capital falls from Gadhafi's grasp, we're getting a first look at how the forrmer regime dealt with its opponents in its last days. A range of atrocities appear to have been carried out by Gadhafi's forces in it's final hours. This happens as heavy fighting has continues in Tripoli, which is now almost entirely in the hands of rebel fighters. We have the latest dispatch from, Middle East correspondent Wyre Davies, from our partner the BBC.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Protests in India

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A battle over anti-corruption legislation has led to major protests and hunger strikes in India. Mira Kamdar, senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and associate fellow at the Asia Society, fills us in on what’s going on there for today’s Backstory.

Comments [5]

The Empire

City Council ends 'turban ban'

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Councilmembers Rose, left, and Weprin with Speaker Quinn. (Colby Hamilton / WNYC)

The City Council passed a measure this afternoon that changes the way employers can use exemptions for employees' religious observance, ending a so-called 'turban ban' in the New York City Police Department.

Currently, employers can declare the accommodation of a religious practice or expression to be a hardship, allowing them to deny employment or positions. The new law will raise the bar for what is considered a hardship, giving religious individuals more protections and forcing employers to try harder to find accommodations.

“The point of this bill is to make sure that, in the five boroughs, people who have particular requirements, as it relates to their religious observance…have the legal ability to do that in work," Quinn said in a press conference before the vote. The bill covers religious practices, such as prayer, as well as the need to take time off or wear religiously mandated clothing.

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The Takeaway

Assad Decrees Multi-Party System Amid Crackdown in Syria

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Hours after the United Nations Security Council condemned issued a statement condemning the Syrian government for using violence against its own people, President Bashar Assad authorized a multi-party system for the first time in order to try to quell the uprising against him. On Wednesday, tanks, armored vehicles, and snipers poured into the city of Hama, the symbolic center of the opposition for the last five months. Nada Bakri of The New York Times reports on the latest from Beirut, Lebanon. 


The Brian Lehrer Show

South Sudan: One Week Birthday

Friday, July 15, 2011

First, a brief follow-up on the News of World scandal and a song by Billy Bragg (read more).

Then, South Sudan in one week old. Wasil Ali, deputy editor in chief of Sudan Tribune, and Jose Hulsenbek, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in South Sudan, discuss the humanitarian and political challenges facing the country.