Human Rights

The Leonard Lopate Show

Eliminating the Use of Child Soldiers

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

As the leader of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Rwanda in 1994, Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire came face-to-face with child soldiers during the genocide there. Since then, the use of child soldiers has proliferated in conflicts around the world: they are cheap, plentiful, expendable, and loyal. In They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers, Dallaire looks at how the use of child soldiers can be eliminated.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Boat of Migrant Africans Left to Drift for 16 Days

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In late March and early April, a boat filled with dozens of African migrants drifted in the Mediterranean for 16 days with almost no food, fuel or water. Although the boat made contact with various European authorities, no rescue was attempted and 61 people died. On this week’s Underreported, Fred Abrahams, Special Advisor at Human Rights Watch, describes what happened aboard the ship and why an investigation has been launched into how NATO and its member states responded to the ship’s distress calls.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Human Rights and Israel

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Curt Goering, Amnesty International's chief operating officer, and Stuart Robinowitz, counsel to the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and was on the advisory committee of Helsinki Watch (which joined other organizations to become Human Rights Watch in 1989), who has led human rights fact-finding missions for HRW and the American Bar Association, discuss the Goldstone report and the debate about alleged human rights abuses in Gaza.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate

Monday, April 18, 2011

Helen Whitney, writer, producer and director, of the film “Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate,” is joined by Donald Shriver, former president of Union Theological Seminary, and Father Petero Sabune, a prison chaplain who has visited many of Rwanda’s prisons after the genocide, to discuss the human capacity to forgive. The two-part film explores stories—from adultery and personal betrayal to global reconciliation after genocide. “Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate” airs April 17 and 24 at 10 p.m. on PBS.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Mahatma Gandhi's Life and Legacy

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pulitzer Prize–winner Joseph Lelyveld discusses the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi—his legacy in India’s imagination and in shaping its struggle for independence as a mass movement. Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India shows how Gandhi’s sense of mission, social values, and philosophy of nonviolent resistance were shaped in South Africa. Gandhi emerges as one of history’s most remarkable self-creations: a prosperous lawyer who became an ascetic in a loincloth, and was wholly dedicated to political and social action.

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Guggenheim Says Artists' Boycott Jeopardizes Abu Dhabi Project

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More than 130 artists have boycotted the Guggenheim's new Abu Dhabi location over migrant workers' rights.


The Leonard Lopate Show

The U.S. Government and Human Rights

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Historian and foreign-policy analyst James Peck argues that Washington has used the language of human rights to promote American interests abroad and further America’s global reach. In Ideal Illusions: How the U.S. Government Co-opted Human Rights, he looks at Soviet dissidents, protesters in Tiananmen Square, and today's war on terror. Peck reveals how the human rights movement often fails to challenge Washington's strategies.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Fighting for Darfur

Friday, March 04, 2011

Rebecca Hamilton describes the six-year grassroots campaign to draw global attention to the plight of Darfur’s people. Fighting For Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide looks at the advocacy efforts of everyone, from college students who galvanized entire campuses, to celebrities such as Mia Farrow, who spurred politicians to act. She tells the story of the crisis in Darfur, our moral dilemma, and shows the promise and perils of citizen engagement in a new era of global compassion.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: South Sudan Independence

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Last month, the southern Sudanese people voted 99% in favor of breaking away from northern Sudan and creating an independent state. Oliver August, Africa correspondent for The Economist, and Jehanne Henry, Sudan researcher for Human Rights Watch, explain the 2005 peace agreement that led to this vote and the challenges South Sudan faces in setting up a new nation.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Hosni Mubarak

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Earlier this week, people took to the streets of Cairo, protesting the government of President Hosni Mubarak. On today’s Backstory, Human Rights Watch researcher Heba Morayef and Ashraf Khalil, a Cairo-based journalist who has been covering the protests for Foreign Policy, discuss how Mubarak came to power and how he’s maintained control of Egypt over the last 29 years. Plus, we’ll get an update on one of the largest protests that the country has seen in more than 30 years.

Ashraf Khalil, a Cairo-based journalist who has been covering the protests for Foreign Policy.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Making Bail

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jamie Fellner, Senior Counsel, US Program, Human Rights Watch explains how bails are set and the role of bondsmen how bail penalizes the poor.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Carl Safina on The View from Lazy Point

Monday, January 24, 2011

MacArthur fellow Carl Safina argues that environmental problems affect matters of human justice, well-being, and our prospects for peace, and looks at the ways our world is changing and how we should respond.  In The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in the Unnatural World, he takes us through the four seasons to the four points of the compass, and from the high Arctic to Antarctica, from the Caribbean to the west Pacific.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: The Latest On Burma

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We’ll look at the political situation in Burma, and the problems presenting opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. We’ll speak with New Yorker writer Joshua Hammer, his article "A Free Woman," appears in the January 24 issue of the New Yorker.

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It's A Free Blog

The Gaping Human Rights Loophole for Undocumented Immigrants

Monday, January 03, 2011

To advance and defend the interests of unauthorized immigrants it is necessary to give them the standing to protect themselves by invoking their civil rights.

Rodolfo de la Garza

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Protecting Human Rights in Egypt

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hossam Bahgat, founder and director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, discusses his work to protect civil and religious rights in Egypt, and the threat of violence and discrimination aimed at the country’s religious minorities. And, with Egypt’s parliamentary elections less than a month away, he describes the government’s crackdowns leading up to the vote. He received the Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism earlier this week.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Gays & Lesbians in Iraq

Thursday, October 21, 2010

There are no exact figures on the number of gays and lesbians who have been killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, though a 2009 Human Rights Watch report puts the number “in the hundreds.” On today’s Underreported segment, freelance journalist Michael Luongo discusses what life is like for gays and lesbians there, from underground clubs in Baghdad and hiding in safe houses, to the constant threat of violent attacks from militia members. His four-part series on gay life in Iraq appears in the Gay City News.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Roma in Europe

Thursday, September 23, 2010

In recent weeks, France has been locked in a war of words with the European Union over its effort to expel the Roma living there. But the Roma in Italy have also been facing discriminatory policies and prejudice. On today's Underreported, Bernard Rorke, director of Roma Initiatives at the Open Society, discusses what’s behind these restrictive policies towards Roma.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Inside Iran

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Iran is viewed as a security threat that's part of the Axis of Evil, but it is also is a proud nation with a 2,500 year history of Persian poetry, art, and passion, and its complexities are often overlooked. Scott Peterson discusses Iran: from its recent internal struggles to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran—A Journey Behind the Headlines, he speaks with clerics and reformers, filmmakers and journalists, True Believers and the Westernized resisters.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Uighur Update

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New York Times reporter Andrew Jacobs discusses the ongoing tensions between the Han Chinese and the Uighur population in Western China. He’ll recount the violence that erupted and killed nearly 200 people last July, and look at what’s happened since.


The Takeaway

On a Constitutional Right to Food

Friday, August 13, 2010

A right to food as a matter of constitutional principle is being proposed in India, which has a population of hungry people that exceeds the population of most whole nations. 421 million chronically hungry people in the world’s largest democracy are not only a gigantic political constituency but also a staggering health problem. India is acknowledged to have the largest population of hungry people in the world and it’s not immediately clear how granting a legal right to food will change this troubling reality. India’s proposal for a constitutional right to food provokes a discussion of how the nature of political rights differs from how we approach biological necessity.

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