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Human rights in the 21st century: problems and prospects

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  • Speaker: Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch
  • Chair: Dorothy Q. Thomas
  • Thursday 6 December 2007 



In the past decade, Human Rights Watch has emerged as one of the leading human rights organisations in the world, its reports increasingly acclaimed for their accuracy and for the depth of their human rights advocacy. Executive Director Kenneth Roth discusses the human rights landscape in the Centre's annual Human Rights Day lecture: What have been the main challenges that Human Rights Watch has faced as it has worked to achieve this position? How has the organisation adapted to the new climate of opinion after 11 September 2001 and to the new militarism of the Bush years? What are the key challenges that human rights NGOs face in the world today? With an eye to the future, what is the current state of health of the human rights ideal?


Kenneth Roth is the executive director of Human Rights Watch, which monitors developments in more than 90 countries worldwide. Mr Roth has conducted numerous human rights investigations and missions around the world, testified frequently before the U.S. Congress and international bodies and has written extensively on human rights abuses, international justice and war crimes.

Dorothy Thomas is an independent consultant on human rights and a visiting fellow in the Centre for the Study of Human Rights. She was the founding director of the Human Rights Watch Women's Rights Division, and serves on the advisory boards of numerous US-based human rights organisations and funding bodies.


An audio recording of this event is available to download as: mp3 (20 mb; approx 88 minutes)