Human Rights Watch issued their annual world report yesterday, summarizing the state of human rights in 70 countries around the globe. Written with the clarity and detail that have marked previous annual issues, this year's report offers both good and bad news. On the positive side, it notes the popular overthrow of the Milosevic regime in Yugoslavia, the conclusion of a treaty barring the use of children as soldiers, and the UN Commission on Human Rights's first formal criticism of a permanent member of the UN Security Council (Russia, for its abuses in Chechnya). On the negative, the report cites the continued failure of the UN Commission to condemn China and the failure of the US to require the Colombian army to sever ties with paramilitaries as a condition for the recent huge military aid package to that country. The report begins with an essay on the global economy and then covers human rights developments by region. Separate sections of the report address special topics such as academic freedom, censorship, access to education, children's rights, and women's human rights. The report is available in both HTML and .rtf (zipped or uncompressed) formats.
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