Issue 408 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

January-February 2008

Human Rights

This year the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is 60 years old – and the Olympics will take place in China, a country that flagrantly abuses it. Meanwhile, countries that flaunt their human rights credentials on the world stage have decided that the War on Terror trumps everything else. Fundamental human rights that took years of suffering to establish are being casually swept aside. Social and economic rights that were always belittled are now being ignored altogether. There may be more international human rights ‘machinery’ than ever before – but it’s being put very firmly into reverse gear.

So the NI starts the New Year by going backstage, behind all the razzmatazz, to celebrate the work of some remarkable groups of human rights defenders who carry on regardless – and we award them ‘medals’ of our own.


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In this issue

  • *Sam Geall* reports on broken promises at the Olympics.
  • Not that no-one knows. *Maria Yulikova* reports on the brutal assassination of a journalist in Russia.
  • The Roma – still widely known as ‘Gypsies’ – have had a raw deal for centuries and are only now starting to raise their voice on the international stage. *Eleanor Harding* looks at their plight in Romania, while the NI traces their history back to India.
  • Water Rights – Nepal
  • A nation of extremes.