Established in 1978, Human Rights Watch was founded in order to monitor former Soviet Union’s compliance with the Helsinki Accords under the name of Helsinki Watch. With the passing of time, Americas Watch was created in 1981 to observe mass violations of international humanitarian law and war crimes committed by rebel groups in the course of civil wars occurring in Central America. Asia Watch, (1985) Africa Watch (1988) and the Middle East Watch (1989) were respectively established carrying the same aim, and in 1988 all united the umbrella of Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Watch is an independent, nonprofit and global non-governmental organization that is made up over 400 staff members. Its staff is made up human rights experts carrying different professions such as lawyers, journalists, and academicians. The NGO is well-known for its observation-reporting system, efficient use of media and dialog with international organizations such as European Union, African Union and United Nations. Current fields of work of Human Rights Watch are namely; Free Speech, Torture, International Justice, Disability Rights, Children’s Rights, Migrants and Refugee Rights.