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New Resources: 9-14-2012

2012 September 14

New Book from Alfred McCoy
Focuses on “Torture and Impunity”

Alfred McCoy’s 2006 A Question of Torture was one of the first and most valuable books I read as I was beginning research for my documentary, Refuge: Caring for Survivors of Torture. Subtitled “CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror,” it was, and remains, an invaluable analysis of the deterioration of U.S. political and military ethics that led to Abu Ghraib. McCoy’s new book, Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation documents the continuation of many of the same policies into the Obama administration, and promises to be as eye-opening and important as his earlier work.

Many Americans have condemned the “enhanced interrogation” techniques used in the War on Terror as a transgression of human rights. But the United States has done almost nothing to prosecute past abuses or prevent future violations. Tracing this knotty contradiction from the 1950s to the present, historian Alfred W. McCoy probes the political and cultural dynamics that have made impunity for torture a bipartisan policy of the U.S. government.
                                                                — Publisher’s blurb

The Migration & Human Rights Project at Boston College

Boston College’s Center for Human Rights and International Justice has released the  2012 Annual Report of its Migration & Human Rights Project. It’s available in English and Spanish, and features articles dealing with the Project’s collaborations with immigrant community groups, as well as recent legal news about deportation law reform, and ongoing research about migrants and human rights in Guatemala.
            The Migration and Human Rights Project includes ongoing programs on ethical issues raised by the plight of refugees and displaced persons; urban refugees; the human rights of migrants; the human rights of deportees; the situations of transnational and mixed-status families; and others.

“List of Shame” Documents Abuse of Children in Conflict

The United Nations issues an annual overview of the situation of children affected by armed conflict throughout the world. This year’s Annual Report of the Secretary-General, covering calendar year 2011, documents the recruitment and use of children in warfare, sexual violence against children, the killing and maiming of children, the abduction of children, attacks on schools and hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian access to children. It reports on situations in 23 countries including, for the first time, Syria and Libya.     
            Each year, the Secretary-General also lists parties to conflict who have committed the most grave violations against children, in what has become known as the List of Shame. This year’s list has grown to 52 perpetrators, including 32 Persistent Perpetrators who have been listed for at least 5 years. (For additional information on issues affecting children caught up in conflict situations, visit the website of the Watchlist on Children in Armed Conflict.)

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