Photographers zoom in on rights abuses

If anyone doubts that social and economic rights are real human rights, then they should take a look at this powerful picture, by Brazilian photographer Luiz Vasconcelos, one of the winners of the 2008 World Press Photo of the Year contest.

This is an eviction scene, with a woman holding her naked child while being pushed away from her home near the Amazon by a line of riot police.

The right not to be forcibly evicted from your home is one I have been studying recently, in connection with so-called 'mega-events' such as the Olympic Games. Forced eviction is likely to be one of the themes of Amnesty's up-coming campaign showing the links between poverty and human rights violations.

Not only can the loss of one's home be a rights violation in its own right, it can be as a result of other types of violation, such as discrimination based on ethnicity; it can be accompanied by further violations such as violence from the State; and it can lead to yet more violations, such as denial of the right to education for any children involved.

This photograph speaks a thousand of such words and I hope that we will have visuals as strong as this to accompany that future campaign work.

There are some other great human rights reportage photographs among this year's Press Photo competition – see them all here at the Daily Telegraph.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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