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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK
The Special Rapporteurs
First broadcast August 2006

Skinhead and a Russian flag
Special rapporteurs are appointed by the United Nations to monitor and report on how people's human rights are protected or violated.

The job combines diplomatic and investigative skills, the work is hard, and at times it is hazardous.

In this three-part series, Gemma Mortensen meets the special rapporteurs for racism, defence of human rights and violence against women.

Part One - Racism

Doudou Diene is the Special Rapporteur for Racism. In part one of this series, Gemma Mortensen accompanies him on a trip to the Russian Federation, where he begins by examining the sense of nationality being promoted by the political parties in Russia and the Neo Nazi groups that have proliferated there.

He investigates the harrowing testimonies of those who have experienced racist assaults: from the Jewish community in Moscow to the Roma peoples of St Petersburg.

We meet those who monitor the danger posed by extreme rights groups and talk to local government officials who appear not to acknowledge the seriousness of the problem.

This series was produced by Tamsyn Challenger.

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