Human Rights Institute
The Human Rights Institute serves as the focal point of international human rights education, scholarship and practice at Columbia Law School. The Institute currently focuses on a number of key themes, and, throughout the year, hosts a wide array of symposia, lectures, and other events to bring practitioners and scholars together.
The Zambian government appears to be engaging in a disturbing trend, cracking down on civil society through arrests of human rights defenders, journalists, and opposition leaders, highlights Human Rights Clinic students blog
The Human Rights Clinic releases our second trial monitoring report for TrialWatch partnership with the Clooney Foundation for Justice. The report covers the trial of six activists in Zambia, arrested for organizing an anti-corruption protest.
HRI joins more than 400+ foreign policy, human rights, civil liberties, and faith leaders, scholars, and organizations in sounding alarm over new Trump Administration Commission on Unalienable Rights, calling for its dissolution.
The Human Rights Clinic releases our first TrialWatch trial monitoring report, finding that the Turkish government's prosecution itselfviolated
Cansu Puskin's freedom of expression. The journalist was convicted for publishing the name of a prosecutor in her reporting.
- Faculty Co-Director Sarah Cleveland denounces Belgium's rejection of an Uighur family reunification case and putting them at risk of torture. The Muslim mother and four children were abducted by China's police after leaving Belgium's embassy in Beijing.
- Since 1999, the U.S. government has published data on foreign military units it has trained. Today, the Security Force Monitor released a new version of this data, and a simple tool with which to search it.
- The State Department’s new commission [on unalienable rights] represents a right-wing attack on America’s human rights traditions, warn HRI Faculty Co-Director Sarah Knuckey, and co-authors Margaret Sattherwaite and Jayne Huckerby.
- “It is difficult to keep up with all that the new administration is doing that threatens human rights,” New Yorker article quotes Human Rights Law Review's "Trump Human Rights Tracker," which provides regular updates on the Administration’s actions.
- U.S. Secretary of State launched the Trump administration’s new “Commission on Unalienable Rights.” The commission is more likely to promote an anti-rights agenda, warns article co-authored by HRI Co-Faculty Director Sarah Knuckey.
- Commenting on an alarming case of a Uigher family who was detained by Chinese Police after seeking help at Beijing's Belgian Embassy, HRI Co-Faculty Director Sarah Cleveland notes that under International Law, governments are not obligated to send people back to countries where they are at substantial risk of torture.
- Time Magazine names Yemeni human rights activist Radhya Al-Mutawakel, Co-Founder of Mwatana Organization for Human Rights and former HRI Practitioner-in-Residence, among 100 Most Influential People
- "The United States—and many other wealthy nations—are facing an invisible but profound crisis of sanitation coverage that disproportionately affects poor and rural communities" write JoAnn Kamuf Ward (HRI) and Inga T. Winler (ISHR).
- In the fight against corporate impunity for climate-related harm, companies are increasingly becoming direct targets of litigation write HRI visiting scholar Antonella Angelini & Maysa Zorob
- Human Rights Institute announces the 2019 awardees of its Commendation for Leadership and Commitment in Human Rights.
- Many segments of the business and human rights field have been co-opted by corporate actors, warns Ben Hoffman, Human Rights Clinic Acting Director.
- Human Rights Institute concludes 20th Anniversary Series: Resist, Decolonize, Create.
- United Nations expert on hazardous waste “deeply concerned” about environmental practices of Canadian mining companies operating abroad, citing Human Rights Clinic’s Red Water Report.
- Artwork gifted to Columbia Law School commemorates the Human Rights Institute's Twentieth Anniversary.
- HRI Co-Director Sarah Cleveland describes human rights today as ‘the Age of Connectivity’ in a keynote address at the first annual conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
- New report co-authored by HRI Co-Director Sarah Knuckey explores the effects of human rights activism on mental health & how NGOs have responded to the mental health needs of activists.
- Judge Gloria Porras warns of dangers to judicial independence at the launch of TrialWatch, a Clooney Foundation for Justice initiative, at Columbia Law School.
- This year's 16th CLE Symposium on Human Rights in the U.S. brought top lawyers, academics and advocates together in NYC to address 'Securing Fundamental Human Rights & Challenging Criminalization of Poverty.'
- Latest report co-authored by the Human Rights Clinic details the sanitation crisis facing rural U.S. communities, and provides human-rights-based solutions
- After 89 US human rights groups, including HRI urged Secretary Pompeo to allow UN monitor on racism to visit US, Senator Menendez condemns US refusal to engage with UN human rights monitors in Guardian article.
- Article by RadioNZ highlights new Red Water PNG report by Columbia Law Human Rights Clinic on water insecurity in Porgera, Papua New Guinea, as well as Barrick Gold's commitment to finding workable solutions.
- Chloé Marnay-Baszanger, Chief of the Peace Mission Support Section at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), joins HRI as this semester's Practitioner-in-Residence.
- HRI and the Clooney Foundation for Justice launch initiative that trains observers to monitor trials where human rights may be at risk. TrialWatch launched in day-long conference at CLS.
- CLS Unveils Eleanor Roosevelt Bust at special event marking the 70th anniversary since the signing of the declaration of human rights, and 20th anniversary of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute.
- In the wake of reports of civilian casualties in US military operations in Somalia, together with Abdifatah Hassan Ali of Witness Somalia and Rahma Hussein, HRI's Alex Moorehead highlights how important transparency is to those most impacted: Somali families and communities.
- Columbia Law School Holds Third Annual Human Rights Student Paper Symposium, featuring a record number of 16 student presentations.
- HRI hosted Uyghur scholars to discuss the Chinese government's mass internment of Uyghur and other Muslim populations in Xinjiang, and address possibly areas of advocacy against these systemic human rights violations.
- The Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic and Argentine Forensic Anthropology team train Special Criminal Court of the Central African Republic police officers on accountability efforts using forensic sciences.
- HRI's Alex Moorehead and CIVIC's Dan Mahanty explain how any proper assessment of the costs of war is impossible without official civilian casualty estimates.
- "Turkey has [been engaged] in a broad-based assault on judicial independence, the media, civil society, rule of law and human rights... [but] there’s still time... to turn back from this path," writes HRI Faculty Co-directory Professor Sarah Cleveland in op-ed.
- HRI's Alex Moorehead warns Vice News of U.S. military's snowballing and seemingly never-ending engagement in Somalia.
- Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba shares his people-centered approach to economic justice in Jackson, MS in candid conversation with Columbia Law School students.
- U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania rules that claims involving war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Liberia can be brought under the Alien Tort Statute, writes CLS Alumna Ela Mattews.
- As Trump moves to hide civilian deaths, HRI's Alex Moorehead tells the Bureau of Investigative Journalism that Congress must act to ensure transparency and meaningful oversight of the US government's use of force.
- International Humanitarian Law Expert Dakshinie Ruwanthika Gunaratne joins HRI as part of the Practitioner-in-Residence program to research and write about famine and its correlation to economic crises.
- HRI Visiting Scholar Antonella Angelini shares a perspective on the future and challenges of a UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights.
- HRI Co-Faculty Director Sarah Cleveland conducts human rights follow-up mission Guatemala, and warns that recent changes “could further violate the rule of law and human rights protections.”
- Continuing advocacy to garner federal support for state and local human rights implementation, HRI and The Program on Human Rights in the Global Economy at Northeastern provided input to OHCHR to inform a report to the UN Human Rights Council later this year.
- JoAnn Kamuf Ward writes on the relevance of human rights in the era of #MeToo, and how CEDAW can advance gender equality at the local level. This builds upon the Gender Equality Toolkit that HRI developed with the Leadership Conference and UNA-USA to support local governments in shaping the transformative change that is needed.
- Sarah Mehta joins Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute and Human Rights Clinic as the TrialWatch Legal Fellow, where she is working to develop and implement a new international trial monitoring project.
- HRI joined leading Human Rights organizations including the Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU for a briefing in D.C. Experts and advocates discuss the implications of the findings of the Special Rapporteur of Extreme Poverty and Human Rights' on the work of the 116th Congress to address poverty and inequality in the United States.
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