Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute Welcomes New Practitioner-in-Residence,
Human Rights Expert Jehanne Henry
October 31, 2016, NEW YORK—The Human Rights Institute announced this week that Jehanne Henry, an expert in human rights and the rule of law in conflict and post-conflict settings, and a senior researcher in Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) Africa division, will join the Institute’s Practitioner-in-Residence Program.
Drawing on her extensive experience in human rights fact-finding and advocacy, Henry will spend her time at Columbia researching and writing scholarly reflections on human rights practice, and particularly on her experience addressing human rights violations in Central and Eastern Africa. Henry will also advise Columbia Law School students on human rights advocacy and careers.
“After years focused on intractable conflicts and advocacy conundrums, I welcome this incredible chance to reflect on the nature of this work, and the tools we use to do it, in an academic setting and surrounded by inspired students,” Henry said.
For the past decade, Henry has overseen and contributed to HRW’s work on Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, and Kenya. She has conducted dozens of research missions to cover Sudan’s multiple armed conflicts in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, and human rights issues surrounding South Sudan’s independence and current civil war.
“The Human Rights Institute’s Practitioner-in-Residence program is designed to provide opportunities for human rights advocates to contribute to academic debate and to deepen their practice through reflection and critique,” said Professor Sarah Knuckey, Lieff Cabraser Associate Clinical Professor of Law, Human Rights Institute faculty co-director and director of the Human Rights Clinic. “We are thrilled to host Jehanne as she generates scholarship based on her years of experience as an advocate and her many vital contributions to human rights challenges.”
Knuckey added that Columbia Law School students will greatly benefit from Henry’s expertise and presence on campus, as the students develop their own human rights research and advocacy skills.
Prior to joining HRW, Henry served as a human rights officer with the United Nations Mission in Sudan based in North Darfur. She worked on various human rights and rule of law programs in Cambodia, as a legal adviser in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, where she also managed a legal aid program for the American Refugee Committee. Henry began her international human rights career as an intern in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Her writing has featured in The Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Think Africa Press, among others; she frequently interacts with the media, and has testified before U.S. Congress and other fora about the situation in Sudan and South Sudan.
The Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute Practitioner-in-Residence Program is designed for human rights practitioners from non-governmental organizations, government, the United Nations, and other inter-governmental and international bodies who seek an environment in which they can engage in research, writing, and scholarly discussion connected to their human rights practice. The program is intended to promote human rights scholarship grounded in practice, as well as practice informed by scholarship and critique.
While in residence at the Human Rights Institute, Practitioners-in-Residence have the opportunity to work on their own scholarly or policy-oriented papers or books for publication, develop workshops and new research agendas, or prepare for conferences or new human rights projects. Mentoring about academic scholarship is available, as are opportunities for presenting and obtaining feedback on draft work. Practitioners also have the opportunity to participate in the broader intellectual life of the law school, and may deliver guest lectures in the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic and other human rights course offerings, participate in the mentoring of Columbia Law School students, advise on ongoing projects of the Human Rights Institute and Clinic, and design workshops or other events with experts from the field. The Human Rights Practitioners-in-Residence program is administered by the Human Rights Institute.
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The Human Rights Institute advances international human rights through education, advocacy, fact-finding, research, scholarship, and critical reflection. We work in partnership with advocates, communities, and organizations pushing for social change to develop and strengthen the human rights legal framework and mechanisms, promote justice and accountability for human rights violations, and build and amplify collective power. Founded in 1998 by the late Professor Louis Henkin as the anchor for human rights within Columbia Law School, the Human Rights Institute promotes engagement and knowledge of human rights within the law school, throughout the University, and around world. Across the many substantive areas of its work, the Institute builds bridges between scholarship and activism, develops capacity within the legal community, engages governments, and models new strategies for progress.
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