Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute Celebrates Human Rights at Home
Human Rights Institute Marks 15th Anniversary of Bringing Human Rights Home Lawyers’ Network with U.S. human rights advocates and experts this fall
October 19, New York – On October 22, the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute celebrates the 15th anniversary of its Bringing Human Rights Home (BHRH) Lawyers’ Network with an event entitled Advancing U.S. Social Justice Through Human Rights.
Created in 2000 and facilitated by the Human Rights Institute, the BHRH Lawyers’ Network connects over 800 lawyers around the country from the domestic civil rights, human rights, and legal services communities to share information and develop strategies for integrating human rights to advance U.S. social justice advocacy.
“Human Rights in the United States has been core to the Institute’s work since its founding by Professor Louis Henkin. The BHRH Lawyers’ Network is a centerpiece of the Institute’s efforts in this area. Through it, we connect and support the dynamic and growing field of U.S. social justice lawyers engaging human rights standards and strategies as part of their advocacy efforts,” says Institute Executive Director Risa Kaufman. “This anniversary is an important occasion to take stock of and celebrate Network members’ successes, and to explore strategies and challenges for ensuring U.S. compliance with human rights.”
The October 22nd celebration will feature a keynote address by Caroline Bettinger-López ’03, the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women and the director (on leave) of the University of Miami School of Law’s Human Rights Clinic. The former deputy director of the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, Bettinger-López was counsel in Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, 2011), the first international human rights case brought by a domestic violence victim against the U.S.
Following the keynote address, the Institute will host a panel of prominent academics and advocates drawn from the BHRH Network membership discussing human rights advocacy to address issues including national security, racial justice, movement building, and homelessness and housing. Experts will reflect on how a human rights framework has made a difference in advancing domestic social justice advocacy efforts over the past 15 years, ways in which the field has grown and shifted, and lessons learned from both successful and unsuccessful efforts to integrate human rights at home. Cathy Albisa ‘89, executive director and co-founder of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative and recently appointed to the New York City Human Rights Commission, will provide closing remarks. An evening reception for the BHRH Lawyers Network and the Columbia community will follow the day’s events.
In addition to the October 22 celebration, throughout the fall, the Institute has been hosting a series of talks focusing on human rights in the United States.
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Founded in 1998 by the late Professor Louis Henkin, the Human Rights Institute serves as the focal point of international human rights education, scholarship practice at Columbia Law School and draws on the law school’s deep human rights tradition to support and influence human rights practice in the United States and throughout the world.