Human Rights Institute 1L Advocates Program presents:
Fall Seminar Series: Introduction to the Human Rights Field
The Fall Seminar Series provides 1L advocates with an introduction to the human rights field, including the breadth of issues on which advocates work, the array of organizations conducting human rights advocacy, and the strategies and tactics advocates employ. Each seminar explores a distinct thematic area of human rights, including discussion of specific examples of human rights advocacy and the range of opportunities to use human rights strategies to improve law, policy, and practice around the world.
Session 1: Advocacy in the Socio-Economic Rights Field
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Facilitator: Kayum Ahmed, Adjunct Professor of Law, Columbia Law School, former Chief Executive Officer, South African Human Rights Commission
This seminar will explore how advocates use human rights law and principles in struggles to secure socio-economic rights—including housing, health, education, food, water and sanitation—and also how advocates address the causes and consequences of poverty through innovative methods and practices.
Session 2: Toward Greater Corporate Accountability and Respect for Workers’ Rights and Environmental Justice
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Facilitator: Benjamin Hoffman, Senior Clinical Teaching Fellow, Human Rights Clinic
Recent years have seen heightened attention to the myriad impacts of business on both the realization and violation of human rights. Such attention has taken the form of focused efforts to ensure corporate accountability for human rights harms, and the growth of an entire “Business and Human Rights” field, ostensibly to better regulate and guide the conduct of corporations toward greater respect for human rights. This session will explore the work of various organizations in this growing field, with a focus on struggles for workers’ rights in global supply chains and for environmental justice in the extractive industries.
Session 3: Fostering Equality and Non-Discrimination
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Facilitators: JoAnn Kamuf Ward, Director, Human Rights in the U.S. Project, Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute & Anjli Parrin, Legal Fellow, Human Rights Institute & Clinic
States bear a responsibility to ensure equality before the law and eliminate discrimination in all its forms. Human rights law provides protections for people and groups which may experience vulnerability or discrimination, including persons with disabilities, children, indigenous peoples, LGBTQI individuals, older persons, racial and ethnic minorities, refugees, migrants, and women. Through several case studies, including advocacy for specific human rights treaties, this session will explore how advocates are building norms in this area, and leveraging human rights protections in national and local advocacy.
Session 4: Rule of Law, and Civil and Political Rights
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Facilitator: Jamil Dakwar, Director, Human Rights Program, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Democracy and respect for fundamental civil liberties and freedoms constitute core human rights values. Rights to freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, opinion, expression, and religion are both critical in themselves and essential for defending other human rights. Likewise, the rights to be free from arbitrary detention and slavery, as well as the right to a fair trial must be provided for in law and implemented in practice. This session will introduce key human rights organizations working to strengthen rights protections in these areas, and the types of tactics advocates are using to secure these rights, especially in light of recent threats to democracy and human rights.
Session 5: Armed Conflict, Counterterrorism, Emergencies, and Transitional Justice
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Facilitators: Alex Moorehead & Rahma Hussein, Project on Human Rights, Counterterrorism, and Armed Conflict, Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute
Governmental efforts to wage war and prevent terrorism are rife with human rights abuses committed under the justification of national security. Following conflict, violations committed by all parties can be strategically mobilized or ignored to serve political ends, and at the expense of the human rights to justice and remedy for harms suffered. This session will discuss how human rights, humanitarian law, and civil liberties organizations use law and advocacy to promote respect for rights and accountability for violation in times of violent conflict, transition, and post-conflict.