Human Rights Clinic Student Sophia Wistehube JD ’19 Delivers NGO Statement on Human Rights and Drones to the UN General Assembly
October 17, 2017, New York – Last week, Human Rights Clinic student Sophia Wistehube JD ’19 addressed the UN General Assembly at its annual First Committee meeting on disarmament and international security. She was delivering a statement prepared by a coalition of 46 NGOs from 17 countries.
“The statement called on states to develop stricter international standards for the export of drones, and raised concerns about the civilian harm caused by drone strikes,” said Wistehube, who is currently a second year student, planning to be an international human rights lawyer.
“It was fascinating to experience how the UN interacts with civil society,” said Wistehube. “Delivering the statement also enabled me to hone my advocacy skills, and to meet inspiring practitioners, such as the members of ICAN, who had just won the Nobel Peace Prize days before.”
The Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic works with victims, civil society groups, communities, the UN, and others to advance human rights. The Clinic engages in investigations of alleged abuses, reporting and advocacy, training and education, and litigation directed at ceasing violations of rights and accountability for abuse. Among its projects, the Clinic works to improve respect for international law in U.S. counterterrorism and military operations abroad, and to address the pervasive secrecy and impunity of U.S. drone strikes.