Promoting the New Convention on Cluster Munitions
Over the past four and a half years, Human Rights Watch and the Clinic have partnered on several projects related to the negotiation and interpretation of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. The Clinic has released several reports on the issue, and actively participated in the rounds of negotiations leading up the signing of the Convention in 2008. As states sign and ratify the treaty, they have started to interpret its provisions and pass implementing legislation. Since the adoption of the convention, students have advocated for its strong implementation and interpretation. The Clinic has co-published numerous legal advocacy papers with Human Rights Watch, and students have taken part in international conferences where those papers have been released.
Numerous countries grappling with a recent legacy of human rights abuses—including Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, DRC, Kenya, and Uganda—are considering domestic prosecutions as mechanism to hold perpetrators accountable and offer some measure of justice to survivors. The Clinic is providing strategic analysis and targeted recommendations to inform these efforts, based on an examination of past domestic prosecutions in Serbia, Chile, and Argentina.
Incendiary Weapons: Strengthening International Law
In a new initiative, IHRC has joined forces with Human Rights Watch to campaign for stronger international law on incendiary weapons. The existing treaty has multiple loopholes and allows problematic incendiary weapons, including white phosphorous munitions, to escape regulation. Students have researched and written two advocacy papers, one calling for that treaty to be amended, and the other detailing the harm that incendiary weapons cause. The joint IHRC-Human Rights Watch papers have generated initial support at international disarmament conferences, which have been attended by a clinical instructor and various students. The Clinic continues to work on this issue through publications and conference participation.
Heartland Alliance's LGBTI Initiative
Along with a coalition of NGOs, the Clinic has researched and drafted shadow reports since 2008 detailing human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals and communities under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Students have worked with Washington, D.C. and New York-based staff, as well as in-country partners.