The following is a list of previous HRP-sponsored or co-sponsored events during the 2006-2007 Academic Year. For more information on these events, please click on the following links or contact the HRP office at email@example.com.
EVENTS HELD DURING THE 2006-2007 ACADEMIC YEAR
The Iraqi Refugee Crisis
Since its inception, the Iraq War has provoked worldwide debate on issues of sovereignty, responsibility and the legitimacy of international law. These topics continue to be relevant when discussing the alarming number of civilians who have been displaced by the conflict. As of April 2007, 3.8 million people have been uprooted from their homes, many of them fleeing to neighboring countries, as well as to the United States, for refuge.
During this presentation, Human Rights Watch's Refugee Policy Director, Bill Frelick, talked about the situation for refugees and displaced persons in Iraq. Frelick gave several suggestions as to what can be done to alleviate the situation, and how to develop real solutions to this unparalleled crisis. This event was presented by the Harvard Immigration Project, and co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program, HLS Peace, the International Law Journal, and International Legal Studies.
Accountability and the Obligation to Protect in Darfur
This event was the seventh in a yearlong series of events on Darfur, organized by the University Committee on Human Rights Studies (UCHRS) and co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program. This panel focused on how countries and international bodies (such as the ICC, the UN Human Rights Council, and others) are reacting or not acting to the crisis in Darfur, and also addressed questions including international litigation, the potential use of force in Darfur, sanctions, and more. Panelists included Francis Deng, Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons, Justice Richard Goldstone, Constitutional Court of South Africa, and Juan Mendez, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. The panel was moderated by Professor Ryan Goodman, Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Harvard Law School, and Director of the Human Rights Program.
The UN and Women's Human Rights: Reconstructing the Gender Architecture
This panel event featured commentary on the creation of the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, and the current work of the office as well as the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. Panelists included: Dutima Bhagwandin, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Jessica Neuwirth, President of Equality Now; and Cynthia Rothschild, Senior Policy Advisor at the Center for Women's Global Leadership. The panel was moderated by Rashida Manjoo, HRP Visiting Fellow and former Commissioner of South Africa's Commission on Gender Equality.
Private Military Contractors: Rights, Risks and Regulations
This presentation by Prof. Kateri Carmola, CA Johnson Fellow in Political Philosophy at Middlebury College, focused on the growing use of private security contractors worldwide, and the ethics and laws of war, especially in current conflicts. Prof. Carmola is currently writing a book on private military contractors and the ambiguities of national strategy. She has also written numerous articles on the use of proxy forces in Afghanistan and the changing idea of "proportionality" in warfare.
Crossing the Red Line: The Struggle for Human Rights in Iran
This event featured a conversation and book reading with HRP Visiting Fellow and Scholar at Risk Mehrangiz Kar, and Afsaneh Najmabadi, Professor of History and Women's Studies at Harvard. Kar's book, "Crossing the Red Line: The Struggle for Human Rights in Iran," chronicles the life of a leading feminist activist and human rights leader in Iran, under the monarchical and Islamic regimes. Kar ties together micro and macro histories to provide a feminist, intellectual, and political portrait of Iran during the 1960s and after.
A Prescription for Global Access: Patent Law and the Availability of Life-saving Medications
This panel focused on trade and intellectual property issues and their impact on the availability of life-saving medicines around the globe. Panelists included Arachu Castro, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor in Medical Anthropology at Harvard Medical School and Academic Director for the Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change; and Brook Baker, JD, Professor of Law at Northeastern University and Policy Advisor for Health Gap (Global Access Project).
Human Rights Enforcement in Post-Apartheid South Africa
This presentation and q&a featured Jody Kollapen, Chair of the South Africa Human Rights Commission. Commissioner Kollapen joined the Commission in December 1996, and has worked on political cases such as the Sharpeville Six, the Delmas Treason Trial, and the failure of the Medical and Dental Council to inquire into the behavior of doctors who treated Steve Biko. Commissioner Kollapen is responsible for Gauteng Province and oversees the work of the Commission relevant to Civil and Political Rights, including issues related to the Administration of Justice.
Rosita: An Award-winning film from Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater
This film presentation by filmmaker Janet Goldwater chronicled the story of a nine-year-old Nicaraguan girl who has become pregnant as the result of rape. Rosa, or Rosita as the girl becomes known in the press, is the only child of illiterate campesinos working in Costa Rica as coffee pickers at the time of the assault. Fearing for their daughter's life and mental health, Rosa's parents are determined to obtain an abortion for their child. In both Nicaragua and Costa Rica, abortion is illegal except when deemed necessary to save the life of the mother. Despite the odds of obtaining a rarely granted exception for a so-called "therapeutic" abortion, Rosa's parents move forward only to be forced into battle with two governments, the medical establishment, and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
This film was an official selection of the Human Rights Watch International Film Fest in 2006.
Using Human Rights Law to Defend Civil Liberties at Home
This event featured a presentation by Ann Beeson, ACLU Associate Legal Director of Programs on National Security and Human Rights. Beeson spoke to students about the ACLU's efforts to prevent the erosion of civil liberties in the name of national security, drawing upon her experience of winning an historic lawsuit on behalf of prominent journalists, scholars and attorneys challenging the National Security Agency's illegal surveillance of Americans without a warrant. Beeson also talked about spearheading efforts to expand the ACLU’s use of international human rights law and strategies in the areas of national security, immigrants’ rights, women’s rights and criminal justice.
Seeking Asylum Alone: Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Refugee Protection in Australia, U.K., and the U.S.
This panel, moderated by Clinical Professor Debbie Anker, featured presentations by Mary Crock (University of Sydney Law School), and Jacqueline Bhabha (Harvard Law School and the Harvard University Committee for Human Rights Studies) on their new report, "Seeking Asylum Alone: Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Refugee Protection in Australia, U.K., and the U.S." The reports document the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children in refugee protection in the three countries, and includes a comparative study.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities: The First Human Rights Treaty of the Twenty-first Century
The Human Rights Program, International Legal Studies, and East Asian Legal Studies hosted this public lecture to welcome a National Human Rights Institutions Conference on disability rights. The keynote presentation was given by Eric Rosenthal, founder and executive director of Mental Disability Rights International, who emphasized the implications for advocacy on behalf of individuals with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities.
A Lunch Presentation with Justice Albie Sachs, Constitutional Court of South Africa
This luncheon presentation by Justice Albie Sachs focused on the rich history and meaning behind the construction of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and included a DVD presentation and question and answer session. Justice Sachs also signed copies of his recent book, Light on a Hill: Building the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
Public International Law in Practice: Insights from Work in the Field
In this presentation, Susan Page ('89) shared her insights from nearly twenty years in the field of public international law. Page has worked for the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the United Nations Development Program. She has been based in the U.S., Kenya, Botswana, Rwanda, and the Sudan. Page was a member of the mediation team that resulted in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for the Sudan, and now works for the UN Mission in Sudan. This event was co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program and International Legal Studies.
The 2006 Edward A. Smith Lecture
This year, South African Constitutional Court Justice S. Sandile Ngcobo (LL.M. '86) gave two lectures as part of the annual HRP-sponsored Edward A. Smith Lecture series. Justice Ngcobo's first lecture focused on "Human Rights and Constitutional Adjudication: The Role of the South African Constitutional Court." His second lecture focused on the topic of "The South Africa Constitutional Court and the Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights." Justice Ngcobo is the Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and from 1998-1999, Justice Ngcobo served as a judge on the Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Human Rights in the Mediterranean: North Africa and France
This panel discussion, moderated by HRP Visiting Fellow Anthony Chase, focused on the interconnectedness between the human rights of individuals and societies across regional borders, and that exist within different economic and political systems, with shifting ethnic considerations. Panelists included Elaine Thomas, Associate Professor of Political Studies at Bard College, addressing the topic of "European Human Rights Law and France's Response to Muslim Head Scarves"; Neil Hicks, Director of the Human Rights Defenders Program at Human Rights First, addressing the topic of "Promoting Human Rights in North Africa from the United States"; and Fatima Sadiqi, Visiting Professor of Women's Studies and Islamic Religious Studies at Harvard Divinity School, addressing the topic of "Women, Human Rights and Muslim Law in Morocco."
The Right of Self-Determination:
The Untold Story of Population Transfer
This lecture was the first in a series of events that the Human Rights Program will sponsor for Academic year 2006-07 on history and human rights. In this lecture, Dr. Catriona Drew provided a history of population transfer during the 20th century, with a specific focus on the periods before and immediately after World War I and World War II. Drew provided several diverse opinions on population transfer from both a legal and historical perspective, and showed various connections between the right of self-determination and population transfer. Dr. Catriona Drew holds an LL.B. from the University of Aberdeen and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She lectured in public international law at the Universities of Dundee and Glasgow in Scotland before joining the School of Oriental and African Studies, of the University of London, in 2003. Drew has been a Visiting Fellow at the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, and is a co-founder of the Centre for International Law and Colonialism at SOAS. Currently, Drew is the Global Crystal Eastman Research Fellow in the Global Visitors Program at New York University School of Law.
Khmer Rouge Trials:
Individual Criminal Responsibility After 30 Years
Professor Motoo Noguchi led this roundtable discussion about the history and process of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. In his presentation, Professor Noguchi discussed the expectations of the tribunal, its mandate and direction, and the make-up of the tribunal and its the interaction of international and domestic judges. Professor Noguchi has been named a judge in the Supreme Court Chambers of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Cambodian Courts. He is currently a Visiting Fellow with the Genocide Studies Program, MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at the Schell Center for International Human Rights, Yale Law School.
Sexual Violence Behind Bars
This panel featured T.J. Parsell and Cynthia Totten from the organization Stop Prisoner Rape. They discussed the problem of sexual assault in our prisons and jails, and what policy solutions can address such problems. Parsell also read from his new book, "Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man's Prison."
North Korea, Nuclear Bombs, and Tension in the Korean Peninsula: Implications for the Human Rights Movement in South Korea
This roundtable discussion focused on the complications and challenges facing the South Korean human rights movement in relation to North Korea. The event featured Hyo-Je Cho, Visiting Fellow with the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, and Associate Professor of Human Rights and Civil Society Studies at SungKongHoe University in Seoul, Korea. Cho is also a founding member of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (2001). This event was co-sponsored by East Asian Legal Studies, International Legal Studies, and the Kim Koo Forum at Harvard University's Korea Institute.
International Justice After the Fall of the Superpower
This lecture by Samantha Power, J.D. '99, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide, and Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at the Kennedy School, marked the establishment of the Rita E. Hauser Professorship of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Professor Ryan Goodman will serve as the inaugural chair of this professorship. The Rita E. Hauser Professorship of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law continues Harvard Law School's commitment to international law and human rights - two subjects profoundly important in the conduct of world affairs and the foreign policy of our nation.
Romania's Homeless Children:
Problems, Politics and Policies Related to Institutional Conditions, Foster Care, and International Adoption
This session focused on the controversy over how to address the divide between human rights advocates and children's advocates surrounding international adoption. This event drew on a case study of homeless children in Romania, which helped illuminate the larger problem worldwide of creating policy solutions to deal with vulnerable children populations. The panel featured: Sara Dillon, Professor of Law at Suffolk University; Charles Nelson, the Richard David Scott Chair of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School/Children's Hospital Boston; and Eric Rosenthal, Founder and Executive Director of Mental Disability Rights International.
Advocating for Darfur
This panel discussion was the first event in the Darfur Event Series at Harvard University. Moderated by Harvard Law School student Bec Hamilton ('07), the panel featured: Joey Cheek (Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalist and Darfur Activist); Rep. Michael Capuano (U.S. Congressman); Rev. Gloria White Hammond (Save Darfur Coalition); and Eric Reeves (Smith College).
The ICC Negotiations as a Reflection of Structural Changes in International Law
This luncheon discussion featured Paula Escarameia (LL.M. '86, S.J.D. '88), Member of the UN International Law Commission and Associate Professor with Aggregation of the Higher Institute for Social and Political Sciences of the Technical University of Lisbon. Escarameia discussed the history of the ICC, the many political contexts of the ICC, and how gender issues impact ICC negotiations.
The Power of Oil and the State of Democracy and Human Rights in Angola
This presentation by journalist Rafael Marques de Morais focused on the recent political history of Angola, and how the politics of oil and diamonds impact the lives of local populations. Marques also focused on institutional incentives in Angola that lead to permanent human rights violations, and also the recent privatization of violence in Angola. Marques is the 2006 recipient of the Civil Courage Prize, an award given annually by the trustees of the Northcote Parkinson Fund.
Sex, Lies and Silence:
The Harm of U.S. Abstinence-Only Policies at Home and Abroad
This panel focused on abstinence-only programs in the context of the attack on women’s rights and sexuality, both in the U.S. and as exported via conditions on U.S. funding, with particular attention given to the human rights implications of abstinence-only policies. Panelists included: Julie Kay (Staff Attorney – Legal Momentum); William Smith (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States); Jodi Jacobson (Center for Health and Gender Equity); and Naomi Seiler (Office of Rep. Henry Waxman).