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October 28, 2013
October 31, 2013
“Acknowledge, Amend, Assist:
Addressing Civilian Harm Caused by Armed Conflict and Armed Violence”
12:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Milstein West B
Harvard Law School
The moral imperative to help civilian victims of armed conflict and armed violence has generated widespread international action. While sharing a common goal, the various approaches currently employed sometimes conflict with each other. At this international symposium, representatives of civil society, governments, militaries, and universities will examine similarities and differences among humanitarian responses. Panelists will seek to identify gaps in assistance and areas for future collaboration.
12:00 p.m. “Victim to Survivor: Influencing International Humanitarian Law”
Keynote address by Kenneth Rutherford, Co-Founder of Landmine Survivors Network and Director of the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery at James Madison University, with introductory remarks from Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Professor of Law and Dean of Harvard Law School
1:15 p.m. “Legal Frameworks and Context”
Moderator: Bonnie Docherty, Lecturer on Law, Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School
3:00 p.m. “Principles and Practice”
− Robert Ayasse, Afghanistan Operations Team, NATO HQ
− Megan Burke, International Victim Assistance Specialist, International Campaign to Ban Landmines- Cluster Munition Coalition
Moderator: Iain Overton, Director of Policy and Investigations, Action on Armed Violence
October 23, 2013
Posted by Cara Solomon
Earlier this month, we welcomed the director Joshua Oppenheimer for a panel discussion of his controversial documentary, “The Act of Killing,” a film that explores a country where death squad leaders are celebrated as heroes. Its focus is Indonesia, where a military coup in 1965 led to killings of more than 1 million alleged Communists, ethnic Chinese and intellectuals. Oppenheimer examines the culture of impunity that surrounds those killings through interviews with perpetrators, asking them to re-enact their crimes in the style of their favorite Hollywood genres: the gangster, the western, and the musical.
Clinical supervisor and filmmaker Amelia Evans, LLM ’11, sat down with Oppenheimer prior to the event to discuss the film. The interview has been edited slightly for clarity.
Amelia: I understand the film had a collaborative beginning—that you got feedback from different community members and those in the human rights community and others before really fully embarking on the project. Can you tell me a bit about that, and why you did that?
Joshua: We began this work in collaboration with a community of plantation workers on a Belgian-owned oil palm plantation about 60 miles from Medan, where we made the film. As we made a film with them about their struggle to organize a union, which had been illegal under the Suharto dictatorship, we found out that they were survivors of the genocide. It turned out that the biggest obstacle they faced in organizing a union was fear. And they said: “Please come back as quickly as you can after making this first film to make a film about why we’re afraid.” Namely, the co-existence between perpetrators who enjoy total impunity, and survivors who are still intimidated by them.
When we got back, word had got out that we were interested in what happened in 1965, which was of course the source of their fear—or at least the reverberations of those events into the present—and the local army stopped allowing us to film with them. Police chiefs would show up, army chiefs would show up, plantation administrators backed up by the army would show up, and not let the survivors talk. The people we were filming with, who we had been very close to because we had made a film with them already, said: “Look, go and film this neighbor or that neighbor”—pointing out several who were death squad leaders at the time—”and they may have information about how our loved ones were killed.”
We filmed them, and they were immensely boastful, and we didn’t expect that, and it was horrifying and shocking. We felt like this is perhaps how the Nazis would talk if 40 years had gone by and they were still in power. And our work on the Belgian oil palm plantation had taught us that this was in fact the dark underbelly of globalization. Indonesia’s not the exception to the rule. What we’re hearing in this boasting is perhaps the allegory for the rule. Continue Reading…
October 21, 2013
Posted by Bonnie Docherty
At a UN meeting in New York today, the International Human Rights Clinic and Human Rights Watch called for urgent action to stop the development of fully autonomous weapons, or “killer robots.” The Clinic and HRW released a question and answer document earlier in the day that makes plain the seriousness of the threat from these weapons, which would have the ability to identify and fire on human targets without intervention. The document builds on a Nov. 2012 report jointly published by the Clinic and HRW, entitled Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots.
Clinical students Kenny Pyetranker, J.D. ’13, Jonathan Nomamiukur, J.D. ’13, and Harin Song, J.D. ’14 contributed both research and writing to the paper released today. Please see here for the full press release from HRW.
October 16, 2013
“Our Harsh Logic: A Forum on Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territories”
Please join us for a talk by Avner Gvaryahu, former paratrooper with the Israel Defense Forces, and Dotan Greenvald, former combat soldier with the Israel Defense Forces, both members of Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and are dedicated to exposing the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. They will be introduced by Janet Halley, Royall Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.
Copies of Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000–2010, compiled by Breaking the Silence, will be available for purchase.
Sponsored by HRP, HLS Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education School Civic and Moral Education Initiative, and Friends of Breaking the Silence.
October 16, 2013
“The Humanitarian Crisis in Syria”
Please join us for a forum with Recep Akdağ, former Minister of Health, Turkey; Jennifer Leaning, Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights; Michael VanRooyen, Director, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative; Paul Spiegel, Deputy Director for the Division of Programme Support and Management, UNHCR; and Aaron Schachter, PRI’s The World and WGBH (moderator). This event is part of an ongoing series the Human Rights Program is supporting.
Organized by The Forum at HSPH, the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard, the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and presented in collaboration with PRI’s The World & WGBH.
October 8, 2013
“1L Job Search Strategy Session”
Please join us for pizza and an event designed to provide advice to 1Ls seeking summer public interest opportunities abroad. Topics for discussion include: how to determine what kinds of jobs to pursue; how to research employers; how to land a summer job; application logistics, including timing; and summer funding programs, including the Chayes International Public Service Fellowship and Human Rights Program Summer Internships. This session is co-sponsored by OPIA, International Legal Studies, the Human Rights Program, and the Office of Student Financial Services.
October 4, 2013
October 7, 2013
“The Act of Killing”
Please join us for a panel discussion of “The Act of Killing,” a documentary film that explores a country where death squad leaders are celebrated as heroes. Panelists include: the film’s director, Joshua Oppenheimer; Professor Robb Moss, of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard; Professor Alex Whiting, of Harvard Law School; and Professor Mary Steedly, of the Department of Anthropology at Harvard.
NOTE: The Harvard Film Archive will be showing the director’s cut of the film on October 5, 2013 at 7 p.m. You are encouraged to have seen the film before attending the panel discussion.
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