February 6, 2018
Late last month, HRP was pleased to welcome Trevor Hoppe, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, for a talk on the topic of HIV and the criminalization of sickness. See below for video of the event.
February 6, 2018
Join us today, Feb. 6, and tomorrow for a small act of kindness as we write Valentine’s Day cards with messages to strangers who may be feeling particularly vulnerable in today’s climate.
We’ll have supplies for card-making as well as food in Belinda Hall from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. You can also make your own cards and drop them off at HRP and we’ll distribute them for you.
Last year over 300 cards were distributed to immigrants’ rights groups, a local mosque, clients of HLS clinics, and several schools.
Co-sponsored by: Advocates for Human Rights, HIP, La Alianza, MELSA, HIRC and TLPI.
February 2, 2018
Monday, Feb. 5: Civil Rights Activist Gay McDougall, Member, UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Monday, February 5, 2018
“Can the U.N. End Racism?: International Responses to Racial Discrimination”
A talk by Gay McDougall, member, UN committee on the elimination of racial discrimination
12:00- 1:00 p.m.
Lunch will be served
Please join the Human Rights Program for a talk by Gay McDougall, member of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and distinguished scholar-in-residence at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham University School of Law. Prof. McDougall also served as the U.N. Independent Expert on Minority Issues and the Executive Director of Global Rights. Prior to that, she was an activist against the Apartheid regime in South Africa, where she helped secure the release of thousands of political prisoners and supported the democratic transition.
This event is co-sponsored by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, the Harvard Human Rights Journal, the Harvard Black Law Students Association, and HLS Student Advocates for Human Rights.
January 31, 2018
Thursday, February 1, 2018
“A Road Less Traveled: Feminism and Advocacy in Saudi Arabia”
A talk by Saudi scholar and activist Hala Aldosari
12:00- 1:00 p.m.
Lunch will be served
Saudi activist and scholar Hala Aldosari will discuss the status of women’s rights advocacy in Saudi Arabia, drawing lessons for feminists who choose to tread an uncharted, less traveled road. In this talk, Aldosari will draw personal insights and reflections from women’s rights campaigns and the ongoing journey to organize thought and action in a country where activism continues to be criminalized.
Co-Sponsored by the Middle Eastern Law Students Association, HLS Advocates, and the Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change.
January 29, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
“Turkey and the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Responses and Perspectives”
A talk by Zulfukar Aytac Kisman, of Firat University
12:00- 1:00 p.m.
Since 2011, Turkey has received more than three million Syrian refugees, the largest community of Syrians displaced by the conflict. This has had significant economic, political, security, social, and foreign policy challenges for Turkey. This talk by Dr. Zulfukar Aytac Kisman, of Firat University, will focus on the Syrian refugee crisis from Turkey’s perspective and analyze the Turkish response to the crisis, policies developed, and the need for more rigorous planning. Kisman, who is currently a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, will focus on Turkey’s internal dynamics and potential conflict points that will likely continue to shape Turkey’s refugee policy and discuss options going forward.
This event is presented by Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, and co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinic Program.
January 26, 2018
Monday, January 29, 2018
“Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness”
Lunch will be served
Please join us for a talk with Trevor Hoppe, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, SUNY, on his book, Punishing Disease: HIV and the criminalization of sickness. The book examines how and why U.S. policymakers and public health systems have adopted coercive and punitive responses to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. It also looks at how others diseases have been punished throughout history, and cautions against the extension of criminalization to diseases such as hepatitis and meningitis.
This talk is part of the Human Rights Program’s year-long speaker series examining the criminalization of human rights concerning gender, sexuality, and reproduction. The event is co-sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law, Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics, the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, and the Criminal Justice Policy Program.
January 18, 2018
We look forward to seeing you at next Thursday’s informational session on HRP’s post-graduate fellowships, which have advising deadlines in February, and submission deadlines in March! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about Henigson and Satter fellowships, which provide an invaluable opportunity to work with human rights organizations after graduation.
December 20, 2017
The Nobel Peace Prize Celebrations: Recognition and Reinvigoration for Humanitarian Disarmament Advocates
Posted by Bonnie Docherty
On December 10, 2017, at 1 p.m., uniformed musicians on the grand staircase of Oslo City Hall brought their gleaming trumpets to their lips and the audience to its feet. The clarion salute they sounded heralded the arrival of the king and queen of Norway and a new era of nuclear disarmament.
In front of dignitaries, diplomats, and dozens of civil society campaigners, myself included, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
The award honors ICAN for having “given the efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons a new direction and new vigour.” In particular, the prize recognizes the civil society coalition’s “ground-breaking” work to realize a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
More than 70 years after the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons makes clear that nuclear weapons are illegal as well as immoral and increases the stigma against them. It also shows that real progress in nuclear disarmament is possible.
I had the honor of attending the Nobel ceremony as part of ICAN’s delegation because, along with Clinical Instructor Anna Crowe and a team from the International Human Rights Clinic, I partnered closely with ICAN during last summer’s treaty negotiations. We provided legal advice and successfully lobbied for obligations to address the humanitarian and environmental harm caused by nuclear weapons.
I can best describe my four days in Oslo as magical. In addition to the ceremony, the celebrations included a torchlight parade, a concert in ICAN’s honor, and the opening of a museum exhibition on the coalition. Nobel Peace Prize banners hung from street lamps on the city’s main boulevard, and the lights on a Ferris wheel alternated flashing the Nobel medal and the ICAN logo.
The experience was made all the more meaningful because I shared it with friends from around the world with whom I’ve advocated for humanitarian disarmament for more than 15 years.
The genesis of the nuclear weapon ban treaty exemplifies the power of a humanitarian approach to disarmament. After the 1996 adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, there was minimal progress in advancing the law on nuclear weapons; international discussions continued but produced no tangible results.
In 2010, ICAN and other proponents of a new treaty began to reframe nuclear weapons as a humanitarian, rather than national security, issue. Publications from ICAN and its member organizations highlighted the horrific harm caused by use and testing. A resolution from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement called for using “the framework of humanitarian diplomacy” to work toward a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. In 2015, 127 states endorsed the “Humanitarian Pledge,” committing “to promote the protection of civilians against risks stemming from nuclear weapons” and to strive for a world free of nuclear weapons.
This shift in the debate broke the international deadlock. The following year, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution to initiate treaty negotiations, and on July 7, 2017, 122 states adopted a global ban on nuclear weapons. Only one country voted against, and one abstained.
As I explained at a legal seminar held during the Nobel celebrations, the influence of humanitarian disarmament is evident in the treaty’s text as well as the process behind it. The preamble recognizes the overwhelming human and environmental consequences of the weapons, and acknowledges the disproportionate impact on women and girls and indigenous peoples. Continue Reading…
December 19, 2017
Congratulations to Emily Keehn, Associate Director of HRP’s Academic Program, whose work at the pioneering human rights organization, Sonke Gender Justice, in South Africa, recently won the “Investing in Future Health Award” from the Mail and Guardian and Southern Africa Trust. The Investing in the Future Awards recognize organizations that contribute to the future of South Africa.
As head of policy development and advocacy at Sonke, Emily led a team that tracked complaints of severe overcrowding at Pollsmoor Remand Facility; developed litigation with Lawyers for Human Rights that challenged inhumane conditions at the facility and resulted in a drop in overcrowding from 300% to 150%; and launched a campaign to encourage judges to conduct independent inspections of prisons across the country.
Sonke’s work in prisons aims to address the epidemics of HIV and TB and sexual abuse in prisons. These are driven by toxic gender norms and behaviors, as well as structural factors such as extreme overcrowding, poor ventilation, inadequate access to medical services, and other human rights abuses against people in prison.
Emily continues to work on criminal justice issues at HRP, most recently by helping to organize the successful two-day conference, “Behind Bars: Ethics and Human Rights in U.S. Prisons,” which HRP co-sponsored with the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics. Earlier this semester, she was a panelist at an event about decriminalization and human rights, which you can view here.
December 18, 2017
The Human Rights Program hosted an exciting array of speakers and panels this fall, including talks by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings and experts on gender justice in South Africa and LGBTI equality in Jamaica.
For those who missed out, we’ve included videos and recordings from some of our featured events below:
“Decriminalization & Human Rights: A Panel Discussion,” with Co-Director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program at HLS and Professor of Law Carol Steiker, Professor of Philosophy and Law at Rutgers Douglas Husak, and HRP Associate Director Emily Nagisa Keehn, moderated by HRP Co-Director and Professor of Law Gerald Neuman Nov. 10, 2017, on YouTube and Soundcloud
A Facebook Live conversation with Dr. Yanghee Lee, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Nov. 3, 2017, on YouTube
Dr. Agnès Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, Nov. 1, 2017, on YouTube
A Facebook Live conversation with Dr. Ziba Mir-Hosseini, leading Islamic feminist scholar and founding member of Musawah Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family, Sept. 29, 2017, on YouTube
“Tackling Gender-Based Violence & HIV in Southern Africa,” a talk by Dean Peacock, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Sonke Gender Justice, Sept. 28, 2017, on SoundCloud
A Facebook Live conversation about the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar with HRP Co-Director Tyler Giannini, Clinical Instructor Yee Htun, and HKS student Tarek Zeidan’18, Sept. 25, 2017, on YouTube
“Freedom of Expression and LGBTI Equality in Jamaica,” a talk by Maurice Tomlinson, attorney and senior policy analyst with the Canadian Legal Network, Sept. 19, 2017, on SoundCloud
Check back in January for our spring events, featuring “Human Rights in a Time of Populism,” a public conference on March 23 -24, 2018.