March 7, 2018
Friday, March 9, 2018
“Jerusalem After Trump: Consequences and Implications”
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
President Trump’s December 6, 2017 declaration of the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparked wide international condemnation and protest — and widespread approval in Israel. A highly sensitive issue with profound legal, geopolitical, spiritual, and humanitarian consequences, the status of Jerusalem has serious implications for the elusive goal of Middle East peace. In this event, Aaron David Miller and Noura Erakat will engage in a conversation on the consequences and implications of Trump’s decision from a number of different angles, taking into consideration questions of international law, regional stability and security, prospects for sustainable peace, as well as the status and rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Noah Feldman will moderate.
This event is organized by The Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law & The Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, and co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program.
February 28, 2018
March 1, 2018
“Criminal Abortion in the U.S.”
11:45- 12:45 p.m.
Please join us for a lunch talk on human rights and the criminal punishment of abortion with Carol Sanger, Austin Wakeman Scott Visiting Professor of Law at HLS and Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and Mindy Roseman, Director of International Programs and Director of the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women’s Rights at Yale Law School.
Despite Vice President Pence’s pledge to consign Roe v. Wade to the “ash heap of history,” there are signs that many Americans would not support the re-criminalization of abortion. Professor Sanger will discuss this evidence and raise questions about the criminal punishment of abortion, such as why pregnant woman have not been subject to criminal abortion laws in the U.S. and whether the current administration and red state politicians actually want Roe V. Wade to be overturned. Dr. Roseman will situate the U.S. experience within a global context by discussing criminal abortion in other countries and examining the treatment of criminal abortion under international human rights law.
This event is being co-sponsored by the HLS Criminal Justice Policy Program, the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics, and HLS Students for Reproductive Justice.
February 26, 2018
March 5 – 6, 2018
“Humanitarian Disarmament: The Way Ahead”
Inaugural Conference of the Armed Conflict
and Civilian Protection Initiative
at Harvard Law School
12 – 1:30 p.m.
Austin 100 (North), Harvard Law School
Lunch will be served.
Please join us for a conference that brings together international experts in humanitarian disarmament, a movement that strives to end civilian suffering caused by inhumane and indiscriminate weapons. Drawing on first-hand experience in creating international law, conference participants will discuss how the movement has developed over the past two decades and explore where it should go from here.
The conference will include two public events: a keynote conversation with leaders of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning campaigns to ban nuclear weapons and landmines; and a panel that examines current issues in humanitarian disarmament, including efforts to end the urban use of certain explosive weapons, reduce the environmental impact of armed conflict, ban killer robots, and control the unlawful arms trade.
Humanitarian Disarmament: The Way Ahead will launch the Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative, which is housed in Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC). The conference is co-organized by IHRC, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.
February 22, 2018
Tomorrow, Feb. 23: Elliot Shrage, Facebook’s VP, Global Communications, Marketing, and Public Policy
Friday, February 23, 2018
A Talk by Elliot Schrage, VP, Global Communications, Marketing, and Public Policy, Facebook
11:45 a.m. – 12: 45 p.m.
Lunch will be served.
Please join us for a lunch talk with Elliot Schrage, JD ’86, Vice President of Global Communications, Marketing, and Public Policy at Facebook. Schrage will discuss how corporations like Facebook take human rights into account in their business practices.
This event is being co-sponsored by the Harvard Human Rights and Business Law Students Association.
February 21, 2018
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Russia’s “Gay Propaganda Law” and LGBTQ Rights
11:45 a.m.- 12:45 p.m.
Lunch will be served.
Please join us for a talk with Melissa Hooper, Director of Human Rights and Civil Society at Human Rights First, on Russia’s global efforts to promote “traditional values” that curtail the rights of LGBTQ people. This agenda is demonstrated in the “gay propaganda law” which penalizes those who share ideas about the equal value of same-sex relationships to children. In addition, Russia has advocated for U.N. resolutions, and supported legislatures in other countries to pass laws that favor “family values” over the human rights of LGBTQ, women, and others. This talk will also consider how U.S. actors are supporting Russia to advance these policies.
This event is co-sponsored by HLS Advocates for Human Rights, the Harvard Human Rights Journal, and HLS Lambda.
February 20, 2018
Please join the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender tomorrow, Feb. 21, for a talk on Muslim family law reform featuring clinical instructor Salma Waheedi and Prof. Kristen Stilt, Faculty Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change. The event begins at noon in WCC B015, with a plant-based lunch served.
Stilt and Waheedi will discuss their upcoming Journal of Law & Gender article examining reform efforts in family law in Muslim countries. They will discuss how change in family law can be achieved through arguments based on or justified by Islamic law. They will present and analyze legal strategies of family law reform and identify the possibilities and the limitations of each strategy. Their upcoming article is directed towards scholars and practitioners who seek a deeper understanding of the tools of change in Muslim family law.
This event is organized by the Journal of Law & Gender and co-sponsored by the Women’s Law Association, Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, and the Muslim Law Students Association.
February 16, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
“How to fix finance by saving human rights”
A talk by David Kinley, Chair, Human Rights Law, University of Sydney
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Milstein West B
Harvard Law School
Lunch will be served
Please join us for a talk by Professor David Kinley, Chair in Human Rights Law at the University of Sydney and an Academic Expert Member of Doughty Street Chambers in London. He is a former Fulbright Senior Scholar at American University Washington College of Law, and has taught at Oxford and George Washington Universities, as well as the Sorbonne. He specializes in the area of the global economy and human rights and has worked for more than 25 years with governments, international organizations, law firms, corporations and NGOs in the field. His forthcoming book, Necessary Evil: How to Fix Finance by Saving Human Rights (Oxford University Press), investigates the incredible impact the financial system has on human rights.
This event is being co-sponsored by International Legal Studies.
February 16, 2018
Posted by Mayuri Anupindi and Ha Ryong Jung
Despite almost 70 years since the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world is facing overwhelming challenges in upholding the rights that all humans deserve, especially for minority and marginalized communities. However, these challenges are not insurmountable.
On Saturday, January 27, a group of Harvard graduate students held the inaugural Human Rights Symposium, entitled Human Rights: Adapting to the Challenges of our Times. The Symposium set the stage for activists, scholars, and students to come together and discuss the common challenges facing human rights movements across the globe, while confirming the potential for new coalitions and reaffirming our commitment for shared action.
We were inspired by Douglas Johnson, former director of the Carr Center for Human Rights, who memorably reminded us through his welcome address that despite the adversities, the key role of an activist is to “breathe in hope, and exhale it to others.” Professor Rajesh Sampath of Brandeis University then gave a rich, wide-ranging keynote address delving into the philosophical premise of human rights and the notion of freedom, while stressing the value of life and harmonious balance.
Our subsequent panels shed light on the narratives and implementation of economic, social, and cultural rights; the rights and dignities of refugees and migrants in light of nationalist backlash; the shared struggles of minorities across the globe; and the potential for new coalitions and solidarities for shared action on human rights issues. Professor Gerald Neuman, director of the Human Rights Program, and Yee Mon Htun and Salma Waheedi, clinical instructors of the International Human Rights Clinic, were among the diverse group of speakers that shared their valuable insights and analyses on multiple spectrums.
Some of the most memorable moments were from those with personal stories, from a moving presentation on the suffering wrought by the war in Yemen, to the reflections of a writer on the impact of international economic policy on her own life in Kenya, to the historical strife of Native American peoples. Other speakers gave insight into tactical issues, such as the potential of local initiatives to counter trends of nationalist backlash, the ineffectiveness of law alone, and the neglect of policy and indicators.
It was a gift to see such dynamic and diverse activists share the same stage. But the discussions did not end at simply identifying the problems. In order to encourage individuals to take concerted action, our final panel consisted of a dialogue between activists working to address the Roma issues in Europe, Dalit rights in India, Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ rights in the US, and Indigenous rights in Australia. Karlene Griffiths Sekou of Black Lives Matter Boston reminded us that solidarity should not come from an impulse to help an “other”, but instead to reaffirm one’s own humanity.
Charles Prouse, an Indigenous Australian advocate, pointed out the complexity of human rights struggles that not only can encompass multiple issues, but can also recognize a victim and perpetrator simultaneously within the same person. In concluding the day, Dena Elkhatib, an Arab American Muslim lawyer, gave a powerful closing speech focusing on the plight of Syrian refugees.
The panelists noted that new tactics and coalitions can only be formulated if spaces are made for the exchange of knowledge. In this regard, we thank all speakers and attendees for making this open and welcoming space possible. The Symposium was well attended from start to finish by individuals from within our community and beyond. We hope you will join us in continuing this annual event and the important discussions next year.
February 15, 2018
“Human Rights in a Time of Populism”
March 23 – 24, 2018
Harvard Law School
Please join the Human Rights Program for a multidisciplinary conference that will explore the challenges that current developments characterized as populist pose to the goals of the international human rights system.
The conference, which is free and open to the public, will address questions such as:
- What is “populism”? Is it increasing and if so why?
- What challenges does populism create for the protection of internationally recognized human rights?
- How can human rights NGOs and human rights institutions respond to these challenges?
- Have human rights NGOs or institutions contributed unintentionally to the rise of populism by provoking backlash? Does increased populism point in other ways to lessons that should be learned by human rights NGOs or institutions?
Speakers will address these questions generally and within particular national or regional contexts. A full list of speakers can be found on the conference website.
February 9, 2018
Monday, February 12, 2018
“Fundamental Rights and Impact Litigation in Pakistan”
A talk by Visiting Fellow Yasser Latif Hamdani
12:00- 1:00 p.m.
Please join Human Rights Program Visiting Fellow Yasser Latif Hamdani for a talk on fundamental rights litigation under the Pakistani Constitution. Hamdani will discuss his personal experience as an Advocate of the High Courts of Pakistan, including litigating landmark internet freedom cases. This will cover cases involving YouTube and Blackberry and ongoing challenges under domestic legislation.
Co-sponsored by the Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, the Human Rights Program, and the South Asian Law Students Association