The Human Rights Program organizes dozens of events annually, ranging from formal lectures to brown bag lunches to workshops and panels. Speakers include advocates, scholars, government officials, community leaders, and policymakers. We often collaborate with students groups and other schools and programs on campus to sponsor events.

November 30, 2017

Behind Bars: Ethics and Human Rights in U.S. Prisons

When:

Where: Harvard Medical School campus

The United States leads the world in incarceration. The “War on Drugs” and prioritizing punishment over rehabilitation has led to mass imprisonment, mainly of the nation’s most vulnerable populations: people of color, the economically disadvantaged and undereducated, and those suffering from mental illness. Although these social disparities are striking, the health discrepancies are even more pronounced. What can be done to address this health and human rights crisis?

This conference will examine various aspects of human rights and health issues in our prisons. In collaboration with educators, health professionals, and those involved in the criminal justice system—including former inmates, advocates, and law enforcement—the conference will clarify the issues, explore possible policy and educational responses, and establish avenues for action.

Registration for the conference is required.

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March 22, 2018

Conference: Human Rights in a Time of Populism

When:

Where:

The Human Rights in a Time of Populism conference will discuss the challenges that current developments characterized as populist pose to the goals of the international human rights system, and more broadly the relationship between human rights and populism, and strategies for dealing with the current challenges.

The range of approaches to this general topic will be intentionally broad-ranging and multidisciplinary, including:

  • What is populism; is it increasing and why; is populism in conflict with internationally recognized human rights, or a legitimate exercise of human rights?
  • 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?
  • Should human rights-based responses directly address populism; what can human rights-based responses do to decrease populism; what human rights-based responses are likely to make matters worse by causing or increasing populist backlash?
  • Have human rights NGOs or institutions contributed unintentionally to the rise of populism by provoking backlash; if so what should human rights NGOs or institutions do in the face of populist 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, such as the Philippines, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Western or Eastern Europe, and the United States.

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