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.

March 01, 2018

Criminal Abortion in the U.S.

When: 11:45 - 12:45 p.m.

Where: WCC 2004

The Human Rights Program invites you to 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.

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March 05, 2018

From Landmines to Nuclear Weapons: A Conversation with Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

When: 12:00- 1:30 p.m.

Where: Austin North

Leaders of two Nobel Peace Prize-winning campaigns will address the origins and evolution of humanitarian disarmament while reflecting on their roles negotiating treaties that ban landmines, cluster munitions, and nuclear weapons. The speakers will also examine the humanitarian disarmament movement more broadly, looking at both the law and the advocacy behind it.

The conversation will feature Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Steve Goose, Co-Founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Arms Division. It will be moderated by Bonnie Docherty, Associate Director of Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection at Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic.

This conversation is the first public event of a conference, Humanitarian Disarmament: The Way Ahead, which will launch the Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative, housed in Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC). The conference is co-organized by the IHRC, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Funding was provided by the Harvard Provost Fund for Interfaculty Collaboration, IHRC, HHI, PAX, and an anonymous donation in honor of Carl S. Thorne-Thomsen, Harvard Class of 1968.

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March 06, 2018

Current Issues in Humanitarian Disarmament: Targeting, Toxicity, Technology, and Trade

When: 12:00- 1:30 p.m.

Where: Austin North

The directors of four civil society campaigns will examine how the humanitarian approach to disarmament has influenced their work and how they have adapted it to respond to contemporary challenges. They will discuss efforts to curb the urban use of certain explosive weapons, reduce the environmental impacts of armed conflict, preempt new technology that could autonomously make life-and-death decisions, and control the unlawful trade in arms.

Panelists include Laura Boillot, International Network on Explosive Weapons; Doug Weir, Toxic Remnants of War Network; Mary Wareham, Campaign to Stop Killer Robots; and Anna Macdonald, Control Arms. It will be moderated by Jasmin Nario-Galace, Center for Peace Education.

This conversation is the second public event of a conference, Humanitarian Disarmament: The Way Ahead, which will launch the Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative, housed in Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC). The conference is co-organized by the IHRC, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Funding was provided by the Harvard Provost Fund for Interfaculty Collaboration, IHRC, HHI, PAX, and an anonymous donation in honor of Carl S. Thorne-Thomsen, Harvard Class of 1968.

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March 09, 2018

Jerusalem After Trump: Consequences and Implications

When: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Where: WCC 2012

President Trump’s December 6th 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, former advisor to Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State on Arab-Israeli negotiations (1978-2003), and Noura Erakat, Human Rights Attorney and Assistant Professor of International and Legal Studies, George Mason University, 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.

HLS Professor Noah Feldman will moderated this discussion, which will be hosted by the Julius-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law & The Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change and co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. Lunch will be served.

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March 23, 2018

Conference: Human Rights in a Time of Populism

When: March 23rd, from 12-5pm and March 24th, from 9am-5pm

Where: Austin North; Langdell Hall, Vorenberg

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.

The multidisciplinary conference will address questions including:

  • 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.

The conference will take place for 1.5 days on March 23-24, 2018 at Harvard Law School, in Austin North on March 23rd and Langdell Hall, Vorenberg on March 24th. It is open to the public.

 

For more information, please visit the conference website. RSVP to receive updates and reminders about the event.

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March 27, 2018

The U.S. in Yemen: What We Know, What We Don’t, and What That Means for Rights Protection

When: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Where: WCC 1019

The war in Yemen has been marred by frequent violations of the laws of war by all parties to the conflict, and a humanitarian crisis that has left millions at risk of famine and continuing cholera and diphtheria epidemics.  The United States is intimately engaged in this conflict, providing significant support to the Saudi-led coalition military campaign, carrying out unilateral strikes, and working in partnership with the UAE to counter Al-Qaeda. However, a lack of transparency about the ways in which the US is engaging in Yemen frustrates advocacy and accountability efforts.  

This talk by Kristine Beckerle, Yemen and UAE Researcher, Human Rights Watch, will examine the US role in Yemen and explore the legal and policy avenues through which rights advocates can push for rights-respecting policies and practices, both in the context of Yemen as well as counter-terror efforts in the MENA region more broadly. 

Hosted by the Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change and co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program, the Middle Eastern Law Students Association, and HLS Advocates for Human Rights.  Lunch will be served. 

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April 11, 2018

Human Rights in the Council of Europe and the European Union: Achievements, Trends and Challenges

When: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Where: WCC 3012

Please join us for a book talk by Steven Greer, Professor of Human Rights at the University of Bristol Law School, and co-author of “Human Rights in the Council of Europe and the European Union: Achievements, Trends and Challenges,” the first integrated book-length study of human rights in these contexts on both legal and non-legal dimensions. Seeking to resolve widespread confusion about the similarities and differences between these two organizations in this field, it describes, explains, compares, and contrasts relevant institutions, procedures, norms and policies.

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