New Fall 2018 Events

HRP has added several exciting events to our fall programming, including a panel on human rights impact litigation, a screening of the film War Don Don, a talk with Raymond Atuguba, and an information session on HRP Summer Fellowships with last year’s fellows.


More on Summer Fellowships

For 1Ls and 2Ls interested in exploring human rights as a career, a summer fellowship is the perfect place to introduce yourself to the field. Advising has already begun. Reach out to Emily Nagisa Keehn to think through placements and swing by the HRP lounge on Nov. 14th to learn more.

Otherwise, read on to learn more about the slate of events upcoming this fall, especially those recently added.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Human Rights Impact Litigation: The Plaintiffs Who Inspired the Cases

When: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Where: WCC 1019

Last week, James Tamboer, a plaintiff in the In re South African Apartheid Litigation, passed away. This month also marks the 15th Anniversary of Black October in Bolivia, when scores were killed and hundreds injured by security forces, which inspired the groundbreaking Mamani litigation in the United States. More than 20 years ago, lawyers began litigating corporate accountability in light of human rights in the case Doe v. Unocal

Judith Chomsky, Cooperating Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, Thomas Becker JD’08, Clinical Instructor at the International Human Rights Clinic, and Tyler Giannini, Clinical Professor and Director of the Human Rights Program and International Human Rights Clinic, will discuss the survivors behind these impact litigation cases and the state of U.S. human rights litigation since Jesner v. Arab Bank. Panelists will address how these human rights cases fit into long term struggles for justice, and how the plaintiffs’ resolve keeps cases like these going for a decade or more. Imani Franklin JD’19 and Krista Oehlke JD’20 will moderate the panel.

Sponsored by the International Human Rights Clinic.


Thursday, November 01, 2018

The Struggle for Normal Life in Gaza 

When: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Where: WCC 1019

The Progressive Jewish Alliance and HLS Advocates for Human Rights are pleased to welcome you to a lunch talk on “The Struggle for Normal Life in Gaza,” featuring Sari Bashi, former Israel/Palestine Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch and Co-Founder of Gisha, an Israeli NGO dedicated to defending Palestinian freedom of movement. Bashi will give a 15–20 minute presentation on the current situation in Gaza, specifically touching on the Israeli closure and its impact on Palestinian lives and livelihoods, and exploring relevant issues of international human rights and humanitarian law. Bashi’s presentation will be followed by a 30 minute Q&A with the audience.

Co-sponsored by the Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law, and the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. Lunch will be served. For questions or additional information, please contact [email protected].


Monday, November 05, 2018

An LGBTQ Activist in Egypt: Half A Life

When: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Where: WCC 1019

Half A Life is an animated short documentary that brings the streets of Cairo to life though a firsthand account of a young Egyptian activist who joins the LGBTQ rights movement after a traumatic encounter.  The film reflects on the risks and prospects of LGBTQ activism in an increasingly authoritarian, patriarchal, and risky social climate.  The screening will be followed by a discussion with Director Tamara Shogaolu, and Egyptian LGBTQ activist Ibrahim Abdella, moderated by Yasmin Padamsee Forbes, Commissioner for the Cambridge Human Rights Commission and Carr Center Fellow.

Hosted by the Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, and co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Religious Literacy Project at the Harvard Divinity School. RSVP on Facebook here. Lunch will be served.


Monday, November 05, 2018

War Don Don: A Film Screening 

When: 7:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.

Where: WCC 1019

After ten years of violent civil war, Sierra Leoneans were relieved in 2002 when the brutal war was over (exclaimed as “war don don” in the Krio language), but the painful memories of murder, systematic rape and dismemberment remained. WAR DON DON, directed by Rebecca Richman Cohen, follows the war crimes trial of Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel leader Issa Sesay, exploring the complex relationship between individual accountability, collective reconciliation, and the limits of international justice.

The film will be followed by a Q & A centered on the relationship among, human rights, peace, and criminal justice:

-Karen Engle, Visiting Professor at HLS and Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law and Founder and Co-director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law (Moderator)

-Rebecca Richman Cohen, Filmmaker and Lecturer at Law, Harvard Law School

-Zinaida Miller, Senior Fellow, Institute for Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School; and Assistant Professor, Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations

-Alpha Sesay, Human Rights Program Visiting Fellow and Advocacy Officer at the Open Society Justice Initiative

Alex Whiting, Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School

Watch the trailer here. Co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program, HLS Advocates for Human Rights, the Harvard Human Rights Journal, and the Harvard African Law Association. Light refreshments will be provided.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice Book Talk

When: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Where: WCC 1019

Editors Mary Crock, Professor of Public Law at Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney, and Lenni B. Benson, Professor of Law, New York Law School, and contributing author, Gerald L. Neuman, HRP Co-Director and J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International and Comparative Law will discuss their new edited volume Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice. The book was prompted by the unprecedented numbers of children crossing international borders seeking safety. Framed around compelling case studies explaining why children are on the move in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania, this book explores the jurisprudence and processes used by nations to adjudicate children’s protection claims. Including contributions from leading scholars in immigration, refugee law, children’s rights and human trafficking, the work critically examines the strengths and weaknesses of international and domestic laws with the aim of identifying best practice for migrant children.

Co-sponsored by the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, the Harvard Human Rights Journal, and HLS Advocates for Human Rights. Lunch will be served.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Human Rights Program Summer Fellow Information Session 

When: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Where: WCC 3123 (HRP Lounge)

Available to 1Ls and 2Ls, HRP Summer Fellowships provide funding for internships abroad at nongovernmental or intergovernmental organizations concerned with human rights. At this informal lunch, 2018 Summer Fellows will be available to discuss their experiences finding internships, working internationally, applying for funding, and more. Advisers from HRP and the International Human Rights Clinic will also be on hand to answer questions. If you are interested in a summer fellowship but cannot make the information session, please reach out to Emily Nagisa Keehn for advising at [email protected].

Lunch will be served.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Human Rights Activism in Africa (20 Years Later): A talk with Raymond Atuguba 

When: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Where: Hauser 102

In this talk, Raymond Atuguba, SJD ‘04, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ghana and Henry J. Steiner Visiting Professor in Human Rights at HLS, will look back at his HLS LLM thesis on the state of human rights activism in Africa in 2000. Reflecting on developments over the last two decades, he will focus on Ghana and Kenya as case studies and discuss how human rights movements have been coopted or stymied by politics, the courts, and sometimes civil society itself.

Professor Atuguba has an extensive background in academia, NGOs, government, and international development. He was previously the Executive Secretary to the President of the Republic of Ghana, and Executive Secretary and Principal Researcher to Ghana’s Constitution Review Commission. He was co-founder and executive director of the Legal Resources Centre, and founder of Law and Development Associates. He has served as an advisor to numerous U.N. and international development agencies.

Co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program, HLS Advocates for Human Rights, the Harvard Human Rights Journal, and the Harvard African Law Association. Lunch will be served.


Please note that the talk with UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, has been postponed to February 5, 2019. Recent events and updates are always posted to our website. Subscribe to our mailing list and check out our Blog,  YouTube, and Soundcloud for more.