Blog: Human Rights

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February 24, 2021

WATCH: Human Rights, Civil Rights, and the Struggle for Racial Justice

From documenting historical incidents of mass racial violence to taking protests against police brutality to international forums, social justice lawyers have long turned to human rights law and strategies to advocate for racial justice in the United States. At the same time, US legacies of exceptionalism, isolationism and nationalism pose challenges for what is a fundamentally universalist human rights project. On February 4, 2021, the Human Rights Program hosted the second webinar in a series of events exploring racial justice and human rights. This event explored how international human rights approaches are being used in conjunction with domestic civil rights advocacy to push for law and policy change in the United States. Panelists spoke about their work raising awareness of, and seeking accountability for, racial injustice, while reflecting on circumstances in which the international human rights framework presents an imperfect vehicle for mobilizing change.The event, “Human Rights, Civil Rights, and the Struggle for Racial Justice, featured:

– Gay McDougall, Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, Fordham Law School; Former United Nations Independent Expert On Minority Issues (2005-2011); Former Vice-Chair United Nations Committee on the Elimination Of Racial Discrimination

– Nicole Austin-Hillery, Executive Director, U.S. Program, Human Rights Watch;

– Maryum Jordan, Counsel for the Special Litigation and Advocacy Project, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.

The event was moderated by Aminta Ossom, Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law in the International Human Rights Clinic at HLS.

Thanks to our co-sponsors: the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, HLS Advocates for Human Rights, the Harvard Human Rights Journal, and the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.


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March 30, 2011

Today, March 31: A Talk on Professional Ethics and Human Rights

“Toward a Unified Theory of Professional Ethics and Human Rights”

March 31, 2011
12:00 pm- 1:00 pm
Lewis 202

Please join us tomorrow for a talk by Jonathan Marks, human rights lawyer and fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

Headshot of Marks

Marks, Associate Professor of Bioethics, Humanities and Law at Penn State University, has worked for years on the issue of complicity of professionals (in particular, doctors, psychologists and lawyers) in torture and detainee abuse in the war on terror.  In this talk, he will discuss his paper on the topic, the first to advance a general unified theory of professional ethics and human rights.

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