The Human Rights Institute and Clinic submitted two shadow reports to the UN Human Rights Committee for its review of the US' compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The first report focuses on Access to Justice issues in the United States, the second focuses on the federal government's role in respecting and ensuring human rights at the state and local level.
Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Human Rights, repeatedly cited and discussed the Human Rights Institute’s intervenor brief in its landmark decision Hirsi Jamaa and Others v. Italy. In what observers have called a “historic judgment,” the court recognized the human rights abuses suffered by migrants from Somalia and Eritrea who were intercepted by Italian ships. The Human Rights Institute commented on Inter-American Commission caselaw and comparative practice—areas the court used as a benchmark for its analysis of Italy’s practices.
Read Naureen Shah's recent column in Jurist discussing the return of Guantanamo detainees to their home countries despite the risk of torture.
HRI releases report on Diplomatic Assurances, Dec. 20, 2010. This report, authored by Naureen Shah, is the culmination of several years of research by the Human Rights Institute. The report presents the evolving evidence and jurisprudence of assurances and presents elements necessary to make such assurances plausible: judicial review, public scrutiny, and systematic monitoring. In a recent piece for The Age, HRI’s Shah urges stronger monitoring and enforcement guarantees in diplomatic assurances recently accepted by the Australian government for the transfer of prisoners detained in Afghanistan to the Afghan National Directorate of Security, an agency known for torture.
Institute founder Louis Henkin and his wife Alice Henkin were awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt award on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, for their lifelong commitment to advocating human rights at home and abroad.
Associate director of the Human Rights in the U.S. project, JoAnn Kamuf Ward, wrote a recent piece on Huffington Post, urging the Obama Administration to exercise leadership in treaty ratification efforts as a step towards ensuring protection for the full range of human rights.
In a recent piece for Politico, Risa Kaufman stresses the importance of bringing the UPR process home through federal coordination with state and local government agencies and officials.
Executive director Risa Kaufman's Huffington Post piece says U.S. human rights record is “less than perfect,” and the Obama Administration acknowledging flaws in the Arizona law is an important step.
JoAnn Kamuf Ward, Counsel for the Human Rights in the U.S. Project traveled to Geneva this week to participate in advocacy efforts in preparations for the upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR). While in Geneva, JoAnn will brief U.N. delegates and and the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees on the U.S. Human Rights record. Click here to read more about JoAnn's trip and the UPR process.
Bringing Human Rights Home, the 2008 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award winner, is now available in paperback.
In conjunction with the United Nations Human Rights Council's review of the United States’ human rights compliance as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, we coordinated the drafting and submission of a coalition report on human rights treaty ratification. Civil society organizations submitted 26 cluster reports on a range of issues including migrant rights, the right to adequate housing, the right to work with dignity, LGBT rights, discrimination, criminal justice, and rights of persons with disabilities. The U.S. Human Rights Network published a compilation of these reports, available here.
Our annual CLE conference took place on June 4, 2010. This year's conference focused on ethics and domestic human rights lawyering. PowerPoints from the conference are available our CLE webpage.
The BHRH Network held its Spring 2010 Network Meeting on May 25, 2010. The meeting was preceded by an international legal research training session with Kyle Courtney, Reference/Electronic Services Librarian at Northeastern University School of Law. View Kyle's PowerPoint presentation and research training outline.
The Human Rights Clinic recently submitted written comments in Hirsi v. Italy, a case before the European Court of Human Rights concerning the rights of migrants interdicted on the high seas.
On Feb. 26, 2010, we hosted a consultation between the Obama Administration and civil society, providing individuals and organizations the opportunity to share their perspectve on the administration's human rights record and make recommendations for improvement. More information on the UPR and our involvement in the first periodic review of the United States can be found on our UPR page.
On Feb. 26, 2010, the Columbia Human Rights Clinic, in collaboration with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Ira Kurzban, and community advocates in Miami, submitted a memo to Roxana Bacon, chief counsel of U.S. customs and immigration aervice arguing for a generous humanitarian parole policy toward Haitians in the wake of the earthquake.
The Human Rights Clinic recently released a manual on domestic violence in anticipation of the the fourteenth annual Domestic Violence Conference at Fordham Law School.
The Human Rights Clinic published “Contracts Confidential: Ending Secret Deals in the Extractive Industries,” a report written in conjunction with the Revenue Watch Institute. Written by Professor Peter Rosenblum and the Institute's Revenue Watch Fellow Susan Maples, the report aims to promote a serious conversation among industry, governments, investors, banks, and civil society organizations about disclosure and confidentiality in extractive industry contracts.
Risa Kaufman, our executive director, serves as a co-coordinator of The Campaign for a New Domestic Human Rights Agenda, which is working to build human rights into the baseline of government. See the campaign’s recent letter supporting a U.S. Commission on Civil and Human Rights, published in the New York Times on Jan. 27,2009.