Human Rights Brief

AUWCL’s Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law established the student-run Human Rights Brief as part of its long-standing commitment to human rights education and excellence in legal analysis and writing.  For nearly 30 years, the Center has worked with students, faculty, and the international legal community to provide and to support concise, cutting-edge legal analysis of human rights issues.  The Human Rights Brief continues to enjoy great success contributing articles, editing pieces, representing the Center at human rights events around Washington, D.C., and working with practitioners around the world to further scholarship and examine emerging issues in the disciplines of human rights and humanitarian law. 

“In these tumultuous times, the Brief seeks to foster a community of student advocates and provide a thoughtful, grounded perspective on human rights issues.”

Samira Elhosary (J.D. ’21) and Kate Morrow (J.D. ’21); Editors-in-Chief

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Around the world, people are calling on states to better protect human rights. Most states are a party to at least one of the major human rights treaties; however, all states also have serious human rights violations occurring within their borders. Meanwhile, a global pandemic continues to expose inequalities in our systems, and a reckoning of racial tensions has reverberated with communities around the world. As we reflect on 2020, we also look forward -- how do we use existing legal mechanisms to effectively protect human rights? What new mechanisms need to be created?   

This year has been one of transformation. At the Human Rights Brief, we have taken this opportunity to reflect upon our own processes and goals in order to better support our student staff and be a resource to the human rights community.  We could not have gone through this process without our incredibly visionary and talented Editorial Board, and all of our student editors and staff have been instrumental in making this change.  We hope you find the ideas in this issue as encouraging and thought-provoking as we have. We shall continue to advocate for a world where states protect every individual's human rights and we thank you for your continued support.  

To read more, click here for Volume 24, Issue 2 (Winter 2020).

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Quick Facts About the Human Rights Brief
  • 50
    Student Staffers
  • 25
    Years of Legal Analysis
  • 68
    Articles Each Year

Interested in Writing for the Brief?

Students from American University Washington College of Law have the opportunity to write for the Human Rights Brief by joining its staff.  Practitioners, scholars, and other students are invited to submit pieces on a variety of human rights and humanitarian law topics at any time.  Click below to learn more. 

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