Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law to Celebrate 30th Anniversary

March 2, 2021

For the past 30 years, the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law (Center) has worked with students, faculty, and the international legal community to provide support for human rights initiatives in the U.S. and around the world through teaching, scholarship, and service. 

Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law to Celebrate 30th Anniversary

American University Washington College of Law established the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law in 1990 as part of its long-standing commitment to international human rights and the rule of law. The Center engages in exciting innovations in human rights education and advocacy by way of training, complementary education, outreach, workshops and conferences, and research and publications. All Center programming promotes the value of service, thereby grounding the Center as a core resource to the NGO community and a bridge between academia and civil society.

This year, the Center will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with a week-long series of events starting March 29 designed to commemorate the role the Center has played in developing and implementing cutting-edge human rights programming at AUWCL. Events will feature discussions with renowned human rights experts, including disability rights advocate and former Special Advisor for International Disability Rights Judith Heumann and UN High Commission of Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, closed events exclusively for AUWCL students and alumni, and a social media campaign featuring Center faculty who will share how they Champion What Matters.  

“The Center strives to build a connection between theory and practice, allowing our students to immerse themselves in real life projects and causes,” says Professor Macarena Sáez, faculty director of the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law. “And by doing that, we have enhanced the commitment that law schools should have in teaching generations of lawyers who lead by international human rights standards.”

[CLICK HERE] for more details and to register for the Center’s 30th anniversary series, including the following events:

Advocating for Change: A Conversation on Disability Rights & Human Rights

Monday, March 29; noon-1 p.m.
The Center has long sought to examine the important intersections of disability rights and human rights, through the adoption and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, conferences, specialized fellowships, and collaboration with leading NGOs. To kick off its 30th anniversary celebration, the Center will host a fireside chat with Acting Dean and Professor of Law Robert Dinerstein and legendary disability rights activist Judith Heumann.

Creating Connections: A Career Panel on Opportunities in Human Rights

Tuesday, March 30; noon-1:30 p.m.
AUWCL students are invited to an alumni panel discussion and Q&A featuring Center alumni who have gone on to work in human rights and/or have integrated human rights perspectives into their careers.  Students interested in exploring career pathways in human rights will have the opportunity to connect with AUWCL alumni who will share experiences about how to navigate different careers with a human rights perspective.

A Discussion with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

Wednesday, March 31; noon-1 p.m.
Co-sponsored with a network of human rights centers at U.S. law schools, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will speak about current challenges to and opportunities for the protection of human rights and how human rights institutes in U.S. law schools could most effectively address these issues. Ms. Bachelet assumed the role of Commissioner in 2018, following her tenure as President of Chile from 2006-2010 and 2014-2018. Ms. Bachelet is the seventh Commissioner since the Office's creation in 1993.

25 Years of the Human Rights Brief: Celebrating its Legacy with an Alumni Mixer

Thursday, April 1: 6-7 p.m.
The Center launched the inaugural issue of the Human Rights Brief just over 25 years ago, envisioning a forum for broadening the understanding of challenges facing human rights around the world.  This year, we will celebrate the Brief with an alumni-only virtual happy hour to provide opportunities for current staff and alumni to meet, share experiences, and celebrate its enduring legacy of furthering human rights scholarship.

After 30 years, Hear How We #ChampionWhatMatters!

Friday, April 2
In these uncertain times, communities like ours continue to come together to navigate the challenges to human rights we all face. As we celebrate 30 years, we hope you will connect with us virtually throughout the day with this hashtag and learn how our human rights faculty #ChampionWhatMatters.