United Nations Reform, the Rule of Law and Counter-Terrorism: Panel Discussion (Tuesday May 8, 2012)
5:15-8:00P.M. Room 630T, Haaren Hall John Jay College of Criminal Justice 899 10th Avenue (Between West 58th & 59th Street) New York, NY 10019
Chair: Anne-Christine Eriksson
Deputy Director UNHCR, New York
Panelists: George Andreopoulos
Professor of Political Science, City University of New York (CUNY) and Director, Center for International Human Rights, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Edward J. Flynn
Senior Human Rights Officer, UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate
Ana Maria Salinas de Frias
Book co-editor and Professor of Public International Law, Málaga University, Spain
Dr. Katja Samuel Book co-editor and Project Co-Director, Nottingham University, UK
Concluding remarks will be made by a representative of the CTITF Working Group
Sponsored by The Center for International Human Rights & the Center on Terrorism, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force on Protecting Human Rights While Countering Terrorism (CTITF Working Group).
International Women's Day 2012: Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures – Challenges and Prospects for Global Empowerment (March 15, 2012)
The Center for International Human Rights Celebration of International Women’s Day
International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality, and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security. Celebration of this event and a reflection of women's rights in the global arena are especially important in light of the recent creation of UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The UN designated theme for this year's IWD is: "Connecting girls, Inspiring futures”.
Currently, all societies face challenges in providing sustainable options for the younger generation. However, the lack of such options is particularly acute for women and young girls in societies in conflict situations, and in societies transitioning from such situations. There is a growing consensus in the international community that the participation of women in peace and stabilization efforts helps to reduce the incidence of conflicts and hostilities, promotes better access and support for women affected by war, and renders such processes more legitimate. As Michelle Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women, noted, “the reconstruction process for those territories that are recovering from situations of conflict are based on three pillars: economic recovery, the reestablishment of social cohesion and the recovery of political legitimacy. And women have a great deal to contribute to these three pillars, not only with regard to the issue of rights and social justice but also because, thanks to our participation, the results of the reconstruction of communities are more effective, legitimate and participatory.”
Women’s political participation is a human right whose promotion in a sustained manner can contribute to good governance and to greater opportunities for empowerment. Moreover, greater participation of women in such processes acts as an incentive for the younger generation to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become more actively engaged in transformational initiatives; initiatives that seek to ensure a more inclusive and just social order. In this context, Michelle Bachelet reiterated that “We are bound by a common goal--to open the way for women to participate in all decisions affecting not only their own lives, but the development of our world, at the global, regional and local levels. By making full use of half the world's intelligence--the intelligence of women--we improve the chances of finding real and lasting solutions to the challenges that confront us."
To contribute to this ongoing discussion, and consistent with the theme for this year’s IWD, the Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York is organizing an event to address the critical issue of women’s participation in post-conflict peacebuilding processes. Participants will be asked to address the following focal issues and questions: What are some of the main challenges confronting the younger generation of women? What can be done to enable young females to advance to the maximum of their potential, and contribute more effectively to public life? What kinds of initiatives, geared towards young females, are being developed to that effect in post-conflict societies? Who are the key stakeholders in these undertakings and how effective are they?
International Women’s Day Event (March 15, 2012) Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures: Challenges and Prospects for Global Empowerment 6:00-8:30P.M.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice – New Building – Conference Room L.61
Welcoming Remarks: Professor George Andreopoulos, Director, CIHR Moderator: Aferdita Hakaj, Assistant Director, CIHR
Professor Rosemary Barberet Associate Professtor of Sociology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Ms. Barbara Borgese Second Language English Teacher and Community Coordinator, The Brooklyn International High School
Mr. Conor French Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer, Indego Africa Ms. Qaterannada Rehan Youth Participant, Seeds of Peace
Technology and Human Rights: The Role of Information Technology and Social Networking Platforms in Mobilizing People to Advance the Cause of Human Rights and Social Justice (Thursday December 8, 2011)
Welcoming Remarks: George Andreopoulos, Director of CIHR Moderator:
Aferdita Hakaj, Assistant Director of CIHR Panelists:
Fred Kirungi, UN Human Rights Office in New York
Shahram Hashemi, Amnesty International
Professor Sylvia Maier, New York University
Raja Althaibani, WITNESS
Sally Abdelghafar, Youth International Empowerment
John Jay College - BMW Builing - 555 W. 57th Street 6th Floor, between 10th and 11th Avenues - Room 615/616.
This event is in commemoration of the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
60th Anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention: Protection Gaps and Responses: Challenges and Opportunities (Wednesday April 27, 2011)
The Center for International Human Rights (CIHR), John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York and the New York Liaison Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) organized an event commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 50th Anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The focus of this event was discussion of the gaps in the implementation of the international protection framework for displaced and stateless persons. The event took place on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 5:00-7:00 p.m at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at 555 W 57th Street, Room 615/616, New York, NY.
Panel Discussion on Protection Gaps and Responses: Challenges and Opportunities
WELCOMING REMARKS: Jeremy Travis, President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Anne-Christine Eriksson, Deputy Director, UNHCR Liaison in New York PANELISTS:
Susana B. Adamo, Associate Research Scientist, Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), The Earth Institute, Columbia University
Bill Frelick, Director, Refugee Program, Human Rights Watch
Janice Marshall, Deputy Director, Policy and Law Pillar, Division of International Protection, UNHCR
Lori Nessel, Professor of Law & Director, Center for Social Justice, Seton Hall University School of Law MODERATOR:
George Andreopoulos, Director, Center for International Human Rights and Professor of Political Science, John Jay College and The Graduate Center, CUNY
International Women's Day 2011 Even (Tuesday March 8, 2011)
On the evening of Tuesday, March 8, 2011, the CIHR held an event celebrating International Women's Day. IWD is celebrated to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality, and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security. Celebration of this event and a reflection of women's rights in the global arena are especially important in light of the creation of the new UN body in July 2010--UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The UN designated theme for this year's IWD is: "Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women." The event took place from 6:30-8:30 PM at John Jay College of Criminal Just, 899 Tenth Ave., Room 630T NY, NY. Flyer
Click here for more information
Talk by Ambassador Shashank (Tuesday September 21, 2010)
Former Foreign Secretary for India and Visiting Professor at Jawaharlal University, Ambassador Shashank, who retired in 2004 as the Foreign Secretary for India, addressed the College on Self-Determination and Human Rights. The event was co-sponsored by the Office of the President. Event Flyer
The Passion Coalition Event (Tuesday May 25, 2010)
The Center for International Human Rights together with the Gerald Lynch Theater, the Epic Theater Ensemble, the Rising Circle Theater Collective, The Culture Project, and the Lark Play Development Center, is organizing a reading of GRACE, a play written by Sanjit De Silva and Deepa Purohit. This is part of our Center's efforts to reach out to the artistic community and explore ways in which different art forms can provide us with important insights into ways for promoting human dignity and empowerment, as well as with powerful tools for effective human rights advocacy. The reading will be followed by a panel discussion that will include human rights scholars, artists, and representatives from the United Nations and humanitarian NGOs.
In a singular collaboration between the Center for International Human Rights at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and practitioners in the arts world, the one day Arts and Human Rights workshop held on Tuesday May 25th 2010 provided an experience that many of the participants will not forget.
Centered on the play "Grace" written by Sanjit DeSilva and Deepa Purohit, the workshop consisted of three sessions which took place in the cavernous Irondale Center in historic Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The first two sessions involved interactive sessions with participants in the human rights world, practitioners in the field of humanitarian aid work and artists working in a variety of media. The workshop culminated with a moving reading of "Grace" directed by Nandita Shenoy.
The first session involved representatives from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Medecins Sans Frontiers, the Sierra Leonean Mission to the United Nations, NGOs, and academics. Several issues were highlighted in a provocative three-hour discussion that focused on some of the more contentious issues raised in "Grace". Representatives from UNHCR focused on the many psychological traumas that are the result of being in the field of humanitarian aid work, and particularly on the difficult issue of empathy with respect to those in need. While one voice noted that it is nearly impossible to have true empathy with individuals in such dire need, others noted that the most mundane situations can bring out moments of true empathetic clarity, where power relations and uneven relationships dissipate and an equal bond based can be felt. However, while it was agreed that those moments were few and far between three stories were chosen to be passed along to the art creation second session.
The first story focused on a "heroic" event. A life saved, at great risk and danger of one's own, and the tensions between individuality and the collective were some of the deeper philosophical issues that were explored by a group of artists and practitioners who created a moving set piece based around the experience of one of our workshop participants who, many years ago in Mostar, protected at great personal risk a Bosnian Muslim under attack by Bosnian Serbs. As the other participants took part in the set piece, it became apparent that even those with the purest intentions can unwittingly and unconsciously become part of some of the most destructive forces that man is capable of creating. At the end of the piece many of the participants had to jolt themselves back to their normal selves as they cast off the evil intentions that the astute organizers of that piece created in them.
The second story focused around the notion of mental boundaries, and how as a practitioner it may be necessary to deal with some of the most horrific abusers of human rights out of a need to provide aid to the victims of those very abusers. This group created a piece focusing on the idea of three dimensional space as an embodiment of the hierarchical nature of bureaucracy and the UN. The piece displayed how one of our UN participants navigated a simulated maze of bureaucratic obstacles to provide aid for a refugee; as she progresses her life becomes part and parcel of the maze and eventually she becomes part of it, motivated by the need to do what one can to provide aid to those in need. In essence this presentation produced a melancholic picture of the progression of one's morals as we learn to navigate the channels of bureaucracy to do our work most effectively.
The final group created an unorthodox theatrical piece focusing on the story of one of our participants' experience with a young Sierra Leonean refugee girl. This group created a piece where each member represented the interviewer at a refugee camp and their very presence elicited a variety of ad hoc improvised responses from the women in the group. From those who were moved to share some of their most innermost secrets to those who felt anger at having to tell their story, this group's presentation displayed the wide variety of feelings any one individual would have at the imposition of an interview where one has to, in the words of the heroine of "Grace," 'tell one's life.' When at the end of the day the reading of "Grace" took place those in the audience were presented with a moving representation of some of the difficult issues raised in the previous sessions and those who took part in the previous two sessions came away with a deeply cathartic and moving experience.
Roundtable Discussion on Guantanamo (Monday May 4, 2009)
Roundtable Discussion on Guantánamo, Monday, May 4, 2:00 to 4:00 pm, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Room 630T
The Center for International Human Rights, The Office of Undergraduate Studies and The United Nations Students Association
invite you to a panel discussion on:
"ASSESSING GUANTÁNAMO: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS"
CHAIR: José Luis Morín, Interim Dean, Undergraduate Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice PANELISTS George Andreopoulos, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center
David Marshall, Human Rights Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Stacy Sullivan, Counter-Terrorism Advisor, Human Rights Watch
Roland Tricot, Counsellor for Legal and Disarmament Affairs, European Commission Delegation to the United Nations
Amy Yenkin, Director, OSI Documentary Photography Project
Reception to Follow
Lecture on Darfur (Thursday February 26, 2009)
Thursday, February 26, 2:00-3:30 pm, Room 636-T, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Xabier Agirre, Senior Analyst, Office of the Prosecutor, Interntional Criminal Court, The Hague, The Netherlands,"The Darfur Investigation of the International Criminal Court," co-sponsored by The Center for International Human Rigths, The International Criminal Justice Major, The Criminal Justice PhD Program and the International Criminal Justice Club.
When Will US Courts Join the International Constitutional Convention? (Thursday October 30, 2008)
The lecture took place in the Theater Lobby at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 899 Tenth Ave New York, NY 10019
Symposium on Guantánamo Bay (Friday March 23, 2007)
The symposium will focus on the legal issues stemming from the detention of individuals by the United States government in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The Guantánamo detainees have had a considerable impact on American and international jurisprudence. They have sparked a debate in the wider legal community about the fairness and legality of their detention and treatment: Do they have a right to seek relief from American courts? If so, can such a right be affected by Congress? Do they have any status under international humanitarian law, and if so, what? Should they have protections against torture and coercion? Should they be tried, and, if so, for what crimes, and under what procedures? If tried, would they then have a right to appeal and, if so, to whom? Should they be released and, if so, when? Will they be tortured by their governments when they are released? What are the powers and proper roles of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the United States government in dealing with the detainees? What is the legal status of detainees being held at locations other than Guantánamo Bay during the "War on Terror?"
The symposium brings together scholars, practitioners, and students of diverse legal backgrounds and interests to address these issues and participate in the symposium. The symposium touches upon a variety of fields including, but not limited to, constitutional law, criminal procedure and criminal law, international humanitarian and human rights law, and military law. The symposium will also host a "Litigation in Progress" panel, which will allow scholars and practitioners to briefly introduce their current Guantánamo caseload and receive valuable feedback, discussion, and advice from the symposium audience.
The New York City Law Review will dedicate Volume 10, Issue 2 entirely to issues covered at the symposium and publish various articles on Guantánamo-related issues.
The symposium is organized by the New York City Law Review at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, and sponsored by the Center for International Human Rights (CUNY-John Jay College of Criminal Justice), and the Center for Constitutional Rights. The symposium will also commemorate the Center for Constitutional Rights' 40th year anniversary and honor the organization's leading role in protecting and promoting constitutional and human rights. The symposium is free to the public and offers Continuing Legal Education credits (7) for $25. For registration and information, please visit www.nyclawreview.org. (Conference Program) (To Register for the Conference)
Laws of War Lecture Series (Thursday March 15, 2007)
"Killing with Distinction: On Categorizing Victims and Targets in the Laws of War." The Center for International Human Rights in collaboration with the Office for the Advancement of Research and the Ph.D. Program in Criminal Justice at John Jay College invites the public to a lecture by DR. RENÉ PROVOST ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, FACULTY OF LAW and DIRECTOR of the CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND LEGAL PLURALISM at McGILL UNIVERSITY. The lecture will be held on the John Jay campus in room 630T, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. A reception will follow the lecture. For further information regarding this event, contact M. Victoria Pérez-Ríos firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference : Thinking and Acting in an Emergency: The Role of Human Rights After 9/11 (Thursday-Friday October 26-27, 2006)
Sponsored by: Center for International Human Rights, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York; College of Continuing Studies, University of Connecticut; Human Rights Review.
Several critical issues were raised during this conference, including the need to address the nature of the human rights discourse, and the importance of moving beyond identifying the problems posed by 9/11 and its aftermath. Concerning the first issue, the post-9/11 context has rendered more acute the ambiguities inherent in the concepts invoked by the language of human rights; as a result, we have often witnessed contradictory actions taken and decisions made by those involved in human rights, actions which have been considered, at one time or another, to be justified or justifiable. The now familiar, and increasingly frequent condemnation of the human rights framework as a tool of Western moral and cultural imperialism make a return to these foundational questions mandatory. Concerning the second issue, our discussions were not confined to the nature and extent of normative erosion resulting from the ongoing "war on terror." Instead the conference, by examining domestic and international responses, including the responses of international institutions, explored ways in which this trend can be reversed. In this context, the role of civil society, and in particular the contribution of social movements, professional associations, religious and spiritual organizations, academe and public benefit non-governmental organizations is deemed critical in this effort.
Thinking in an Emergency: The Language of Human Rights
This panel concerned itself with the foundational concepts necessary for the global realization of coexistent freedom and the normative basis needed for engaging in meaningful discourse on terrorism. What must human rights be to be able to support thinking that resolves rather than complicates or aggravates the current crisis?
Fighting a Perpetual War: Measures, Responses, Lessons
This panel examine fsome of the key legislative and administrative measures adopted in the United States and in other countries as part of the ongoing "war on terror;" analyzed and assessed supportive and critical responses to these measures; and set both measures and responses within a wider historical context by comparing and contrasting the current situation with previous periods of national emergency.
Responding to the Challenges: What Can/Should International Institutions Do?
This panel analyzed and assessed the range of measures that international and regional organizations have undertaken in response to the global "war on terror." In particular it critically examined initiatives in the United Nations System (like the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the 1267 Sanctions Committee), the Organization of American States (Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism, the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism), the African Union, the European Union, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Fighting Back: The Role of Civil Society
This panel examined the potential role of civil society in the development of strategies for defending the relevant human rights and humanitarian standards, and expanding the political space within which alternative visions of global order can be sustained.
CIHR Sponsored Workshop for Human Rights Experts on the Newly Created United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) (Monday June 12, 2006)
The Center for International Human Rights sponsored a workshop of human rights experts on the newly created United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The workshop took place at John Jay College on June 12, 2006 and addressed issues relating to the potential, as well as to the opportunities and the challenges facing this new institution. The workshop was organized under the direction of Professors George Andreopoulos of John Jay College, Zehra Arat of SUNY Purchase, and Julie Mertus of American University. The participants drafted a statement which was sent to the UNHCR, which was holding its first meeting in Geneva. In addition, the statement was distributed among UN agencies and professional associations. To view the statement, click here.