Center for International Human Rights

Center for International Human Rights

CIHR Statement on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The Center for international Human Rights (CIHR) strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign nation with a shared heritage, and fully supports the recent Order of the International Court of Justice calling upon Russia to suspend all military operations in the territory of Ukraine. Russia’s military actions have resulted in massive and systematic violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law and generated huge flows of refugees and internally displaced persons. The suffering of forcibly displaced persons and all those victimized by Russia's aggression must come to an end. Of particular concern here is the plight of women and children who, in addition to their forcible displacement, are at risk of trafficking.
In this context, however, a key priority for the international community must be the comprehensive documentation of all these violations as a necessary first step towards holding accountable those most responsible for ordering the commission of acts that constitute international crimes. CIHR welcomes the recent decision of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim A.A. Khan “to proceed with opening an investigation into the Situation in Ukraine.” In addition, we welcome the resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry “to investigate violations committed during Russia’s military attack on Ukraine.”
In these difficult times, we stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and with all those in Russia who are opposing this war and are being targeted as a result of the recently adopted laws that criminalize protesting and independent war reporting. We also extend our support to all the members of the CUNY community who are personally affected by this unfolding humanitarian tragedy.
The CIHR Staff

Transatlantic Forum Series Events and Accompanying Papers

"Making a Rioter: Social Media's Role in Planning and Inciting Civil Unrest and Violent Protests"
Dr. Alexander Heinze -- October 26, 2021
"Freedom from Systemic Official Corruption: a Human Right?"
Dr. Andrew Spalding -- November 10, 2021
"Providing Security in the 21st Century: a Human Rights Challenge?"
Dr. Anneke Petzsche -- December 1, 2021
(Un-)knowing the Human in Biometric Surveillance: Thoughts on Uncertainty, Ignorance and Rights"
Dr. Matthias Weinroth -- March 23, 2022
"Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: A Threat to Women's Rights and Gender Equality"
Jelena Pia-Comella -- April 27, 2022

CIHR Theme for 2021-2022

Religion, Secularism and Human Rights

The relation between religion and human rights constitutes a highly complex and controversial topic. On the one hand, religion has always posed a challenge to claims that human rights constitute a universal discourse of human emancipation; the global reach of religious fundamentalism, especially, but not exclusively, in the context of the 'global war on terror' has accentuated this challenge in many issue areas, including women’s rights, minority rights, freedom to choose one’s own religion, civic participation, the debate on non-traditional family values, and demands for social justice. On the other hand, there is a growing contingent of people who argue that the realm of human rights has been dominated by western ideas and concepts. Some analysts have even argued that the human rights discourse is reflective of ‘secular fundamentalism’ and, as a result, it has sought to marginalize religious-based alternative discourses seeking justice and inclusive social orders. In selecting “Religion, Secularism, and Human Rights” as our theme for the 2021-2022 academic year, the CIHR aims to explore this complex topic from a variety of angles ranging from looking at country-specific case studies, to comparing regional perspectives on religion/secularism, and to taking a more philosophical approach in addressing the nature and use/abuse of religious discourses and their potential effects on the adherence to human rights norms and standards. This will be done through a combination of panel discussions and conversation series events with subject matter experts, religious scholars, and human rights advocates, as well as through internally conducted research projects over the course of the coming year.

Details on the program of activities to follow.