Interested in Volunteering for the UN? Join the Discussion with UW Law Alumna, Johanna Gusman!

December 3: A Conversation with Johanna Gusman on UN Volunteer Work

Johanna Gusman

Date: Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015
Time: 8:30 AM
Location: TBA (Please contact Professor Anita Ramasastry)

Next Thursday Johanna Gusman, a UW Law School alumna and Gates Scholar, will visit us from Cairo via a Google hangout, to discuss how to work as a UN Volunteer (which is actually a quasi paid opportunity).  This is a great way for lawyers and others to get their “foot in the door” to work with the UN on longer term contracts.  We will connect with her online at 8:30 a.m. on 12/3 — Room TBA.  For those of you who are not in Seattle or who need to listen from home, please contact Professor Anita Ramasastry as soon as possible, and she will transmit instructions for how to join us via Google.

For more information, please contact Professor Ramasastry at arama@uw.edu.

December 4: Rahul Gairola Presentation on Migrations in Absentia: Digital Advertising & Manipulation of Partition Trauma

Rahul Gairola

Date: Friday, Dec. 4, 2015
Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Location: Seattle University, Hunthausen Hall 100

This paper contributes to existing and new scholarship in Partition and affect studies, on the one hand, and cultural and digital humanities studies, on the other, as the 70th anniversary of the geo- political division of South Asia approaches in 2017. I begin by proposing a rationale for two digital advertisements by Google and Coca Cola that attempt to capitalize on the trauma of Partition by celebrating both products as facilitating harmony between India and Pakistan. Indeed, these advertisements market “happiness” as the ultimate horizon of neoliberal experience for the subjects that they depict.

While I do not here want to undermine the nostalgic value or the raw emotions behind the subjects and sentiments portrayed, I would argue that it is crucial to question the ethical dilemmas of marketing products that utopically represent the Partition’s communal bloodshed. In particular, these advertisements promise what I call “migrations in absentia,” or the promise of movement across borders without moving from one’s geo-political space. I conclude that despite the hege-monic pull of both ads, a number of resistant representations counter their influence in the digital public sphere

Rahul Krishna Gairola is an Assistant Professor of English & Comparative Liter-ature at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India. He is, with Amritjit Singh and Nalini Iyer, co-editor of a collection of essays titled Revisiting India’s Partition: Poli-tics, Memories, & Culture (Lexington Books/ Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). He is working on two additional book projects – Homelandings: Diasporic Genealogies of Belonging in Nation and Digital Homes: Electronic Agency in 21st Century South Asia. He is an Article Editor for Postcolonial Text, and Editor of salaam: the newslet-ter of the south asian literary association.

For more information, contact the English Department at 296-5420

December 10: RSJI Speaker Series Presents Kimberlé Crenshaw – Annual Human Rights Day Celebration – Black Lives Matter

RSJI Speaker Series Logo

Date: Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave., Seattle, WA 98101

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.
Please join us for a reception starting at 6:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Kimberlé Crenshaw teaches Civil Rights and other courses in critical race studies and constitutional law. Her primary scholarly interests center around race and the law, and she was a founder and has been a leader in the intellectual movement called Critical Race Theory. She was elected Professor of the Year by the 1991 and 1994 graduating classes. She now splits her time each year between UCLA and the Columbia School of Law.

At the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she received her LL.M., Professor Crenshaw was a William H. Hastie Fellow. She then clerked for Justice Shirley Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

In 2007, Professor Crenshaw was awarded the Fulbright Chair for Latin America in Brazil. In 2008, she was nominated an Alphonse Fletcher Fellow. In the same year she joined the selective group of scholars awarded with an in-residence fellowship at the Center of Advanced Behavioral Studies at Stanford.

For more information, click here.

December 15: Conversations: Charlesworth and Chinkin Re-Examine the Boundaries of International Law

Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security, London, UK

In 2000 ‘The Boundaries of International Law: a feminist analysis’ shone a spotlight on the status of women in human rights and international law. The authors, Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin, took a critical look at the development of international law, arguing that the absence of women had produced a narrow and inadequate jurisprudence that legitimated the unequal position of women rather than confronted it. They called for the boundaries of international law to be redrawn to create more equitable status of women in society.

15 years on, Charlesworth and Chinkin revisit their ground-breaking feminist analysis. What has been achieved, and what challenges remain?

To register, click here.

Celebrate Human Rights Day! Join the Seattle Human Rights Commission at Town Hall Seattle

Volunteer for the SGB/LBAW Legal Clinic at El Centro de la Raza on Wednesday, December 9th!

LBAW

We are in need of volunteers (attorneys, law students, interpreters) for next month’s SGB/LBAW Legal Clinic at El Centro de la Raza in Seattle coming up on Wednesday, December 9th. We expect that many people will show up for consultations and we need your help in all areas of law!!

PLEASE consider volunteering in December 2015.  The Clinic takes place the 2nd Wednesday of each month at El Centro.

Don’t speak Spanish??  No sweat!  We will provide you with an interpreter.

Just complete the Volunteer Application.

Attorneys needed in the following practice areas:

  • Family Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Consumer Law
  • Employment Law
  • Property/Landlord Tenant
  • Workers Comp

Law Students and interpreters needed for intakes and interpretation.  If you would like to help in another way, please let us know.

Op-Ed: The New Rent Control Wars

Rent Control Flyer

By Randy Shaw | Beyond Chron

On November 4, a near riot broke out in the usually quiet city of Alameda, California The reason? A battle over rent control. Rising rents and evictions are causing tenant displacement and activists hoped that the November 4 City Council meeting would bring some relief. Instead, the meeting broke out in violence, with a city official assaulting  a tenant activist and the police arresting two tenants for the “crime” of advocating for rent control.

Alameda is the latest battleground in the new rent control wars. Earlier this year the city of Richmond, California enacted a rent control and just cause eviction law, only to have landlords get it suspended by qualifying a referendum. Instead of waiting for the election on the referendum Richmond activists are now gathering signatures to put their own measure on the November 2016 ballot.

Continue reading here.

Join the Seattle Human Rights Commission for Human Rights Day

City of Seattle Logo

On behalf of the Seattle Human Rights Commission and our Human Rights Day planning partners, we would like to invite you to join us in celebrating Human Rights Day on Thursday, December 10th at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle.

Every year at our Human Rights Day celebration we recognize our City’s exceptional human rights leaders.  Please help us identify those leaders in Seattle by nominating those that have advanced human rights locally, nationally or globally.

Award Categories:
1) Human rights leader (individual)
2) Rising human rights leaders (youth),
3) Human rights organization
4) Human rights business
5) Human rights artist
6) Human rights coalition

Please nominate those individuals and entitiestinyurl.com/2015humanrightsawards
Nomination deadline: November 15th, 2015.

Awardee selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates a strong commitment to advancing human rights
  • Works for racial and social justice
  • Provides courageous leadership
  • Develops innovative programs advancing human rights
  • Supports equal opportunities and workplaces free from discrimination
  • Business awardees: Provides a living wage, fosters a positive work environment, and has family friendly policies

Past award recipients have included The Colectivo de Detenidos, Matt Remle, Garfield High School’s Black Student Union, Yasmin Christopher, Legal Voice, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Casa Latina, Pride Foundation, Molly Moons and Tutta Bella, among others.

Thank you so much for your participation! If you have any questions, please call Marta Idowu at 206-684-0390 or email her at marta.idowu@seattle.gov.

UN Human Rights Experts Welcome Release of Egyptian Journalist and Rights Defender

UN Logo

By UN News Centre

UN human rights experts today welcomed the release of Egyptian journalist Hossam Bahgat but expressed their “grave concern” over the “very difficult environment” for journalists and human rights defenders in Egypt that deters reporting and intimidates writers and activists of all kinds.

In a joint statement, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, said “even after his release, his detention sends a signal of disrespect for the very principles of freedom of expression that [Egyptian] President [Abdel Fattah] Sisi only days ago claimed his Government upheld.”

Continue reading here.

Have you Already Secured a Summer Internship doing Social Justice Work? Don’t Miss Out on an Early Application for Funding

On Human Rights Day, UN Official Calls for Member States to ‘Stamp Out Torture’

Jean-Marc Ferre

By: UN News Centre

10 December 2014 – Governments must ramp up their efforts in eradicating the practice of torture and compensate the victims of this “most vicious of crimes,” the top United Nations human rights official has urged, as he marked the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention against Torture.

In a press statement issued today following the release of two “ground-breaking” reports – one from the United States and another from Brazil – on the use of torture by both Governments, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called on all Member States “to act unequivocally” in stamping out the practice.

“Today is not only Human Rights Day,” Mr. Zeid said, as he recalled the UN-backed observance commemorating the date on which the General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “it is also the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention against Torture on 10 December 1984.”

“Yet, as yesterday’s US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report shows, torture is still taking place in quite a few of the 156 countries that have ratified the Convention against Torture and have domestic legislation making it illegal.”

Continue reading here. Photo credit: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

2015 Haywood Burns Memorial Fellowship for Social and Economic Justice, Applications Due 1/12/15

Haywood Burns

The Haywood Burns Fellowships are designed to encourage students to work in the National Lawyer’s Guild’s tradition of “people’s lawyering.” The program exists to help students apply their talents and skills to find creative ways to use the law to advance justice. Burns Fellowships provoke law students to question traditional notions of how one must practice law and to provide a summer experience that will enrich and challenge them.

Over the years, the Summer Projects program has expanded to place hundreds of students with public interest organizations working to protect and further the civil rights of oppressed people in the United States. Although providing legal work under the direction of their attorney-organizers is important, the primary mission of the summer projects is to strengthen each student’s long-term commitment to promote justice and equality. Fellows have worked with groups to provide legal, political, and educational support on a wide variety of issues, including voting rights; union democracy; workplace health and safety; the death penalty and prison reform; lesbian/gay/bisexual/trans rights; defense of protesters from police harassment and criminal sanctions; and international human rights.

For more information, click here.

Human Rights Essay Award: Call for Submissions, Due 2/1/15

WCL

Are you interested in attending an all-expense paid 3 week summer program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law taught by over 39 world-renowned practitioners and academics at American University Washington College of Law? Well, now is your chance! Submit an essay to the Human Rights Essay Award Competition and you could be the lucky winner to receive a scholarship to attend the 2015 Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. This year’s topic is “Transitional Justice, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law” and the deadline to submit is February 1, 2015. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic. The best articles may be published in the American University International Law Review.

This annual competition sponsored by the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. The Academy will grant two Awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of: a scholarship to the Academy’s Program of Advanced Studies, travel expenses to Washington D.C., housing at the university dorms and a per diem for living expenses.

For detailed guidelines about the award, click here.

Attention US Citizens! David L. Boren Fellowship, Applications Due 1/27/15

boren-logo

The David L. Boren Fellowship provides a unique funding opportunity for U.S. students to study in world regions critical to U.S. interests (Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East).  Boren Fellows receive up to $24,000 for overseas study or up to $30,000 for a combination of overseas and domestic study.

Deadline: January 27, 2015 at 2:00 PM (PST)

For UW Information Session Webinars: December 9, 2014 and January 6, 2015.  Register online here.

For more information, click here.

 

Celebrate Human Rights Day by Learning More about Homelessness Online!

December 10: How to Make Human & Civil Rights Real – Homelessness and Beyond Webinar

national law center housing

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014
2:00 – 3:00 PM EST / 10:00 -11:00 AM PST

On Human Rights Day, Wednesday, December 10, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty will host a free webinar discussing the criminalization of homelessness as a violation of civil and human rights, and strategies advocates can use to work toward solutions.

The webinar will discuss three forthcoming reports from the Law Center, including:

The webinar will include updates on recent human rights advocacy to address the criminalization of homelessness, methods that individual advocates can employ in their work, and the important role the federal government has in combating criminalization.

To register for the webinar, click here.

January 13: A Panel Discussion on Compensated Surrogacy

WLR Logo

Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2014
6:00 PM
William H. Gates Hall, RM 138

Please join Washington Law Review on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm for a panel discussion on Compensated Surrogacy, the subject of our December 2014 symposium issue.

Compensated surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries and gives birth to a child in exchange for money. Such an arrangement affects many parties—the child born, the surrogate, the parents who wish to raise the child, the donors of genetic material, and others. But in the United States, surrogacy remains a largely unregulated area. The December 2014 issue of Washington Law Review is dedicated to scholarship addressing compensated surrogacy and the legal and political implications for groups affected.

THE PANEL INCLUDES:

Peter Nicolas is the Jeffrey & Susan Brotman Endowed Professor of Law at the University of
Washington School of Law. His article, “Straddling the Columbia” discusses his own experiences  as an intended parent of a surrogacy arrangement, before ultimately concluding that surrogacy arrangements merit constitutional protection.

Terry Price is the Associate Director of the Center for Law in Science and Global Health at the
University of Washington School of Law. His article, “The Future of Compensated Surrogacy
in Washington State: Anytime Soon?” discusses the legislative history of attempts to regulate
compensated surrogacy in Washington State.

Sara Ainsworth is the Director of Legal Advocacy at the National Advocates for Pregnant Women. Her article, “Bearing Children, Bearing Risks” approaches the topic of compensated surrogacy from a feminist perspective, with the goal of drawing more feminist voices into this ongoing discussion.

This panel will be moderated by Kellye Testy, Dean of the University of Washington School of Law.

Click here to RSVP.

January 20: Attorney General 8th Annual Open House

WA AGO seal

Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2014
3:30 – 5:30 PM
800 5th Ave., Suite 2000, Seattle, WA (Bank of America, Fifth Avenue Plaza Bldg.)

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) serves more than 230 state agencies, boards, commissions, colleges and universities, as well as the Legislature and the Governor. The mission of the Office is to deliver the highest quality professional legal services to officials, agencies and citizens of the state of Washington. The Office is comprised of over 500 attorneys and 600 professional staff.

Assistant Attorneys General from many of the AGO’s divisions will be in attendance to speak about opportunities that exist within their divisions and the AGO. Information about the Office’s volunteer law clerk recruitment program for first and second year law students will also be available.

International Human Rights Day News and RSVP Deadline Extended for San Francisco Public Service Visit in January

How About We Celebrate Human Rights Every Day?

human_rights_logo

By Anna Crosby, ACLU Human Rights Program

Henry Hill was 16 when he was charged for his involvement in a shooting that took place in a Michigan park. He is now 48 and has spent two-thirds of his life in a prison cell. Although in recent years the Supreme Court has struck down some laws that allow children to be committed to die in prison, the United States remains the last country in the world where children can still be sentenced to serve life without the possibility of parole. While the U.S. has historically provided global leadership on some human rights issues, Henry Hill serves as a grave reminder that we’re still out of step with rest of the world on many of the most fundamental human rights protections.

Sixty-three years ago today, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 10 International Human Rights Day. It celebrates the birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the foundational document expressing our collective will to advance human rights and “strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance.”

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the principal outcome of the landmark international conference on human rights which took place in Vienna in 1993.

The United States’ track record in some of what the UDHR calls the most basic of rights—the right to life, right to vote, freedom from torture, and economic rights, among others—is greatly in need of improvement. We often don’t practice what we preach. Just last week, at the annual summit hosted by Human Rights First, National Security Advisor Susan Rice publicly criticized the Iranian government for not allowing the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to visit the country. The U.S., however, lacks credible leverage to change this policy when it continues to deny U.N. human rights experts unimpeded access to the prison at Guantánamo Bay.

In commemoration of this year’s Human Rights Day, we’re releasing a new fact sheet that provides a critical snapshot of 12 human rights issues the United States is failing to adequately address, including some astounding statistics on persons deprived of their liberty. In 2012, the number of people held in immigration detention reached 410,000 people, an increase of more than 400 percent since 1996. Fueled by over-incarceration policies and discrimination, the incarceration rate in the United States is still the highest in the world. Other issues addressed in our fact sheet include:

  • Women’s Rights
  • Criminal Justice (more specifically, capital punishment, life without parole for children)
  • Voting Rights
  • LGBT Rights
  • Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Socioeconomic Rights
  • Racial Profiling
  • Children’s Rights
  • Accountability for Torture

In addition to the areas addressed in the fact sheet, the United States also continues to set a poor example for other countries when it comes to mass surveillancetargeted killings, and more.

As our fact sheet explains:

Without doubt the U.S. continues to provide global leadership on some human rights issues. For example, the current administration provided vigorous leadership in fighting for LGBT equality, combating trafficking, and championing religious freedom and peaceful assembly rights. But while some U.S. laws and policies have been comparatively advanced in protecting civil rights and civil liberties, the U.S. has fallen behind in protecting the universal human rights recognized by the UDHR. Our government has only partially and selectively embraced these rights, ignoring international obligations and widening the gap between the United States’ sixty-five-year-old promise and its own current practice.

As we celebrate Human Rights Day, we cannot forget urgent and ongoing domestic human rights violations, like mass incarceration and juvenile life without parole. For people like Henry Hill, who has spent half of the UDHR‘s history behind bars, paying our respects to human rights once a year won’t get him home.

Twitter link: http://tiny.cc/gcaw7w

Human Rights Report Card Gives U.S. Poor Grades on Housing

NLCHPDecember 10, 2013, Washington D.C. – The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty released its 2013 Human Right to Housing Report Card today, marked globally as human rights day, reviewing U.S. compliance with the human right to housing in the context of American homelessness over the past year. The report card found that while there were areas of improvement, much more needs to be done.

“In 2010, the federal government released a plan to end and prevent homelessness,” said Maria Foscarinis, Executive Director of the Law Center, “ensuring affordable housing to very low-income people is essential to ending and preventing homelessness, and many of the poor grades we assigned in this year’s report card reflect the failure to prioritize and fund such housing.”

There were encouraging policy developments this year, most notably the Violence-Against Women Act 2013 reauthorization, which significantly expanded housing rights for survivors of domestic violence. Additionally, a federal court mandate upheld the order forcing government compliance with Title V of the McKinney-Vento Act requiring government agencies to make vacant properties available to homeless service agencies.

In another significant development, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness began holding its member agencies accountable to their human rights obligations, following up on a report it issued with the U.S. department of Justice last year on the criminalization of homelessness and in response to inquiries from the United Nations this year.

“The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness deserves credit for beginning to hold its member agencies accountable to human rights standards following a question from the UN Human Rights Committee about the criminalization of homelessness in the U.S.,” said Eric Tars, Director of Human Rights & Children’s Rights Programs at the Law Center, “But we have yet to see actions being implemented, and our human rights obligations to our most vulnerable citizens remain compromised.”

In order to improve its grades next year, the Law Center recommends that funds be increased to at least $1 billion per year for federal homelessness prevention programs and $1 billion be devoted to the National Housing Trust Fund. The report also recommends that the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act become permanent, the right to counsel be assured for all housing cases, and federal agencies develop funding incentives for communities to stop the criminalization of homelessness.

To read the report card, click here. For general inquiries, contact Selam Aberra.

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty is a leader in the movement to prevent and end homelessness. To achieve its goal, the Law Center uses three main strategies: policy advocacy, public education, and impact litigation.

Human Rights Essay Award Competition: Persons with Disabilities and International Human Rights Law

Academy of HR & Humanitarian Law

Deadline: February 1, 2014

This annual competition sponsored by the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law.

The 2014 topic is Persons with Disabilities and International Human Rights Law. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic. The best articles may be published in the American University International Law Review.

The Academy will grant two Awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of:

  • a scholarship to the Academy’s Program of Advanced Studies
  • travel expenses to and from Washington D.C.
  • housing at the university dorms
  • a per diem for living expenses

For detailed guidelines about the award please click here.

Deadline Extended! RSVP By December 17, 5pm ! San Francisco Public Service Employer Visit

SF

2014 SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC SERVICE CITY VISIT: JANUARY 17, 2014

The  Center for Public Service Law has planned our third annual San Francisco  Public Interest Law City Visit for Friday, January 17, 2014.  On that day we will visit 4 public interest/public service agencies – two in Oakland  and two in San Francisco.  This year we will visit a variety of  organizations including the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), the California Department of Justice (Attorney General’s Office) and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.  Over the past two years 13 UW Law students have taken this trip and visited different public service and public interest sites, receiving excellent exposure to public service law in San Francisco.

Who may attend?  UW law students.

Why attend? If you are interested in seeking summer positions in the San Francisco Bay Area or if you think you might practice public interest law in the Bay Area after graduating then this is a great opportunity to get a sense of the lay of the land.  At each place we visit, the  organization will give us a brief presentation and then lawyers on staff will answer our questions.  Meeting the public interest lawyers in these offices will help you to begin building relationships — which is vital to “breaking in” to a new community.  None of the employers we visit can guarantee our jobs for students, but students have created important connections and at least one secured an externship.  Two other organizations we have visited have welcomed collaborative projects with students or hosted Equal Justice  Works fellowship applications, based on us establishing relationships with them through the city visits.

What are the expenses? You must pay for your own airfare and lodging. On Friday we will provide lunch and public transportation fees.  Participants will be eligible for up to $150 reimbursement of documented travel expenses.

How to RSVP:  contact Dean Storms at mestorms@uw.edu if you are interested in attending or if you have additional questions.  Please do so by December 17 5pm as  we will want to confirm a minimum number of participants in order to go forward with the trip.