ORAM Publishes Report Amidst Debates on Uganda’s Possible Re-Introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Disability Rights Washington Seeks Mental Health Advisory Council Members

DRW

Disability Rights Washington (DRW) is a private non-profit organization that protects the rights of people with disabilities statewide. Our mission is to advance the dignity, equality, and self-determination of people with disabilities. We work to pursue justice on matters related to human and legal rights.

Volunteers who serve on our Board and councils are critical to our work. We are reaching out to encourage people to serve on our Mental Health Advisory Council.

For more about the role of the MHAC, click here. 

Missed the Careers in Public Policy Panel on October 29th? Podcast Link Available Now!

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Did you miss the panel on October 29th about Careers in Public Policy?  Here’s your chance to watch the podcast.

Click here to download the materials.

Maryland Poor Deserve Free Attorneys in Family Law Cases, Panel Finds

Maryland

By: Madeleine List, Southern Maryland Online

“[A] state task force this month recommended assigning free lawyers in certain family-law cases, and spending nearly $8 million over four years to help the poorest Marylanders work through the complex court system.” “The Task Force to Study Implementing a Civil Right to Counsel in Maryland is a group of judges, attorneys, delegates and state senators that has been meeting since December to discuss the benefits of providing legal representation to low-income people involved in civil disputes.” “A bill, sponsored by Del. Sandy Rosenberg, D-Baltimore, outlining the task force’s recommendations, will be introduced to the legislature at the start of the next session, which begins on Jan. 14, said Dumais, who plans to co-sponsor the bill.”

Continue reading here.

As Uganda Debates the Re-Introduction of an Anti-Homosexuality Bill, ORAM Publishes a Comprehensive Country of Origin Report on the Conditions of LGBTI Individuals in the Country

ORAM Country of Origin Report - Uganda

By: ORAM International

ORAM has published an extensive report titled “Country of Origin Report: Sexual and Gender Minorities – Uganda.” The unique report includes an extensive case law section, analyzing key asylum decisions in Ugandan LGBTI asylum cases from six jurisdictions worldwide.

This report is particularly timely. Ugandan LGBTI individuals and activists recount growing hostility and fear as Uganda debates re-introducing an “Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” while homosexuality remains criminalized under existing law. The Anti-Homosexuality Act, initially dubbed the ” Kill the Gays Bill,” was annulled by Uganda’s Constitutional Court in August 2014 on a parliamentary technicality. The Act imposed up to life imprisonment for same-sex sexual acts, and punished those who advocate for sexual minority rights or provide services to LGBTI people. Violence toward LGBTI individuals in Uganda has escalated, and many are fleeing the country.

Country of Origin reports are a critical tool for adjudicators and protection experts assessing risk of persecution, credibility, and availability of state protection in asylum and refugee claims. Building on its expertise and its deep understanding of the refugee field, ORAM demonstrates through this report that a nuanced and culturally-informed approach to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in Country of Origin Information (COI) will lead to more accurate adjudication of LGBTI asylum and refugee claims.

Download the full report here.

 

Interested in Health and the Law? Position Openings in Reproductive Health & Public Health (HIV/AIDS)

Worker’s Rights Attorney Position in Upstate New York Deadline Extended to 9/8, Due TODAY!

Empire_Justice_Center

Empire Justice is a statewide, multi‐issue, multi‐strategy non‐profit law firm focused on improving the “systems” within which poor and low-income families live. With a focus on poverty law, Empire Justice Center undertakes research and training, acts as an informational clearinghouse, and provides direct representation and support to local legal services programs and community based organizations. As an advocacy organization, we engage in legislative and administrative advocacy on behalf of those harmed by poverty and discrimination. As a nonprofit law firm, we provide legal assistance to those in need and undertake impact litigation in order to protect and defend the rights of disenfranchised New Yorkers.

The Workers’ Rights Attorney will represent individuals and groups of low-wage and immigrant workers in the Genesee Valley region in wage theft and related claims. The Attorney will work with community organizations and worker centers to develop effective strategies to address wage theft and other forms of workplace exploitation.

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.

United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) Seeking Assistant Information Officer for Six Months in Tehran, Iran, Due 9/9

UNAMA

Under direct supervision of the Head of Office and within the delegated authority, the incumbents will be responsible for the following duties: Provide general support to Tehran Liaison Office in all aspects of assistance (including office management, programming and coordination); Promote dialogue with representatives of the central authorities, institutions and civil society groups; Support international staff with regular updates; Ensure that related project monitoring and reporting activities are carried out; Prepare regular reports (daily, weekly, monthly and other reports as requested by the Head of Office); Liaise regularly with other UN Agencies and NGO partners to ensure greater interaction and cooperation; Participate in relevant UN working group meetings;
Support the translation of UN and other official documents; Arrange meetings; Participate in conferences and seminars; Assist Head of Office with briefing notes, background papers and talking points; Maintain up-to-date knowledge of diverse Afghan-related issues; Supervise national staff;
Under the direction of the HoO, represent UNAMA in official meetings with local authorities, communities and organizations; and Perform other duties as required.

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP in Phoenix, AZ Seeking Students for Temporary Paid Law Clerk Position, Position Starts Immediately

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We are currently seeking 10-20 or so preferred law students to put in a minimum of 15-20 hours a week at $12/hour for the next 2-3 weeks. We have compiled a team of approximately 90 law students from the Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Portland, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston areas. The position requires law clerks to conduct document coding and data entry into a main database used for class certification, export report comparisons, and class notice.  Students may complete the work remotely.  Candidates must be detail-oriented with the ability to learn and produce quickly.  While there is potential for additional work after the completion of this project, there is no guarantee of any amount of work assigned to any contracted candidate.

Interested candidates should submit a resumé and availability immediately to David Pierce Uffens at David@dpierceassociates.com.

PATH Seeking Project Administer, Reproductive Health

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Pilot Introduction and Evaluation of Sayana Press is a four-year project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Sayana Press (SP) is an innovative subcutaneous injectable contraceptive. The project will facilitate the introduction of Sayana Press in four countries:  Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger and Uganda. The project aims to make Sayana Press available through routine health service delivery channels and build the evidence base for global decision-making about whether and how to include Sayana Press in family planning programs in the future. Looking beyond the current introductions, the project also plans to work closely with ministries of health in Senegal and Uganda to build the evidence base on issues such as the operational feasibility and cost-effectiveness of Sayana Press self-injection among women.

PATH is currently recruiting a Program Administrator (PADM) for the Pilot Introduction and Evaluation of Sayana Press project.

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.

USAID Seeking Public Health Specialist on HIV/AIDS in Zambia

USAID Seal

USAID/Zambia has an immediate opening for a Public Health Specialist (HIV/AIDS Strategic
Information) in the HIV/AIDS Multisectoral Office.

The incumbent serves as the Public Health Specialist (HIV/AIDS Strategic Information). S/he is a senior program specialist and key public health advisor responsible for HIV/AIDS Strategic Information (SI) activities within USAID/Zambia. S/he works at a project management level with government ministries, implementing partners, non-governmental organizations, contractors and grantees to coordinate the design and ensure appropriate, high quality implementation and strengthening of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems and evaluation projects as defined in the Country Operational Plan (COP). S/he also has duties and responsibilities in health management and information systems program management.

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.

Equal Justice Works 2014-2015 AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships Now Open!

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Our AmeriCorps Legal Fellowship positions are filling up! This year, we have positions available for our Veterans Legal Corps, where Fellows will provide legal services in a variety of issue areas to veterans and military families, and Employment Opportunities Legal Corps, where Fellows will work to reduce legal barriers to employment for disadvantaged populations. Most fellows will have an option to renew for a second year, contingent upon continued funding.

Fellows begin their one-year term between August 1 and September 30. Host sites began posting positions in late June, and most available slots will be filled this month.

For a list of positions, click here and here.

For an updated list of sponsor preferences, click here.

Puget Sound Sage Seeking Executive Director, Due 10/2 at 5:00 PM PST

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Puget Sound Sage is seeking an Executive Director who is a values-driven, visionary and strategic leader committed to furthering economic, racial and social justice. Sage holds a central role in forging ground breaking change in the Northwest, reflected in recent victories to increase the minimum wage, ensure paid sick and safe time, and advance affordable housing, equitable development, environmental justice and community benefits agreements. Our success is measured through winning campaigns, but also long-term movement building, including the length and depth of true alliances between labor, immigrant rights, housing, and environmental- and faith-based partners. Sage’s board and community partners represent tens of thousands of constituents in the Puget Sound region, creating a unique capacity to create large-scale synergy for social change. And our staff team possesses a potent combination of research, organizing and racial justice analysis skills, deep union roots, broad community networks, and environmental leadership.

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.

Campion Advocacy Fund Seeking Homelessness Program Director

Campion Advocacy Fund Logo

The Campion Advocacy Fund is seeking a politically savvy campaigner, with excellent communication skills and a well-honed understanding of Washington State’s progressive landscape, to serve as our Homelessness Program Director.

Ending homelessness and protecting wilderness—Campion Foundation’s keystone goals—require policy change and political action. We cannot buy enough housing to end homelessness, nor can we purchase the remaining public lands. Rather, we must use a variety of different vehicles to influence the public sector. By supporting a range of high-impact advocacy strategies, delivered through the creative collaborations among our experienced staff, risk-taking trustees and visionary nonprofit leaders, we can  do far more than any of us can accomplish working alone.

For a complete job description and application instructions, click here.

 

 

New Public Defender Career Handbook, Networking Opportunities & Human Rights News

Interested in Career in Public Defense? Check out the Newly Updated Public Defender Handbook

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PSJD.org recently published NYU’s 2014 Public Defender Handbook. One of the most comprehensive career handbooks around this guide will walk you through all of the nuts and bolts of building a career in public defense. Don’t miss out!

 

Are you Looking for Any Easy Way to Network with UW Law Alumni? Regional Networking Groups are Now Available Online!

networkingUW Law alumni extend across the country and internationally. Regional alumni groups allow alumni and students in these regions to stay connected with each other and the law school. Check out the regional networking groups here.

Friendly Networking Tips:

  1. before you contact alumni be sure to research them to learn more about their practice area.
  2. when you do email them, be sure to mention that you got their contact info from the UW regional networking group link.
  3. if you don’t get a response right away don’t worry, it might be a busy time for them. Give it some time and a couple of tries. Persistence usually pays off. Otherwise, just contact another regional member!

Attention Law Grads! Announcing the 2015 Human Rights Essay Award

HR essay award

 

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Homosexuality Law

Isaac KasamaniAugust 1, 2014- BBC News, photo courtesy of Isaac Kasamani/ AFP/ Getty

Activists celebrated after the anti-gay law was thrown out, reports Andrew Harding. Uganda’s Constitutional Court has annulled tough anti-gay legislation signed into law in February. It ruled that the bill was passed by MPs in December without the requisite quorum and was therefore illegal. Homosexual acts were already illegal, but the new law allowed for life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality” and banned the “promotion of homosexuality”. Several donors have cut aid to Uganda since the law was adopted.

Ugandan government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said the government was still waiting the attorney general’s advice about whether to challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court. He added that the ruling showed to Western donors that Uganda’s democracy was functioning very well and that they should reinstate any aid they had cut. Continue reading here.

Advocates for Children, Families Oppose Cuts to Services to Fund McCleary

 

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August 4, 2014 – Columbia Legal Services

Advocates for children and families have filed an Amicus Curiae brief with the state Supreme Court, opposing one of the Court’s proposed remedies in the McCleary v. Washington case.

The Children’s Alliance, Columbia Legal Services, and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance filed the brief this morning. The brief requests that, as the state moves to comply with the Court’s ruling, it refrain from funding education in a way that jeopardizes housing and other basic services to children and families. The brief may be found here.

“If we cut social programs to pay for education, everyone’s worse off,” says Paola Maranan, executive director of the Children’s Alliance. “In addressing our failure to uphold kids’ right to a basic education, we don’t want the solution to exacerbate the problem.”

While education must be fully funded, the brief explains how students in low-income families face barriers outside the classroom that prevent them from obtaining a basic education. These barriers also expand the educational opportunity gap that exists between white students and students of color.

In the brief, the organizations explain how, even with the existing level of funding for social programs, students in low-income families and students of color often cannot achieve educational opportunity. Thus, the organizations argue, financing education by cutting or freezing basic services would exacerbate the barriers to education that students in low-income families and students of color already face.

Housing advocates assert the legislature has already cut to the bone funding for both housing and homelessness services. For instance, the State Housing Trust Fund has declined sharply since 2008. This important tool for creating affordable homes received zero dollars this most recent legislative session. Cutting programs could not have come at a worse time, as students in homeless households are at an all-time high. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction reported 30,609 homeless students in the 2012-13 school year.

“For children across Washington, the lack of a safe, stable home can be a huge barrier to learning,” says Housing Alliance executive director Rachael Myers. “We already have proven, innovative programs that create affordable homes and keep families and children stably housed. They just need to be adequately funded.”

“Every child deserves an opportunity to succeed,” adds Maranan. “Good nutrition, household economic stability, child care, health care: these help keep kids in school, body and mind.”

Another Amicus brief was filed today by the Washington State Budget & Policy Center and six co-signing organizations. Their brief argues that legislators cannot responsibly fund education without raising new revenue, and that failure to raise revenue will lead to budget cuts that will harm kids’ ability to succeed in the classroom.

The Amicus participants support the Court’s finding in McCleary that the state must provide adequate funding to ensure the right of all children to an education that prepares them for lifelong success.

 

 

Judge Mary Yu Joins the Washington Supreme Court

Governor Jay Inslee Appoints Judge Mary Yu to Washington State Supreme CourtJustice Mary Yu

By Washington Courts

Gov. Jay Inslee today appointed King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu to the Washington State Supreme Court. Yu will fill the seat of Justice Jim Johnson who retired from the court earlier this week due to health issues.

“Judge Yu has distinguished herself throughout her career as someone of great intellect, dedication and compassion,” Inslee said in announcing the appointment at the Temple of Justice. “She has brought to her work, and to her life, a never-wavering commitment to ensuring justice for everyone.

“Her appointment today is a moment all Washingtonians can be proud of.”

Appearing with current members of the Supreme Court, Yu committed herself to working collaboratively with her new colleagues “so the integrity of this institution is only strengthened by our work.”

“Trial court judges, at every level of court, are the workhorses of our system of justice,” she said. “I am proud to come from their ranks and will do all that I can to remember that the trial court remains the place where the law is actually applied to everyday life.”

Continue reading here.

Big News! Department of Education Guidance Says Transgender Students Protected Under Federal LawTransgender Law Center

By Transgender Law Center

Transgender Law Center praised the U.S. Department of Education for releasing guidelines today that make it clear transgender and gender nonconforming students are protected from discrimination under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in schools.

“We hear from hundreds of students each year who simply want to be themselves and learn at school,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center. ”Sadly, many schools continue to exclude transgender students from being able to fully participate. Now, every school in the nation should know they are required to give all students, including transgender students, a fair chance at success.”

Increasingly, courts and federal agencies are making clear that transgender and gender nonconforming people–people who do not conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity–are covered under laws that protect people from discrimination based on sex.

Continue reading here.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases Tools to Protect Foster Care Children From Credit Reporting ProblemsCFPB

By Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today took action to better protect children in the foster care system from credit reporting problems that could compromise their future credit. The Bureau published action letters for child welfare caseworkers to send to credit bureaus if they find errors on the credit reports of the children in their care.

“The Bureau is very concerned about foster care children’s vulnerability to credit reporting problems that can wreak financial havoc for them,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “We want to help ensure that youth leave foster care with clean credit so that they have a firm foundation for their financial future.”

Credit reporting touches the financial lives of nearly each and every American and can be of particular significance to youth in foster care as they are more susceptible to credit problems and identity theft. The nearly 400,000 children in the United States foster care system often lack a permanent address, and their personal information is frequently shared among numerous adults and agency databases.

Continue reading here.

Landesa Pilots Women First Model in Uganda

By Landesa, Rural Development InstituteLandesa_Women First Uganda

The Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights developed and piloted a model for working with women and their communities to strengthen women’s land tenure security in Northern Uganda. The project significantly improved women’s sense of security of their rights to land.

A total of 250 women participated in the pilot program. One year after the start of the pilot, those women reported an increase in the amount of land they could farm (on average a 3 acre increase) an increase in community recognition of their rights to land, an increased sense of long-term tenure security, and increased awareness of customary justice and dispute resolution mechanisms.  This tenure security can help the women feed themselves and their families, earn income, and helps women achieve direct financial benefits by allowing them to invest in their land to improve their harvests, rent out their land without fear that it will be usurped, sell their land when it is no longer needed, or use the land as collateral.

Click here for a final project report and a step-by-step toolkit that provides practitioners with the resources needed to replicate this model.

ALERT! Traveling abroad this summer for your internship or externship?

Travel abroad

The University of Washington has important resources for you and we urge you to take advantage of them.  Resources include travel insurance and also emergency contact information.  Please register your summer travel with the office of Global Affairs. 

Click here for more information. 

Equal Justice Works, Skadden, Echoing Green, AmeriCorps… Oh My! Navigating Public Interest Fellowships

March 31: Global Mondays: Truth, Justice and Reparation in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Flag

Monday, Mar. 31, 2014
12:30-1:20 PM, Gates Hall RM 117 (unless noted)

Hosted by UW Law Graduate Program in Sustainable International Development and the PhD Program, and the Comparative Law & Society Studies (CLASS) Center

“Dealing with the Past: Narrating Truth in Northern Ireland”

Dr. Kathleen Cavanaugh, Irish Center for Human Rights, National University of Ireland

In truth telling processes in transitional societies, such as Northern Ireland, mechanisms established to find the truth, such as truth commissions, endeavour to find a common narrative emerging about the causes of conflict. At the same time, there is now evidence that such processes also create silences; some narratives are not fully represented. This lecture will provide some background on the conflict in Northern Ireland and how such a meta-conflict situation has given rise to conflicts over memories of state.

Image courtesy of Stockvault and Nicolas Raymond.

April 1: Social Justice Tuesday: Public Interest Post Graduate Fellowships

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Tuesday, Apr. 1, 2014
12:30-1:20 PM, RM 133

Speaker: Aline Carton-Listfjeld, Center for Public Service Law

Equal Justice Works, Skadden, Echoing Green, AmeriCorps…Oh my!

Trying to make sense of the all the fellowships out there? Get vital resources and learn about the different types of fellowships for recent law grads with experience and passion for social justice and public interest law. 1Ls and 2Ls are strongly encouraged to attend.

If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or Email by 12:00 pm Monday, March 31.

April 2-3: Clinics Information Fair

2014 Clinic Info Week Schedule

April 7: Global Mondays, LGBT Rights Internationally: Russia, India, Uganda, Nigeria and Beyond

Monday, Apr. 7, 2014
12:30 – 1:20 PM, RM 127
Speakers from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission:

Jessica Stern

Jessica Stern is the Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. As the first researcher on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights at Human Rights Watch, she conducted fact-finding investigations and advocacy around sexual orientation and gender identity in countries including Iran, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. She holds a masters degree in human rights from the London School of Economics. She is frequently quoted in the Mail & Guardian, Al Jazeera English, the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Presse, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, The Guardian and The BBC.

Grace Poore

Grace Poore, from Malaysia, has been the Regional Program Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific Islands at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) since 2007.  She develops the work in Asia, oversees multi-country projects on human rights documentation and advocacy in Asia, and conducts trainings.  She co-wrote the video “Courage Unfolds” about LGBT activism in Asia and the Yogyakarta Principles.  Ms. Poore holds a Masters degree from Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Communications.  She is currently working on a report about violence against lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender people in five Asian countries.

May 5: Gates Public Service Law Speaker Series: Professor Thomas Buergenthal Speaking on “Becoming an International Judge via the Holocaust”

Thomas Buergenthal

Monday, May 5, 2014
4:30 – 5:30 PM, RM 133
Reception to follow at the Burke Museum

Thomas Buergenthal is the Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at George Washington University. He came to the United States at the age of 17. He spent the first 11 years of his life in various German camps and is one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps. Considered one of the world’s leading international human rights experts, Professor Buergenthal was a Judge and President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as well as President of the Administrative Tribunal of the Inter-American Development. He was a member of the UN Human Rights Committee and UN Truth Commission for El Salvador. He is a member of the Ethics  Commission of the International Olympic Committee and the honorary president of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in San José.

Co-Sponsors: The Jackson School, the UW Center for Human Rights, Hillel, and the  Jewish Studies Department. 

Reception Sponsored by the Gates Public Service Law Program and the UW Center for Human Rights. (Sponsorship of this event by the University of Washington School of Law and the W.H. Gates Public Service law Program does not imply endorsement.)

RSVP via Symplicity or email.