News & Events

Restoring America as a Human Rights Leader: Strategies for a New Way Forward

Starts: April 29 2009 / 3:00 pm
Ends: April 29 2009 / 5:00 pm


American University

This meeting organized by Professor Julie Mertus at American University, will bring together policymakers and human rights specialists who are working on the cutting-edge of human rights protection and promotion. Also invited are Obama Administration appointees who have not specialized specifically in human rights, but who will be asked to consider human rights concerns in the course of their new responsibilities. The main impetus for the meeting is to bring to the forefront human rights issues that were neglected under the Bush administration and to chart a course towards the restoration of America’s credibility as a human rights leader.

The discussion will be structured around two human rights issue areas, each of which will be presented by a leading scholar/practitioner and then discussed by the conference participants. First, the Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability will address new directions that the Obama administration should consider with respect to the United States position on signing and ratifying the first treaty of the 21st century, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Second, drawing on the work of the Center for Global Peace at American University Janet Lord will consider the role that the United States can play in supporting the establishment and strengthening of human rights institutions through its foreign assistance programming. The lessons learned from State Department-funded work on human rights in the Middle East will be the focus for this discussion.

This meeting is scheduled at American University by invitation only and, to promote a participatory atmosphere, we are trying to keep the group relatively small.

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