Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Presidential Proclamation On Human Right to be Free From Violence


Caroline Bettinger-López

Carrie Bettinger- Lopez has done it again.   You may recall that a previous post  discussed the wave of resolutions being passed by cities across the nation declaring freedom from domestic violence to be a fundamental human right.  The idea of the resolutions originated with Prof. Carrie Bettinger Lopez of the University of Miami School of Law.  Carrie's latest venture was to bring the resolution movement to the federal level.  Last week, on the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, President Obama signed a proclamation that among other pronouncements stated the following: " [W]e reaffirm the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse."  

The past week has been an amazing one for recognizing folks who have made significant contributions to human rights work.   Carrie's work gives us another reason to celebrate our successes.  As counsel for Jessica Lenahan in her courageous hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Carrie and Jessica brought recognition to Jessica's inability to obtain domestic legal relief from a Colorado town when it failed to enforce a protection order and then denied any liability for the tragic consequences that resulted.  Determined to effect change following the Commission's decision,  Carrie and Jessica sought ways to implement the historic ruling.  One grassroots proposal suggested by Carrie was a series of local resolutions declaring freedom from domestic violence a basic human right.  The effort so far has yielded twelve city resolutions.  Now the language, thanks to Carrie's efforts, has made its way to the highest federal level.  

Congratulations and thank you, Carrie and Jessica,  for your inspirational leadership.

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