Friday, March 31, 2023

April - May 2023 Deadlines: Calls for Inputs by UN Human Rights Mechanisms

The following calls for inputs have been issued by UN Human Rights Mechanisms with deadlines in April – May 2023 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs for the preparation of the 2023 report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 47/21 on systemic racism and violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies. Deadline April 3, 2023. Read more.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs for a police brief on universal health coverage that will provide guidance on implementation of universal health coverage that is consistent with legally binding human rights norms, including the right to health and the principles of equality and non-discrimination. Deadline April 3, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities – Call for inputs on thematic report on Rebuilding Inclusive Societies in Post-Conflict Situations and the active involvement of Persons with Disabilities. Deadline April 5, 2023. Read more.

Special Procedures – Call for inputs on the development of practical tools to assist law enforcement bodies in promoting and protecting human rights in the context of peaceful protests. Deadline April 7, 2023. Read more.

Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent – Call for written submissions on the economic empowerment of people of African descent. Deadline April 9, 2023. Read more.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs for report for UN General Assembly resolution 77/205 “A global call for concrete action for the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.” Deadline April 10, 2023. Read more.

Subcommittee on prevention of torture – Call for comments on draft general comment 1 on places of deprivation of liberty (article 4) of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture. Deadline April 14, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights – Call for inputs to a report on cultural rights and the governance of development. Deadline April 14, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and its consequences – Call for input on the use of technology in facilitating and preventing contemporary forms of slavery. Deadline April 14, 2023. Read more.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs: implementation of Resolution A/RES/76/162 on human rights and cultural diversity. Deadline April 15, 2023. Read more.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on intimidation and reprisals for the annual report of the Secretary-General. Deadline April 15, 2023. Read more.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs for the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the programme of activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent. Deadline April 15, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation – Call for inputs for thematic report on fulfilling the human rights of those living in poverty and restoring the health of aquatic ecosystems: two converging challenges. Deadline April 20, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples – Call for inputs on green financing and a just transition to protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Deadline April 21, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context – Call for inputs on housing affordability. Deadline April 30, 2023. Read more.

Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons – Call for inputs for a report on older persons in the context of climate change-induced disasters and building back better. Deadline May 1, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment – Call for inputs on the procedural or participatory elements of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, including access to information, public participation and access to justice with effective remedies. The Special Rapporteur is also seeking inputs on the rights to environmental education, freedom of expression and association, and safe spaces for environmental human rights defenders. Deadline May 1, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers – Call for inputs on the promise of legal empowerment to expand and transform access to justice. Deadline May 5, 2023. Read more.

International Independent Expert Mechanism to advance racial justice and equality in law enforcement – Call for inputs on reimagining policing. Deadline May 12, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance – Call for inputs on combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Deadline May 26, 2023. Read more.

This information was compiled from

March 31, 2023 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Event 4/3: Panel on Human Rights and Legal Empowerment

Join the Duke Law Center for International and Comparative Law and the International Human Rights Clinic on April 3, 2023, at 12:30pm EST, for a program discussing human rights and legal empowerment. This event is co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society, Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, Human Rights Law Society, International Law Society, and National Lawyers Guild.

The distinguished speaker will be Meg Satterthwaite, Professor of Clinical Law; Faculty Director, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice; Director, Global Justice Clinic; Faculty Director, Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at NYU Law & UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers. The program will be moderated by Jayne Huckerby, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, International Human Rights Clinic, Duke Law.

There will be a livestream of this event available here. There is more information about this event available here.

March 29, 2023 in Events, Global Human Rights, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 27, 2023

IACHR Concludes 186th Period of Sessions

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) concluded its 186th Period of Sessions, which took place in a hybrid format between March 6 and 17, 2023, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in the United States.

During the Period of Sessions, the IACHR elected its 2023 Board of Directors, which is made up of the President, Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay (Jamaica); the First Vice-President, Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño (Panama), and the Second Vice-President, Commissioner Roberta Clarke (Barbados). This is the second time in its history that the IACHR has had an all-female board of directors and the first in which all three women are from the Caribbean and Central America.

During the first week of the 186th Period of Sessions, 18 in-person public hearings were held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Among the issues addressed were: women and girls; sexual and reproductive rights; indigenous peoples; forensic search; free movement; human mobility; LGBTI rights; arbitrary deprivation of nationality; fiscal policies and economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights; threats to the independence of the judiciary; the protection of journalists and defenders; and the right to information of victims of forced disappearance.

In addition, more than 70 representatives of civil society organizations took part in the meeting on human rights in the United States. On this occasion, the IACHR held a dialogue and received information on the subject from various participants.

The IACHR has made available an annex containing summaries of the public hearings held during this Period of Sessions. Videos of the hearings and photos are available on the IACHR's YouTube and Flickr feeds.

March 27, 2023 in IACHR | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 23, 2023

New Edition of Human Rights Advocacy in the United States

9798887863375_1There is a new edition of Human Rights Advocacy in the United States available from West Academic Publishing. The Third Edition (2023) of Martha F. Davis, Johanna Kalb, Risa E. Kaufman and Rachel Lopez's wonderful textbook is now available.

From the editors:

This pedagogically innovative book is the only law school casebook focused on human rights advocacy in the United States. It illuminates a range of both emerging challenges and persistent theoretical and doctrinal issues while equipping students to thoughtfully engage human rights law and strategies in their own practice of law. Readings and case studies expose students to the history, tactics, and critiques of the U.S. human rights movement as well as the legal and practical challenges of human rights implementation in the United States. Skills exercises introduce practice-oriented approaches to integrating human rights in U.S. based advocacy, including through engagement with international treaty bodies, regional mechanisms, U.S. courts, and policymakers. Additionally, the appendices provide the text of relevant human rights treaties.

Appropriate for both introductory and advanced seminars, as well as clinical and other experiential offerings, the materials engage students on a remarkable range of human rights issues, including climate change, reproductive justice, immigration, the rights of Indigenous peoples, racially discriminatory policing, and the human right to housing. Chapters also explore fundamental issues of federalism, sovereignty, judicial review, and legal ethics.

March 23, 2023 in Books and articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

New Article: Moral Imperative—Legal Requirement: Why Law Schools Should Require Poverty Law and International Human Rights

Eric J. Boos, Moral Imperative - Legal Requirement: Why Law Schools Should Require Poverty Law and International Human Rights, 19 U. St. Thomas L.J. 63 (2023). Abstract below.

This paper argues that the growing undercurrent of discontent in this nation, which has manifested in increasing levels of civil unrest, violence, crime, mass shootings, and political chaos, is symptomatic of the ever-increasing disparity in wealth that political philosophers, sociologists, economists such as Alan Greenspan, and politicians such as Bernie Sanders, have warned against. This paper further argues that this disparity is, in large measure, facilitated by the legal establishment. Lawyers are at the heart of the global financial crisis, the restructuring of the criminal justice system as a “for-profit” enterprise, the 900+ police shootings since 2014, the $2 billion of property confiscated under civil forfeiture rules, the mass incarceration policies, the recent environmental scandals, the protection of monopolies in agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications, the dysfunctional system of immigration and deportation, and the deplorable and racially biased legal processes for capital crimes and the death penalty. Unfortunately, the response to the increasing levels of discontent has been a predictable increase in policing tactics, legalistic controls, political fearmongering, social vitriol, and intolerance against targeted populations. Society is ripping apart at the seams, and the response has been a fascist-like clampdown—a trajectory first predicted by Mortimer Adler in 1938. Citing the deplorable state of higher education, Adler averred that America would become the next great fascist state in the World. This paper applies Adler’s critique of higher education to America’s law schools and argues that what is needed to change the trajectory is a different approach to legal education. The justification for a restructuring of American legal education is rooted in the fact that lawyers have a special obligation under the Constitution of the United States to achieve justice and to vitiate the tendency of economic and social stratification that occurs in society. The restructuring would ideally include a comprehensive overhaul of the curriculum so that each course addresses the issue of justice (in the Platonic sense and in the sense our Founders used it), but at a minimum it should require courses in Poverty Law (because of our deplorable track record in that area) and International Human Rights (because we live in a global society and justice is a universal goal).

March 21, 2023 in Books and articles, Education, Global Human Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 10, 2023

Event 3/16: Decolonizing Refugee Law

On Thursday March 16, 2023, from 3:00 – 4:30 PM EST, Cornell Law School, Global Strategic Litigation Council for Refugee Rights, and the Refugee Solidarity Network, will present a virtual panel on Decolonizing Refugee law. Register here.

The legal protection of the rights of refugees and other migrants is inscribed within imperial and colonial legacies. This virtual event will consider decolonial practices and the protection of refugees with a focus on positive practices for refugee protection in South and Southeast Asia. Speakers will reflect on the challenges and opportunities for realizing human rights posed by colonial-era laws and legal work in countries which are neither parties to the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees nor its 1967 Protocol. The event will open with framing remarks by Professor E. Tendayi Achiume, reflecting on these themes as well as decolonization itself as a frame for critique. The event will then proceed as a discussion of examples of legal advocacy work promoting refugee rights under contemporary applications of colonial-era laws, such as the Foreigners Act (1946) in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and open to a broader discussion of practical strategies for litigation and other legal advocacy in the context of such legacy legal frameworks.


  • Tendayi Achiume, Alice Miñana Professsor of Law, UCLA Law and former UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
  • Roshni Shanker, Executive Director, Migration & Asylum Project
  • Umer Gilani, Advocate and Partner, The Law and Policy Chambers
  • Zaid Hydari (co-facilitator), Executive Director, Refugee Solidarity Network
  • Ian M. Kysel (co-facilitator), Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell Law School

Please note: additional speakers may be confirmed in due course.

March 10, 2023 in Global Human Rights, Race, Refugees | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Long COVID, Assisted Suicide, and Capitalism: What’s a Society to Do?

AnezkaBy Anezka Krobot, 2L at St. Louis University School of Law

The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to billions around the world who have lost opportunities, loved ones, and even their lives to the disease. COVID has also created a new phenomenon that is difficult to predict for the long-term–long COVID. Long COVID, also known as post-COVID conditions, is a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems that people experience after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. The most common symptoms are neurological, namely chronic fatigue (similar to the experience of people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome) as well as seemingly permanent loss of taste and smell. There are also heart and respiratory symptoms associated with long COVID. All these symptoms can result in someone having difficulty returning to work even after testing negative for COVID for quite some time. Some people with long COVID even have to quit their jobs and apply for disability.

This is the situation for a Canadian woman who recently made headlines for applying for Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying program (MAiD) citing long COVID as her reason. Tracey Thompson, a former professional chef in her 50s, has been rendered completely unable to work by her symptoms, and sees no other option than medically assisted death. After more than two years of lost income,, no foreseeable ability to work and an absence of support, Thompson said she expects to run out of money very soon. She said she was applying for the program exclusively for  “financial consideration,” and that her only option is to “die slowly and painfully, or quickly.”

MAiD expanded its criteria in March 2022 to include people with disabilities or those suffering from pain even if they are not close to death and will begin accepting applicants citing mental health disorders as their rationale, further broadening the already broad criteria. United Nations experts pushed back on the original expansion in January 2021, arguing that extending assisted dying to people with non-terminal conditions contravenes Article 10 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  “It is not beyond possibility that, if offered an expanded right as per Bill C-7, persons with disabilities may decide to end their lives because of broader social factors such as loneliness, social isolation, and lack of access to quality social services,” reads the letter sent by the United Nations experts to the government of Canada prior to the expansion.

Not only has Canada broadened its criteria for MAiD, but it has started to become more proactive in offering it to potential candidates. Disabled veteran and Paralympian Christine Gauthier, 52, testified before a Canadian veterans affairs committee that while she was attempting to gain government assistance in having a chair lift installed in her home that she received a letter from a veterans' affairs employee saying, “If you’re so desperate, madam, we can offer you MAiD, medical assistance in dying.” The Veterans Minister indicated that there had been five similar reports but was quick to assure the committee that a single employee was the culprit, and that individual was now suspended. Still, this begs the question: what kind of culture has been created around MAiD that an employee felt comfortable offering assisted suicide to a person asking for mobility assistance? A wheelchair lift is a permanent addition to someone’s house and someone who wants to die would not invest that kind of time, effort, and money into acquiring such a permanent fixture.

The U.S. is more conservative than Canada in terms of medically assisted death – it is legal only in a few states (California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia, and is permitted only under extremely strict parameters. If Canada approves Thompson’s request, though, this may galvanize people in the U.S. suffering with long COVID or chronic mental illness to do the same here, seeing no way out. The economic effects of long COVID may even be exacerbated by living in the U.S., particularly given the difference in the healthcare system between the U.S. and Canada. The combined burdens of losing healthcare coverage along with one’s job, stacking medical bills, difficulty in acquiring disability pensions, and skyrocketing housing costs may result in now-disabled COVID victims feeling as though they have no other choice. Also, the isolation that accompanies COVID may be contributing to suicidal ideation in long COVID victims, which should not be overlooked. The issue of long COVID has already been used in debate over an assisted suicide bill in Connecticut in 2021, with proponents arguing that assisted suicide is preferable to the isolated deaths that many who died of COVID experienced. Though that bill did not pass at the time, a revised version has made it out of the Connecticut legislature’s Public Health Committee and to the public hearing stage as of March 2023.

The UN Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights states: “Persons living in poverty must be recognized and treated as free and autonomous agents. All policies relevant to poverty must be aimed at empowering persons living in poverty. They must be based on the recognition of those persons’ right to make their own decisions and respect their capacity to fulfill their own potential, their sense of dignity, and their right to participate in decisions affecting their lives.” The expansion of medically assisted death in Canada only pits impoverished people’s pain and suffering with economic needs, while giving them no support or methods by which their lives might improve. It is ableist, classist, and reminiscent of eugenics policies (especially if government officials continue to offer it unprovoked to disabled citizens merely seeking assistance) and should not become the model for medically assisted death going forward. Instead, governments should provide further economic and social assistance to disabled citizens to ensure that they are not forced into poverty by their medical circumstances. If disabled individuals are fully empowered in this way, their quality of life may improve such that medically assisted suicide is no longer their only option, and they can live fulfilling, successful lives, as is every human being’s right. 

March 9, 2023 in Health, Poor | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

New Article: Weathering the Storm: Establishing Internally Displaced People’s Right to Affordable Housing in the Wake of Natural Disasters

Raina Hasan, Weathering the Storm: Establishing Internally Displaced People’s Right to Affordable Housing in the Wake of Natural Disasters, 31 J. L. & Pol'y 177 (February 2023). Abstract below.

In 2020, natural disasters caused more internal displacement than war; floods, storms, and wildfires caused thirty million new displacements globally, and 1.7 million in the U.S. alone. The data and history suggest that masses of people will be displaced every year and will face housing insecurity without any formal acknowledgement of their unique plight or a guarantee that internally displaced persons (“IDPs”) will have protected rights. This Note proposes that, considering the worsening climate crisis leading to more frequent and severe natural disasters, the U.S. should codify the rights of internally displaced people as laid out in the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

In order to actualize IDPs’ right to return and resettle, the U.S. should also establish IDPs’ right to affordable housing when natural disasters force people to leave behind their homes and communities. To effectively enforce such rights, the federal government should provide more affordable housing, invest in making the existing affordable housing stock and new affordable housing developments climate resilient, and collect accurate data on IDPs to provide adequate disaster relief, taking special care not to exacerbate gentrification and surveillance concerns. Codifying the rights of IDPs would go a long way in remedying larger systemic issues such as the racial wealth gap and rampant housing insecurity, ultimately furthering environmental justice.

March 7, 2023 in Books and articles, Environment, Homelessness | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 2, 2023

IACHR Announces Calendar of Hearings for 186th Period of Sessions

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has published the calendar of public hearings that will take place as part of the 183rd Period of Sessions, to be held in person from March 6–10, 2023, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in the United States. During the period of sessions, several promotional events and 17 public hearings will be held, covering a range of human rights issues affecting people in movement, the LGBTI community, women, indigenous peoples, human rights defenders, and journalists in OAS member countries and the Americas as a whole. Of the 17 hearings, 3 will follow up on cases that have been brought before the IACHR and 1 concerns the implementation of precautionary measures that have been granted. An in-person meeting with civil society on the human rights situation in the United States will also be held on March 10, 2023 between 12:15 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. (PT) in Rooms C and D of the UCLA Meyer & Renee Luskin Conference Center, located at 425 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California. The meeting will be held in a hybrid format, with in-person attendance and the possibility of connecting virtually for those organizations unable to attend in person. In both modalities it will be possible to access Spanish/English interpretation. The link to connect is as follows:

The United States will be involved in the hearing on March 9, 2023, from 8:45-10:00AM PT, on the topic of the rights of Haitians in mobility in the United States. The participants will be the Transnational Legal Clinic University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, the International Human Rights Clinic and Immigration Clinic University of Miami School of Law, the Haitian Bridge Alliance, RFK Human Rights, Alternative Chance, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDJ), and the United States.

In accordance with Article 68 of the IACHR's Rules of Procedure, all hearings will be public and will be streamed live via the IACHR's official Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter accounts. The sessions are open to all people wishing to attend (without the need to sign up in advance), and attendance is only limited by the space available at the venue where the hearings are to be held.

March 2, 2023 in IACHR | Permalink | Comments (0)