The Human Rights Institute (HRI) and Human Rights Clinic work to amplify the expertise of human rights lawyers and activists from countries impacted by U.S. foreign policy and military action in policy debates, and in the ongoing efforts respond to and remedy resulting harms. Additionally, we seek to support practitioners working in conflict contexts to access international human rights forums based in the Global North.

U.S. foreign and military policy impact millions of people around the world, violating their rights to life, liberty, and security, as well as their political and economic stability. Yet the expert opinions and experiences of those directly impacted by U.S. policies are often absent in U.S. policymaking circles and advocacy. HRI works to make the discourse on U.S. national security policies more inclusive. In partnership with Just Security, an online forum on U.S. national security law and policy, we launched a series of articles by experts from Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Supporting Humanitarian Actors and Women Lawyers in the Central African Republic

Civil society in the Central African Republic (CAR) provides lifesaving services and supports marginalized groups in addressing human rights violations stemming from and relating to armed conflict and political instability. HRI supports humanitarian actors and women lawyers collectives to advance accountability and justice through research and advocacy, and to have access to international human rights forums to advocate for human rights in CAR. 

The Human Rights Clinic supports CAR civil society to document human rights violations and conduct advocacy, access and positively transform institutional mechanisms for justice, protect civilians, and advance human rights. We have been working closely with humanitarian actors and women lawyers in CAR, and assisted groups in the following initiatives:

  • Jointly prepared reports to submit to the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of CAR, and jointly carry out advocacy in Geneva. The Clinic supported the NGO Jeunesse Unie Pour l’Environnement et le Développement Communautaire  (JUPEDEC) to advocate for greater protection for humanitarian actors, and raise concerns relating to displaced persons. We also jointly advocated with a women’s lawyers association, Association des Femmes Juristes de Centrafrique (AFJC), on the rights of women and children in CAR.

  • Researched international human rights mechanisms to determine possible avenues for a complaint on human rights violations.

  • Built stronger partnerships within the Global South by co-hosting a workshop and training in Nairobi and connecting CAR civil society to similar groups working regionally.

  • Accessed international advocacy mechanisms by helping the humanitarian NGO JUPEDEC prepare for global convenings at the UN in Geneva.