International Human Rights Law Trips
Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations
Rome and Paris – January 28 through February 4, 2007
In Rome 5 students met with the leadership of the Communti de Sant Egidio, a Human Rights Non-governmental Organization. Sant' Egidio is a multi-focused NGO with programs fighting AIDS in Africa, promoting peace and reconciliation in civil war regions, ending the death penalty world-wide, assisting the elderly and immigrant populations in Italy and assisting the poor of Rome. Students learned how each of these programs began and how they have continued to be successfully implemented. Students also met with Hands Off Cain, an Italian NGO working for a UN General Assembly resolution against the death penalty. They sat in on a conference call with European Parliamentarians, and this gave the students a chance to see an NGO in operation that is focused on a single issue and engaged directly in the political process.
Students then traveled to Paris for the Third World Congress Against the Death Penalty. This program had many International Human Rights Sponsors and was being funded and promoted by the European Union and the Council of Europe. It was a great opportunity for 7 W&L students to meet NGO representatives from all over the world and to see how NGO's work in a collaborative effort on human rights issues.
W&L Law Students at the Third World Congress Against the Death Penalty, Paris.
"The highlight of our Paris/Rome trip was the chance to work with an extraordinary organization that has truly made a worldwide impact on human rights--the Community of Sant' Egidio. From brokering peace in Mozambique to fighting for an end to the death penalty, Sant' Egido reaches out to all in need with a caring hand. Remedying human suffering throughout the world is an overwhelming problem, but Sant' Egidio reminded me that although no one can do everything, each of us can do something." -- Meredith Abernathy, 3L
Human Rights Mechanisms
Geneva and Strasbourg – March 11 through 16, 2007
Students were present at the opening of the 4th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Switzerland. The opening sessions were the high level sessions with remarks by the Secretary General of the United Nations, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and numerous foreign ministers from State parties.
We then traveled to Strasbourg to observe an argument before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. (E.B. v. France (Grand Chamber) (no. 43546/02))
After the argument we went to the European Parliament to watch debate and voting, followed by lunch with a couple of staff members from the Parliamentarians offices. Students next met with the Human Rights directorate of the Council of Europe. They received a briefing on the range of Human rights programs at the Council and then had specific presentations on the Council of Europe's work on ending torture and trafficking in humans.
W&L Law Students at the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France.
"The trip was amazing. I got to see the inside workings of human rights institutions, which most people never see in their lifetime. But the work that is done there is so important -- it affects every human being and the very humanity that binds us together. Most surprising, the trip clarified how much the law means to me -- I saw how frustrating, elusive, beautiful, and wonderful it can be, and I am more passionate about working with it." -- Kai-Ting Yang, 3L