Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program celebrated on Friday afternoon the increased awareness surrounding issues of human rights since its founding three decades ago and detailed the next steps for activists in the field.
The afternoon program included two panels—“Human Rights Advocacy Across Generations” and “The Next Stage in United Nations Treaty Bodies”—and a keynote address by former Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh ’75.
“It is wonderful to look back at the graduates we’ve had go on to have distinguished careers, the scholarship we have produced, and the engagement we’ve had in projects,” said Gerald L. Neuman ’73, director of the Human Rights Program. “We are looking back but also forward to the problems of the day.”
After the luncheon and keynote address by Koh, which focused on the future direction of human rights advocacy, attendees listened to the two panels before a reception closed out the celebration.
For Law School Dean Martha L. Minow, who served as an adviser to the program at its inception, the celebration displayed the success of activists in bringing human rights issues to the forefront of public discourse.
“Human rights once upon a time was just a phrase, then it became a movement, then it became law, then it became something we talk about at dinner tables,” Minow said at the ceremony.
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