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Paul Olubayo poses for a picture from a desktop

MHR Student Works on Global Displacement Crises

Paul Olubayo is a second-year Masters of Human Rights Program Student. This summer, he interned with Refugees International in Washington D.C. conducting research and reports on a number of policies, as well as a summer-long project regarding global policies and initiatives to provide protection/assistance for individuals affected by displacement due to climate change. We asked him about his experience with them over the summer, and how it has impacted his view of the human rights field.
Maroon and gold logo with text Human Rights Lab, University of Minnesota

Human Rights Lab Seeks New Projects

Lead University of Minnesota human rights faculty announce a call for proposals to participate in the 2019-20 Minnesota Human Rights Lab. Faculty projects selected for inclusion in the Lab will receive funding to support field research of a graduate or professional student, working collaboratively with the faculty member and an organizational partner. The Lab is a key component of "The Minnesota Model," an interdisciplinary initiative funded by a Grand Challenges Phase 3 Research Award, to understand and propose solutions to backsliding in human rights around the world.
Gonxhe at the United Nations in Geneva

A Summer in Geneva: MHR Student Recaps Her Work At The UN

Gonxhe Kandri is a second year Masters of Human Rights student and former Humphrey Fellow from Albania. This summer she interned with the Office of the High Commissioner in Geneva, Switzerland, working in Development, Economic, Social and Cultural Issues. In this interview, Gonxhe tells us about her positive experience at the United Nations and how it has helped shape her future professional goals.
HRP Director Barbara Frey presents preliminary findings from the Observatory at UNAM

Enforced Disappearances in Mexico: A Firsthand View

Barbara A Frey, the Director of the Human Rights Program, received a 2019 Fulbright-Garcia Robles fellowship to spend fall semester 2019 in Mexico City. As a visiting researcher at the Institute for Juridical Investigation at UNAM (the National University of Mexico), she is carrying out an investigation to examine the legal, social and human rights impacts of institutional responses to the problem of enforced disappearances in Mexico. 
Promotional banner for event stating title, date, time, including a picture of Kathleen Padulo and background image of water bottles.

The Critical Role of Indigenous Peoples in Environmental Policymaking

On October 22, we welcome Kathleen Padulo, Chiefs of Ontario Environmental Director, to campus to present our Third Annual Scallen Lecture in Human Rights, "Principled Voices: Indigenous Peoples Need a Say on the Environment." Ms. Padulo, a leading advocate for the human right to water in First Nations communities in Canada, will speak about Indigenous peoples rights and leadership in environmental policy making.
Anthony Burton headshot

Fraser Fellow Takes Close Look at U.S. Child Trafficking

Anthony Burton is a 2019 Fraser Fellow and undergraduate in Political Science. He recently completed his work with ECPAT-USA, a New York-based nonprofit that works on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children. We asked Tony some questions to learn more about his Fellowship experience, and how he plans to incorporate this new knowledge into his academic and career goals.
Colorful illustration of children playing in "The Meadow of Rights"

MHR Student Dedicates Summer to Defending Children's Rights in Scotland

Katie Burke is a second-year Master of Human Rights student pursuing a concentration in children's rights and a minor in law. This summer she gained valuable experience in this area as she returned to her home country of Scotland to intern with Together, the Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights. In this piece, Katie tells us how she worked to research and draft a comprehensive report, the State of Children’s Rights, that lays out the challenges in policy and practice to realizing children’s rights in Scotland.
Picture of PhD student Olga Salazar

Observatory Spotlight: PhD student continues research in Mexico

Olga Salazar worked in Monterrey, Mexico over the summer interviewing journalists to better understand the correlation between the politics of information and accountability in cases of disappearances. Her research is helping to identify best practices in journalism that lead to better outcomes for the families in a country in which over 40,000 persons have disappeared.
Hunter Johnson

Bringing the World to Minnesota and Minnesota to the World

Hunter Johnson (MHR ’20) is producing a documentary on the role of the press in combating enforced disappearances and impunity in Mexico. “Since 2006, over 40,000 people have disappeared in Mexico. This film illustrates how exceptional reporters work with victims’ families to demand state accountability in the search for their loved ones, helping to put an end to this ongoing human-rights crisis.” Johnson received the Dunn Peace Research Scholarship to investigate and film this project in Mexico.
Hunter Johnson

Hunter Johnson

Hunter Johnson (MHR ‘20) is producing a documentary on the role of the press in combating enforced disappearances and impunity in Mexico. “Since 2006, over 40,000 people have disappeared in Mexico. This film illustrates how exceptional reporters work with victims' families to demand state accountability in the search for their loved ones, helping to put an end to this ongoing human rights crisis.” Hunter received the Dunn Peace Research Scholarship to investigate and film this project in Mexico.
Flag of Sudan, a horizontal tricolor of red, white, and black stripes with a green triangle based at the hoist.

Student Voice: Bloodshed and Injustice in Sudan

Following the fall of Omar al-Bashir in Sudan and installment of a Transitional Military Council (TMC), negotiations of transitioning power to a civilian-led government recently soured, leading the TMC to open fire on pro-democracy demonstrators. With the death toll rising and with additional crackdowns on demonstrators, concerns about human rights and the risks to securing a peaceful transition to democratic rule are heightened.
A young man with short hair smiles and leans on a brick wall; a photo of a young woman with dark curly hair wearing a purple shirt smiles at the camera

Emerging Human Rights Advocates Take Their Next Steps

Rising U of MN Senior Tony Burton and rising U of MN Junior Tala Alfoqaha have been selected as the 2019 Fraser Fellows. Tony, a Political Science Major and Tala, double majoring in Mathematics and Global Studies will intern at ECPAT-USA and The Advocates for Human Rights, respectively. This will offer the undergraduate students hands-on opportunities to practice human rights research and advocacy alongside human rights professionals.
Four people stand in a line smiling--an older man, a young man holding a flower bouquet, an older woman, and a middle age man

Three Incredible Human Rights Students, Three Well-Deserved Awards

Kate Denney, Brittany Becker, and Anishaa Kamesh are this year's winners of the Inna Meiman and Sullivan Ballou Undergraduate Human Rights Awards. These three women demonstrate admirable dedication to human rights causes, and engage in important service to their local, national, and international communities. With interests spanning from immigrant rights to homelessness to human trafficking, these three awardees are already on paths to have a hugely positive impact on the world.
A young woman with long blond hair wearing a white tee shirt sits in a windowsill with a landscape of buildings, greenery, and bright sky behind her

A Sociological Human Rights Perspective

Brooke Chambers, a third year Sociology PhD student, studies some of the most difficult questions facing human rights scholars--how to understand and respond to the multi-generational effects of instances of mass violence. With a particular focus on the Rwandan genocide, Brooke is using her education to seek a better understanding of how genocidal violence reverberates throughout space and time, along with how Rwandan society remembers and commemorates the Genocide. Next semester she will conduct field research in Rwanda, interviewing young adults about their experiences growing up in a post-genocide society.
A woman with long grey hair wearing a ponytail, glasses, and a light blue cardigan stands in front of a cement column and building

Effecting Tangible Change at the United Nations

It is exceedingly difficult and rare to influence the immediate action recommendations that the CEDAW Committee includes in its report to member state countries. However, Professor Greta Friedemann-Sánchez and her research team successfully did just that. Their Human Rights Initiative project “Family Commissioners: Fostering Justice, Security and Peace in Colombian Families in the Post-Conflict Era (COLPAZ)” influenced not just one but two of the recommendations that CEDAW provided to Colombia regarding improving their treatment and services for victims of domestic violence.

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