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International Human Rights Clinic

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The International Human Rights Clinic enables students to critically engage with cutting-edge human rights issues, strategies, tactics, institutions, and law in both domestic and international settings.

Through weekly seminars, fieldwork and travel, students develop a range of practical tools and skills needed for human rights advocacy – such as fact-finding, litigation, indicators, reporting, and messaging – that integrate interdisciplinary methods and new technologies. Students also develop competencies related to managing trauma in human rights work, as well as the ethical and accountability challenges of human rights lawyering.

Types of clinic projects include those that: apply a human rights framework to domestic issues (e.g., gun violence); involve human rights advocacy abroad (e.g., rules to counter terrorism financing); engage with international institutions to advance human rights (e.g., on trafficking in persons); and/or address human rights in U.S. foreign policy (e.g., state-level truth inquiries on U.S. post-9/11 national security practices). Students work closely with grassroots organizations, novel transitional justice institutions, international NGOs, and U.N. human rights experts and bodies to further the promotion and protection of human rights. 

Testimonial

In addition to advancing my international law research skills and learning how to draft carefully and precisely, I learned to analyze and synthesize different viewpoints, finding a principled and sustainable middle ground on issues that are politically contentious and much-debated.

Author
Isabella Bellera '14

Clinic Faculty

Aya Fujimura-Fanselow

Senior Lecturing Fellow
Supervising Attorney, International Human Rights Clinic

  919-613-7239

 fujimura-fanselow@law.duke.edu

Jayne Huckerby

Clinical Professor of Law
Director, International Human Rights Clinic

  919-613-7228

 huckerby@law.duke.edu

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Course Description
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Clinic students at UN
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International Human Rights Clinic, 437
The International Human Rights Clinic provides students with an opportunity to critically engage with human rights issues, strategies, tactics, institutions, and law in both domestic and international settings. Through the weekly seminar and fieldwork, students will develop practical tools for human rights advocacy—such as fact-finding, litigation, indicators, reporting, and messaging—that integrate inter-disciplinary methods and maximize the use of new technologies. Students will also develop core competencies related to managing trauma in human rights work, as well as the ethical and accountability challenges in human rights lawyering. 

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International Human Rights Advocacy Seminar
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Students in the International Human Rights Clinic are expected to also enroll in the International Human Rights Advocacy Seminar. This course critically assesses the field of international human rights advocacy, its institutions, strategies, and key actors. It explores how domestic, regional, and global human rights agendas are set; the ethical and accountability dilemmas that arise in human rights advocacy; and human rights advocacy concerning a range of actors, including governments, international institutions, and private actors.