Post Date: June 24, 2005

Two new human rights reports from international groups Human Rights Watch and Front Line draw on research and writing from students in the Clinical Advocacy Project of Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program. The Human Rights report condemns sectarian violence in Bangladesh, and the Front Line report focuses on the Rwandan government’s crackdown on rights groups. Both reports have received significant attention from national authorities, international policymakers and the news media.

“It has been thrilling to have been engaged in human rights defense while still in law school,” said Chi Mgbako ’05, co-author of the Front Line report. “Through the Human Rights Program, I have traveled to Rwanda three times. It is very gratifying now to be able to contribute to the work of the courageous rights defenders I have come to know there through this report.”

The Human Rights Watch report on Bangladesh is the culmination of an ongoing partnership with the Human Rights Program. HLS students along with Jim Cavallaro, director of the Clinical Advocacy Project, traveled to Bangladesh to document attacks on the Ahmadiyya religious community and helped transform their findings into the new joint report.

“This wasn’t just another paper for law school,” Cavallaro said. “This has been a major effort embraced by students, even after their graduation, to document and publicize a situation of religious intolerance in a state widely believed to be secular. Their high quality work will have significant impact.”

The recent reports are only the latest in a series of research partnerships conducted by the Human Rights Program. Other recent projects include a critique of the role of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti issued with the Global Justice Center, a report with EarthRights International, and a submission to the International Labour Organization on the ongoing use of forced labor by the Burmese military.

Students involved in these human rights reports:

Bola Aina ’05 Ronja Bandyopadhyay ’04 Pooja Bhatia ’06 Allison Friedman ’06 Isabel Goodman LL.M. ’05 Ryan Hecker ’05 Amjad Khan ’04 Jennifer Langlais LL.M. ’04 Amy Lehr ’06 Benjamin Litman ’06 Chi Mgbako ’05 Bridgette Toy-Cronin LL.M. ’05

Related Links:

Report on persecution in Bangladesh Report on human rights defenders in Rwanda Report on the UN’s mission in Haiti Report on forced labor in Burma