December 20, 2018
Dear Leitner Center Alumni and Friends,
As we approach the end of 2018, I am writing to tell you about a speial matching gift opportunity to support the Leitner Center’s work. James Leitner (’82), longtime supporter of human rights programming at Fordham Law School, for whom the Leitner Center was named, has generously offered to match up to $20,000 in gifts this holiday season! Make a gift today to help us advance human rights in partnership with activists, communities, and NGOs across the globe.
This year has been a challenging time for human rights: many governments who could previously be counted on to support justice and equality have rolled back protections and implemented policies that threaten individuals and families. This leaves a dangerous gap of protection for the rights of women, children, ethnic minorities, refugees, migrants, LGBT people, people with disabilities, and others.
Your gift of any size will bolster our work to document human rights abuse, advance training and education on human rights, and advocate for positive change. We hope you continue to connect with us on our website, Facebook, and Twitter into next year.
I want to extend a special thanks to everyone who supports the Leitner Center’s work throughout the year: you can read on below to see highlights of some of our work so far this year that your gifts have helped to make happen.
Strategic Advocacy Forum: Opportunities for National Gender Equality Advocacy Workshop in Burma
Throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, Crowley Scholars worked hand-in-hand with the Women’s League of Burma (WLB), a network of ethnic women activists from Burma’s conflict areas, to develop an advocacy planning and training workshop on engaging the Burma government on national gender equality planning, particularly on government accountability for gender-based violence and discrimination in conflict situations. The workshop, implemented by a Leitner Center team near the Burmese city of Mandalay in May 2018, helped to create a platform for WLB to strategically address flaws in the government’s National Strategic Plan for the Advancement of Women, including a public awareness campaign to be launched in December 2018.
Gender Equality Training in Japan and Kenya
In fall 2017, students in the Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic researched and designed a gender equality training manual for Amnesty International Japan (“AI Japan”). In spring 2018, the clinic continued its year long work with AI Japan developing a human rights education curriculum highlighting gender issues. In April, clinic students traveled to Tokyo to conduct a multi-day gender workshop for a gathering of Japanese university and high school students. The workshop manual has been used to train hundreds of students and teachers in Japan on gender equality and human rights.
In fall 2018, the clinic expanded the workshop beyond Japan and selected Kenya as its second focus country. Clinic students adapted the workshop to the Kenya context and held a 2-day interactive and participatory workshop focusing on issues at the intersection of gender studies and human rights in Nairobi, Kenya.
Advocacy in Geneva Ahead of China’s Universal Periodic Review
Partnering with grassroots networks of marginalized populations in China, students with the Asia Law and Justice Program and the Crowley Program worked to prepare strategic engagement on China’s upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) before the UN Human Rights Council. As part of the partnership, the team produced a research-based stakeholder submission in March 2018 forcing on the stigmatization of sex workers, people with HIV, and people who use drugs in China, with specific recommendations on how governments participating in China’s UPR could highlight these populations. In October 2018, the team traveled to Geneva to engage in direct person-to-person lobbying of 16 governments and several UN human rights experts ahead of China’s November 2018 UPR session.
Gender and Transitional Justice Manual for Yemeni Activists
The Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic partnered with the Yemeni human rights organization Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies in spring 2018 to develop a manual for Yemeni activists focused on gender and transitional justice. The manual includes case studies on gender mainstreaming and recommendations to ensure Yemeni women and girls’ voices and experiences are fully integrated into any future post-conflict transitional work, including in the areas of political participation, security sector reform, socio-economic development, constitutional and legislative reform, and access to justice.
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For more information about the Leitner Center’s work and upcoming events, please visit www.leitnercenter.org or email us at LeitnerCenter@law.fordham.edu.