The Asia Law and Justice (ALJ) Program exposes students to critical human rights concerns in Asia, a region that is vast, diverse, and facing a wide range of challenges to the rule of law and access to justice. Students are trained to think critically and creatively through seminar course offerings and hands-on projects in partnership with grassroots groups, including in Burma, China, and Nepal.
The ALJ Program creates programs for students that train them in the skills required of a professional human rights advocate, including research, legal and policy analysis, fact finding, international advocacy, and capacity building in partnership with local advocates.
Through a dedicated seminar, students learn to examine and respond to traditional critiques of applying human rights laws in Asian countries and learn to identify successful strategies for promoting human rights within that unique context.
Students are supervised by faculty and program staff working directly with NGO partners and activists in countries throughout Asia and create training materials and other resources for use in diverse settings. Students conduct interviews with local stakeholders and facilitate trainings on human rights standards with local groups.
The ALJ Program’s recent work has focused on lawyers and other human rights defenders, women’s rights, protections for refugees, socioeconomic rights, and the human rights implications of foreign investment in Asia.
Promoting the Rights of Farmers in Nepal, Including Support for International Advocacy at the UN
The Leitner Center worked with the Community Self-Reliance Center through the 2008 Crowley Program, documenting the rights of landless farmers. Since that time, the ALJ Program has continued to partner with CSRC to provide advocacy support, international legal training, and documentation, including support for international advocacy at the UN.
Advocating for Human Rights Lawyers in China
The ALJ Program partners with the Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers in its efforts to improve the situation of Chinese human rights lawyers through strengthening the rule of law. The ALJ Program conducts research, publishes reports, and provides advocacy support to the Committee.
Fostering Gender Equality in Burma
The ALJ Program has partnered with organizations inside and outside Burma to provide legal analysis and training materials on women’s rights. Students have created training materials on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (cedaw) and its applicability to promoting human rights in Burma.