International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop

Professor Seánna Howard leads the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop, where students participate in cases and advocacy projects focusing on petitions and initiatives with substantial international human rights dimensions involving indigenous peoples. IPLP faculty and staff are currently involved in human rights and other advocacy projects promoting the rights of indigenous peoples around the world. Students in the workshop gain valuable experience working within regional and international human rights bodies to advocate for indigenous peoples’ human rights.

Professor Howard has been with IPLP for more than 10 years, working on precedent-setting cases representing indigenous communities before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations, and domestic courts in Canada and Belize.

Projects also involve the use of international human rights standards in advocacy at the domestic level, including domestic litigation, and in monitoring the activities of business matters that bear upon human rights. Past projects have included students in drafting legal briefs, human rights reports, amicus briefs, press statements, educational materials, and witness affidavits for cases in Belize, Canada, Congo, Brazil, Mexico, Suriname, Nicaragua and United States.

Each semester students have the opportunity to work on a wide range of advocacy projects. Recent examples include:

  • Maya Indigenous People of Belize: IPLP project assisting the Maya communities of southern Belize to secure their land rights through litigation before the courts of Belize and the Caribbean Court of Justice  
  • Arce v. Douglas, Federal Court Litigation Challenging Arizona Anti-Ethnic Studies Law: research project in support students and teachers challenging the Arizona statute that was adopted to suppress ethnic studies programs in Arizona schools
  • Navajo Nation: IPLP project providing legal representation on the Navajo Nations Petition Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to protect the San Francisco Peaks