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Special IHRC Projects

IHRC Work in the United Nations

After engaging in human rights advocacy at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva, Switzerland, the UIC Law International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) releases a Summary of Record of the 107th Review of the United States in relation to its obligations under the treaty.

Access to Justice in the United States

The IHRC produces amicus curiae briefs in an effort to narrow the gap of access to justice. The IHRC submits amicus curiae briefs in cases where individuals or communities are prevented from accessing a fair legal system and obtaining necessary legal protections.  Through this work, the IHRC seeks to empower individuals so they are able to overcome obstacles preventing them from obtaining justice. With this work, it promotes the development of human rights protections needed to respond to grave violations of human rights.

Cholera in Haiti and Accountability

The IHRC collaborates with the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti in promoting awareness and advocating for accountability in Haiti. Haiti’s ongoing cholera epidemic presents a tremendous barrier to Haitians’ full and effective enjoyment of their fundamental human rights. This collaboration has sought to promote access to justice and accountability where structural inequalities and imbalanced power relationships contribute to continuing violations by non-state actors.

Immigrant Rights

The IHRC has conducted fact-finding and advocacy relating to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention practices. The IHRC has collaborated with Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center in creating shadow reports submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and Committee Against Torture. The IHRC has also published a report on the solitary confinement practices that immigrant detainees are subjected to in detention facilities across the United States.

Inter-American Advocacy

The IHRC produces amicus curiae briefs seeking to promote justice and accountability in the Americas. Our Inter-American work is recent, but seeks to introduce novel arguments to develop the recognition of the rights of persons or communities who have been historically disenfranchised or rendered vulnerable.

Santa Barbara Campesino Community v. Perú

On January 26 and 27, 2014, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, heard the arguments and testimony of the alleged forced disappearance of 15 victims belonging to the Santa Barbara Community. The victims argued that the Peruvian Army obstructed the investigation for the human rights violations committed at the hands of the Peruvian armed forces in 1991.

Inter-American Project on Name Change

On May 18, 2016 the State of Costa Rica submitted a request for an advisory opinion to the Secretariat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights regarding the level of recognition given to a person’s name change according to their gender identity. This allows organizations to submit amicus curiae briefs to the Court for them to consider while drafting their advisory opinion.  The IHRC is researching and drafting an amicus brief to submit to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights regarding available protections and need to provide a more robust set of protection in name change rights for transgender persons. Through its Inter-American Project on Name Change, the IHRC, is working towards strengthening the rights of transgender individuals in the Americas.

Human Rights of Older Persons

The IHRC has been involved in the creation of the Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons. The Chicago Declaration is a statement of rights of older persons, created and crafted by a group of experts, scholars, and activists from around the world. The Declaration is designed to promote a new United Nations Convention on the Rights of Older Persons, which would stand side-by-side with other international human rights conventions. The Declaration was presented at the Fifth Session of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing. The IHRC continues to work with and collaborate with experts in the field to press forward for a new Convention.

Human Rights for Syrians Initiative (HRSI)

The HRSI provides a hub of centralized, credible and accessible information and resources to both Syrian refugees in the U.S. and those planning to come to the U.S. seeking asylum. The HRSI provides legal representation in asylum cases and a reliable referral system for legal representation in immediate and long-term social and emergency services. Attorneys, advocates and other qualified providers may contact the HRSI to offer their services and/or obtain referrals.

Puerto Rican Human Trafficking Project

The Puerto Rican Human Trafficking project has been focused on investigating the practices of the government of Puerto Rico, HUD, and other government agencies in the United States mainland in trafficking Puerto Rican homeless persons with addiction.  We believe that the practice begins with the recruitment of homeless persons with addiction living in Puerto Rico.  The recruited individuals are told that they will come to the U.S. to live in rehab facilities.  Once they arrive in the U.S. they are taken to unlicensed facilities that are operated privately and without permit.  In the “AA” group homes, these individuals undergo the process of detox without medication or medical assistance.  In addition, the conditions under which they live and are expected to stay are of sub-human condition.  There is vermin infestation, lack of access to constant heat in the winter, among others.  Our investigation will likely result in the shedding of light on this issue.

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