International Human Rights Committee

The ABA International Human Rights Committee (IHRC) is concerned with all matters involving the response to and amelioration of instances of assaults on human dignity through the oppression of civil and political rights, as well as efforts to create and foster legal, business, and cultural systems and institutions that give meaningful protection to human rights.

More specifically, the ABA-SIL IHRC:
★ Monitors the drafting and adoption of international covenants;
★ Advocates for foreign human rights lawyers persecuted for their work;
★ Investigates cases of alleged human rights abuses throughout the world;
★ Educates the bar, policy makers, and the public at large about human rights issues.

The ABA IHRC leaders are charged with the day-to-day business of the committee, which includes, but is not limited to: overseeing all committee related communication; retention and recruitment of IHRC members; ensuring compliance with ABA Diversity programs and goals; drafting, circulating  and publishing relevant material pertaining to human rights; coordinating programs, special projects, teleconferences, human rights lobby day, and other events and activities.

✻ Co-Chairs: Greg MacKenzie, Tammie Smith-Long, and Stephanie Williams
✻ Vice Chairs: Jimena Conde, Viviana de la Peña Escobar, Justy Erharbor,  Ayesha Khan, Nicholas Leddy,  Prof. John Mbaku, Ryan McClure, Gigi Nikpour, Will Pons, Kathleen Shay, Tanya Sukhija, David Taylor, Catherine Vernon, Luke Wilson
✻ Senior Advisors: Robert “Bob” Lutz, Cara Lee Neville, Gigi Nikpour, and Elizabeth “Liz” Turchi
✻ Human Trafficking Subcommittee Chairs: Catherine Vernon and Stephanie Williams
✻ Steering Committee: Daniel Appelman, Kay Bridger-Riley, Sara Blackwell, Timothy Burns, Cindy Buys, Michele Curtis, Garry Farley, Julie Gharagouzloo, Kimberly Goins, Lisa de Gray, Tracy Hannan, Alejandra Franco, Sharon James, Paul Johnson, Eva Nudd, Deepali Lugani, Meredith Parenti, Charlotte Ricketts, Vasco de Jesus Rodrigues, & Stephanie Snow
✻ Y2015-16 Subcommittees: Diversity, Policy, Programs, Publications, Rule of Law (ROL), Special Projects, Year in Review (YIR)

A. Conferences & Teleconferences
2015 ABA SIL Fall Conference
Where: Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
900 Rene Levesque Blvd.
W Montreal QC H3B 4A5 Canada
Date: Oct 20 – Oct 24, 2015

2015 Asia Forum – Beijing
Where: China World Hotel,
No 1 Jianguomenwai Ave. 100004
Beijing, China
Date: Nov 16 – Nov 17, 2015

ABA IHRC Fall Teleconference
Title: UNPRECEDENTED: The Global Refugee Crisis, Part 1: A True Account of a Syrian Refugee’s Journey to Safety
Speakers: Jacob Joseph, Syrian, New York Attorney and Co-Chair of ABA Middle East Committee & Joseph Khoury, Syrian Refugee (currently residing in Germany)
Moderator:  Stephanie Williams, IHRC Co-Chair
Date: December 4, 2015

ABA IHRC Winter Teleconference
Title: UNPRECEDENTED: The Global Refugee Crisis, Part 2 – Rights, Rule of Law, & Rational Remedies
Speakers: Jacob Joseph, Co-Chair of ABA Middle East Committee; Gigi Nikpour, IHRC Senior Advisor; Niki Dasarathy, ABA ROLI MENA Senior Advisor; Wassem Amin, Co-Chair of Middle East Committee
Moderator:  Stephanie Williams, IHRC Co-Chair
Date: February 24, 2016

2016 ABA SIL Spring Conference
Where:The Grand Hyatt New York
109 E 42nd St
New York, NY 10017
Date: April 12 – April 16, 2016

ABA IHRC Spring Teleconference
Title: International Criminal Law as a Tool to Combat Business Human Rights Abuses & Corruption
Speakers:  Anita Ramasastry, Professor, University of Washington School of Law; Roey Rosenblith, Executive Director, Not In My Country, Lead Coordinator, Campaign for International Anti-Corruption Court; John Washburn, Convener, American Non-Governmental Organizations Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Co-Chair of the Washington Working Group on the International Criminal Court
Moderator:  Zorka Milin, Senior Legal Advisor, Global Witness
Date: May 19, 2016

B. Special Projects & Programs
Chair | Human Trafficking Subcommittee
The ABA International Human Rights Committee stands with other ABA entities, anti–trafficking and human rights advocates in leading the legal profession’s efforts to eradicate trade in human beings. The mission of HTSc is to mobilize the legal profession and collaborate with anti-trafficking advocates to combat global human trafficking through public awareness, advocacy, training and education via publications, teleconferences, and special programs. The IHRC’s Human Trafficking Subcommittee’s is comprised of more than 60 ABA members who have experience in the field of human trafficking and have demonstrated a commitment to the eradication of human trafficking and all forms of modern-day slavery.

Event Coordinator & Social Media Mgr |  International Human Rights Lobby Day 
Members of the Section of International Law gathered on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. for the Annual International Human Rights Lobby Day. The day begins at the Hyatt Regency with a morning briefing that will provide a short “how-to” session on best practices and techniques to enhance advocacy efforts of participants, followed by a briefing on the legislative issues selected for advocacy as a part of the Human Rights Lobby Day. For the remainder of the day, participants meet with members of Congress and staff in individual meetings in the House and Senate office buildings. Specifically, ABA IHRC asks congressional leaders to (a) ratify the UN Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discriminations Against Women (CEDAW), (b) ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities (CRPD), and (c) increase support of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Committee Co-Chair Coordinator | The Russian Law Students Skype Program
The Russian Law Student Skype Program is hosted by Southern Illinois University School of Law. This program provides legal practitioners and scholars an opportunity to conduct a presentation via Skype sessions with Russian law students from Kalashnikov Izhevsk State Technical University (Ижевский Государственный Технический Университет) in Izhevsk, Russia. IHRC Committee members volunteer for the project and speak on an area of law in which they practice or another area of interest or expertise.

C. Adopted Resolutions with Report (R&R)
Vice Chair | Election Monitoring R&R
ADOPTED by the ABA House of Delegates during the August 2015 Annual ABA Meeting. Resolution #114 urges observation of elections in the United States by observers duly selected by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and other international organizations.

Co-Chair | 2013 Arms Trade Treaty R&R 
ADOPTED by the ABA House of Delegates during the 2017 Mid-Year Meeting. Resolution #104 urges the United States (“U.S.”) to ratify the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty (“ATT”). The ATT aims to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion. Ratification presents an opportunity for the United States (“U.S.”) to curb illicit international weapons transfers to war-torn countries, terrorist organizations, and murderous regimes—a benefit not only to international peace and security but also to U.S. interests. To date the United States and 129 other nations have signed the ATT. If ratified by the U.S., the ATT will be a critical foreign policy tool. It creates concrete obligations and oversight mechanisms. The ATT does not constrain U.S. foreign policy, contravene the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, or require many—if any—changes to U.S. weapons export law.

D. Publications
Committee Co-Chair | The Year-in-Review Publications 
The YIR is an annual publication of the Section of International Law that used to be the fourth volume of The International Lawyer. The objective of The YIR is to publish high quality articles on international subjects that are relevant to each Committee of the ABA/SIL, that inform its readers of significant legal developments that happened during the previous calendar year. It consists of articles written by Section committees, each summarizing the major legal developments of the preceding calendar year within the committee’s remit. It presents an excellent opportunity for committee members to achieve publication in an indexed American law review. Read the IHRC’s 2016 YIR Contributions.

Co-Creator of New Publication | THE CLARION: IHRC Journal of Human Rights
The Clarion aims to foster critical analysis, dialogue, debate, education, awareness, and activism. It encourages diverse, interdisciplinary approaches to human rights issues at home and within the international community. In addition to co-creating the new ABA IHRC publication, Ms. Williams authored all publication guidelines, including the Contributing Author Guidelines and Journal Publication Agreement.

E. Communications & Social Media
Social Media Manager | ABA IHRC Social Media Presence 
Ms. Williams authored and edited a litany of committee documents (e.g., Committee’s Annual Business Plan, Social Media Guidelines, Publication Submission Guidelines, Conference Sign-up forms, HLRD Toolkit, etc.) as both Vice Chair and as the Co-Chair. She also created, managed and maintained all of the committee’s social media platforms from 2011-16. 
 Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Slideshare
  ABA IHRC Official Website
IHRC Official Blog (all posts from July 14, 2011 – March 1, 2016)
End of the Year Newsletter 2015

✻ ​2014 Best Use of Social Media (Stephanie Williams & Joseph Jacob)
2014 Best Use of Social Media (Stephanie Williams & Joseph Jacob)
2014 ABA Outstanding Committee
2015 Best of Use of Social Media (Stephanie Williams)
2015 Best Website Award (Stephanie Williams)

ABA IHRC Leadership Meetings
Where: Conference Call
Date: Monthly, 3rd Thursday
Time: 12:00 pm -1:00 pm EDT

ABA IHRC Steering Committee Meetings
Where: Conference Call
Date: Monthly, 4th Thursday
Time: 12:00 pm -1:00 pm EDT

Contact ABA IHRC directly at for more information about the ABA International Human Rights Committee.

ABA SIL International Human Rights Committee ● 1050 Connecticut Ave. N.W. Suite 400 Washington, D.C. ● United States 20036 ● (202) 662-1000 (Cmte Leadership) (Official)


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