Emory Report
September 22, 2008
Volume 61, Number 5



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22, 2008
Nobel Laureates help celebrate human rights

By Leslie KIng

Nobel Laureates Jimmy Carter and Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights activist, will speak at the student-run conference “Advancing the Consensus: 60 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Oct. 16-18 at the School of Law.

A third keynote will be delivered by Upendra Baxi, professor of law and a human rights specialist at Warwick University of Coventry, England.

Celebrating the declaration’s 60th anniversary, the conference’s goal is to provide students with the information and skills necessary to engage in human rights work alongside their studies and in their future careers.

Carter delivers opening remarks at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16 in Glenn Memorial Auditorium; Ebadi speaks at 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17 and Baxi at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 18, both in Tull Auditorium of Gambrell Hall.

Silas Allard, conference organizer with the student-run Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC), calls the declaration’s anniversary a time “for celebrating the progress made by the global community in defending human rights and bringing those who violate human rights to justice.

“However, it is also a time for reflection on the obstacles that must be overcome in order to continue advancing the human rights consensus and ensuring that every individual’s rights are fully recognized and respected,” Allard cautions, particularly regarding the obstacles emerging from conditions that the original drafters may not have been able to consider, such as globalization, environmental degradation, and current forms of religious conflict.

The event is free for students from any university and for Emory faculty and staff. Registration is $50 for other participants.

A series of workshops and panels that address topics in human rights such as gender-based sexual violence, environmental justice and religion will be conducted.

The conference is hosted by students from EPIC, the International Law Society and the Emory International Law Review. Co-sponsors include the Center for the Study of Law and Religion; the Center for the Study of International and Comparative Law; and the Emory Human Rights Institute.

For a complete schedule, see http://www.law.emory.edu/advancingtheconsensus.