Human Rights & Gender Justice

Our Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic (HRGJ) (formerly named International Women's Human Rights Clinic) focuses on gender-based violence, reproductive rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, economic and social rights, children’s rights and anti-trafficking work.

Haiti, November 2010. With KOFAVIV members (Commission of Women Victims to Victims) and displacement camp outreach workers, Clinical Law Prof. Lisa Davis (standing, right), HRGJ Clinic Fellow Bradley Parker (standing, left) (kneeling, l-r) - 3L April Marcus, 3L Brenda Hasslinger, 3L Thyra Smith, 2010 HRGJ alum Nora Smiley. Photo courtesy of Bradley Parker.

Human Rights and Gender Justice (HRGJ) Clinic students engage in cutting edge human rights work under close clinical supervision. The Clinic maintains a diverse docket of projects, providing students broad experience in human rights practice. Through the clinical seminar and project work, HRGJ students develop a sound understanding of international human rights and sharpen lawyering skills necessary for effective law reform-oriented advocacy work applicable in both U.S. and international contexts.

Widely recognized for its expertise and contributions to gender jurisprudence and human rights practice, the HRGJ clinic advocates before international and regional human rights bodies and national and local courts and legal institutions. Our projects combat gender discrimination and sexual violence, advance reproductive and sexual rights and economic and social rights, and promote women's participation and empowerment. By addressing problems through the lens of human rights, HRGJ students use international human rights law and institutions to challenge and expand rights protections in both domestic and international fora.


Rhonda Copelon: A Lasting Legacy

Professor Rhonda Copelon, co-founder of CUNY Law's Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, discusses the impact and vision of the School's Clinic and the challenges and opportunities central to shifting the worldwide landscape for women's human rights.

A New Treaty on Crimes Against Humanity

HRGJ Clinic launched a toolkit to provide advocates with concrete ways to make their voices heard.

Download the Civil Society Toolkit <pdf>

View the Project Timeline

Open Letter to the International Law Commission

Read our open letter in English <pdf>, French <pdf>, Spanish <pdf>, Arabic <pdf>, or Chinese <pdf>.

Click here to read HRGJ's submission <pdf>.

Holding ISIS Accountable for Gender-Based Crimes <pdf>

International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

We recently hosted Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda at CUNY Law. Our Human Rights and Gender Justice clinic presented her with a petition asking the ICC to bring charges against ISIS for persecuting people on the basis of gender.

View the the event

HRGJ Clinic News

HRGJ Clinic Successfully Urges U.N. to Address U.S. Policies that Harm Trafficking Victims

In partnership with the Legal Aid Society, The Human Rights and Gender Justice (HRGJ) clinic success >>

HRGJ Clinic Stands up for Detained Pregnant Women

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention accepted most of the recommendations made by >>

U.N. Condemns Confinement of Pregnant Women Based on Suspected Drug Use

HRGJ clinic successfully urged U.N. experts to recognize that detaining pregnant women suspected of  >>

HRGJ Event Tackles Life as Woman and LGBT Person in Iraq Under ISIS

Speakers from human rights organizations working in Iraq came together for a recent HRGJ discussion  >>

Human Rights Gender Justice (HRGJ) Clinic Travels to Iraq

Staff from the HRGJ clinic traveled to Iraq to train local groups on advocating for women's and LGBT >>

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