International Women's Human Rights


Our International Women’s Human Rights Clinic (IWHR) 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), IWHR Clinic Fellow Bradley Parker (standing, left) (kneeling, l-r) - 3L April Marcus, 3L Brenda Hasslinger, 3L Thyra Smith, 2010 IWHR alum Nora Smiley. Photo courtesy of Bradley Parker.

International Women's Human Rights (IWHR) 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, IWHR 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 IWHR 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, IWHR 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 International Women's Human Rights 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.

On Tuesday November 24th, members of the HRGJ Clinic presented their work documenting LGBT and women’s rights violations under ISIS at the Roosevelt House. The rapid advance of the Islamic State and its takeover of large swathes of Iraq intensified the already deadly risk for LGBT Iraqis. This discussion focused on the current threat to gender non-conforming individuals in both ISIS controlled and government controlled areas in Iraq, as well as international advocacy strategies to advance LGBT rights.

Speakers included Hossein Alizedah MENA Coordinator for OutRight Action International, Lisa Davis, Clinical Professor of Law CUNY Law School, Frankie Hermann and Hilal Homaidan legal interns, HRGJ Clinic, and Omair Paul, UN Representative for Muslims for Progressive Values.

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IWHR Clinic News

Iraqi Activist to Testify at the UN on ISIS, sexual violence and Shelter for Women

Operator of Iraqi “Underground Railroad” for survivors of abuse to speak out on Iraqi government’s u >>

U.N. Calls for U.S. to Treat Youth in Conflict with the Law as Youth, Not Adults

This week at the United Nations, government representatives called on the U.S. to end the practice o >>

CUNY Law and Sorensen Center Host Women Confronting ISIS Symposium

The Women Confronting ISIS symposium, held at CUNY Law on March 6, provided an opportunity for peopl >>

Prof. Davis Testifies Before Congressional Human Rights Commission on Aid Delivery in Haiti

Yesterday, Professor Lisa Davis testified before Congress at a hearing organized by the Tom Lantos H >>

U.N. Criticizes U.S. Treatment of Youth in Adult Jails and Prisons

Friday, the U.N. Committee Against Torture (“Committee”) strongly criticized the United States for s >>

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