The Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic focuses on gender-based violence, reproductive rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, economic and social rights, children’s rights, and anti-trafficking work.

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

Open Letter to the International Law Commission

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

Click here to read HRGJ’s submission.


Holding ISIS Accountable for Gender-Based Crimes

International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

We 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.


HRGJ Clinic News

2018 in Review: What We’ve Won

The past year brought a groundswell of grassroots organizing, community-led advocacy, and hard-fought victories to the forefront of national consciousness. 2018 challenged us to find new ways to show up for one another and dared us to stay focused and driven through all the noise. It’s no surprise our network of activists, organizers, advocates, and […]>>

There’s A New Proposed Crimes Against Humanity Treaty

There’s A New Proposed Crimes Against Humanity Treaty: But Where Are Women’s and LGBTI Rights?   CUNY Law’s Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic announces a new initiative and launches a Crimes Against Humanity Toolkit focused on promoting international gender justice.   New York—A new international treaty focusing on crimes against humanity such as massacres, […]>>

Letter to AG Sessions: Grant Asylum for Domestic Violence Survivors

“The A–B–. decision seeks to deny asylum for an entire class of people, even though some fleeing domestic violence may technically qualify under Sessions’ extremely narrow interpretation of the law. Dangerously, the ruling suggests that virtually all claims related to private acts of violence will not succeed. Some asylum-seekers may now be turned away before they can […]>>

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 successfully urged the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Trafficking to address the harmful impact of criminalization of trafficking victims.>>

HRGJ Clinic Stands up for Detained Pregnant Women

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention accepted most of the recommendations made by the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic (HRGJ) regarding the detention of pregnant women suspected of drug use in the United States.>>

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