Programs and Projects
PHRGE Co-Directors, fellows, students and staff work on a myriad of human rights issues in the USA and globally. Our current research projects and educational programs are listed below. Affiliated Faculty also promote human rights by advising governments and nongovernmental organizations on human rights, engaging in research on human rights issues and teaching a variety of human rights courses. The human rights work of Affiliated Faculty is listed on their individual webpages.
Bringing Human Rights Norms into State Courts and Legislatures
Over the past several years, Professor Martha Davis has engaged in numerous projects to implement human rights norms in the USA. These projects have included co-editing the three-volume series "Bringing Human Rights Home." Professor Davis has also participated in trainings on human rights for advocates and legislators, filing amicus briefs asserting human rights norms in domestic cases and producing training materials for litigators. She also authored the article "Human Rights in the Trenches: Using International Human Rights Law in 'Everyday' Legal Aid Cases," published in Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy 413 (Nov/Dec 2007). This year, Professor Davis is working with the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative and the Columbia University Human Rights Institute to update a resource guide on human rights in legal advocacy.
The Boston Principles on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of Noncitizens: PHRGE is pleased to present the Boston Principles on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of Noncitizens. Professors Hope Lewis and Rachel Rosenbloom coordinate this project aimed at developing Guidelines and Recommendations to protect the human rights of immigrant communities and individuals. The Boston Principles are 30 standards drawn from international human rights, humanitarian, and migration-related treaties, guidelines and other statements of best practice as well as recommendations by U.S.-based civil society. The Boston Principles were the outcome of a two day Institute: "Beyond National Security: Immigrant Communities and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights" hosted by PHRGE and chaired by Professors Lewis and Rosenbloom. The project brought together leading human rights and immigration advocates for a two-day intensive workshop on October 14-15, 2010. Public sessions were held both days over the lunch hour.
International Social and Economic Rights Project (iSERP)
Professors Lucy Williams and Karl Klare lead a global working group of scholars, judges and practitioners - from India, South Africa, Japan, Europe, South America and the USA - focusing on securing economic and social rights for all. iSERP aims to assist advocates and also to influence decisionmakers. Their first high-level workshop was held at Northeastern School of Law on March 19-21, 2009. The second of the series was held at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, May 15-16, 2010, and the third was held June 2-4, 2011, at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. The fourth workshop will be held at University College London (UCL) in the Spring of 2012. iSERP plans to expand its activities to include research projects, publications and judicial trainings. Many iSERP documents are posted on its Wiki, including the reports on the workshops and summaries of over eighty cases on social and economic rights from countries around the world.
Human Rights Frameworks, Strategies and Tools for Policymaking
Gillian MacNaughton, PHRGE Senior Fellow, and Ford Foundation Fellows Angela Duger and Mariah McGill, work on several projects to develop and document the use of human rights frameworks, strategies and tools to advance economic and social rights through human rights monitoring and policymaking processes. Human rights practitioners have traditionally relied upon a limited toolbox, including litigation, naming and shaming, and letter-writing campaigns, which all address violations of human rights. Today, human rights practitioners are using a variety of proactive human rights strategies and tools - including human rights impact assessment, indicators and benchmarks, and budget analysis - to analyze government performance, guide legislative reforms and build social movements for economic justice.
Due Diligence Project
The Due Diligence Project is a four-year research and advocacy project on state obligations with respect to violence against women. The project is implemented by Co-Directors Janine Moussa and Zarizana Abdul Aziz. PHRGE hosts Zarizana Abdul Aziz, adjunct faculty member at Northeastern Univeristy Schoo of Law and affiliated scholar at Columbia University.
Human Rights and the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct - PHRGE Affiliated Project
Professor Martha Davis leads an innovative research project examining the ABA Model Rules through a human rights lens to discern how the rules might be improved. To date, Professor Davis presented her preliminary findings at a workshop at the Human Rights Institute of Columbia University in June 2010 and published an article on the topic. This year Professor Davis will expand upon the project by examining professional ethics in international and comparative law through a human rights lens. On June 6th, Professor Davis will participate in a webinar, UN Guiding Principles for Ethics and Human Rights: What Lawyers Should Know, which will discuss corporate social responsibilty, ethics, and lawyers. co-sponsored by PHRGE. The panel will take place here at the Northeastern University School of Law and will also be web-streamed.