International Human Rights Day

Never too Young to Change the World

It’s International Human Rights Day! Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10th. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was the Chairperson of the drafting committee. This year’s theme is “Youth Standing Up for Human Rights.”

Here at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, we have long advocated for human rights every day of the year. The Urban Morgan Institute, founded in 1979, was the first endowed institute at an American law school devoted to international human rights law and has long been a world leader in legal education and human rights scholarship. The endowment for the institute resulted from a relationship between human rights activist William Butler and Urban Morgan. Every year, the Institute awards between 10 and 15 fellowships to students. The Urban Morgan Institute also works to provide students with hands-on summer experiences with human rights organizations and attorneys, international judges, governmental agencies and UN bodies. Cincinnati Law students have completed successful summer experiences at dozens of locations, including Amnesty International USA, the High Court of Botswana, Africa Watch, ACLU, Chilean Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Center in Pretoria, South Africa, the Navajo Supreme Court and Legal Services Organization for the Navajo Nation and the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights.┬áCincinnati Law students also work on one of the oldest academic journals dedicated to human rights, Human Rights Quarterly. Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, Human Rights Quarterly is overseen by Distinguished Service Professor Bert Lockwood, who serves as editor in chief as well as director of the Urban Morgan Institute. The Law Library works closely with student editors and cite checkers on Human Rights Quarterly. Additionally, the Law Library is privileged to have been selected as the repository for the Papers of William J. Butler. The Papers of William J. Butler include speeches, letters, congressional testimony and other personal and professional writings that document the human rights contributions and other public service of William J. Butler. Also included in this collection are: proceedings of annual meetings of representatives of sovereign nations on human rights and foreign policy held from 1977 to 1999; executive documents of the International Commission of Jurists and the American Association of the International Commission of Jurists; reports of human rights missions to numerous countries; materials generated during international human rights trials observed by William Butler; and, two landmark civil rights cases he argued and won in the U.S. Supreme Court, namely, Engel v. Vitale (1962), “the school prayer case” and Kent v. Dulles (1958), “the passport case.”

Those interested in human rights can find other great resources here at UC Law. Among the relevant research guides created by UC Law librarians are:

A few of the relevant databases to which we subscribe are:

At UC Law, every day is human rights day!

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