Law Students Participate in Hearing of human Rights Committee on violations in Cape Verde

March 23, 2012

This is just one good example of how students can get practically involved in work as human rights defenders. Four law students from the Indiana Purdue University Indianapolis will go to New York this week to participate in the United Nations Human Rights Committee hearing on allegations of the corporal punishment and sexual abuse of elementary school children in Cape Verde.

The four are part of a group of Robert H. McKinney School of Law students who, in partnership with Delta Cultura Cabo Verde, a Cape Verdean nongovernmental organization, researched and wrote a shadow report to a United Nations committee discussing how the government of Cape Verde has failed to combat corporal punishment and sexual abuse of school children (Articles 2, 7 & 24 of the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights).

“Writing the shadow report has been a rewarding experience. Not only do we get the practical experience of legal writing, but we learn a little more about the world and help prevent human rights violations globally,” said one of the students. Unlike periodic reports submitted by states parties, a shadow report provides U.N. human rights treaty bodies with various forms of information — including victims’ personal accounts, data and statistics —independently prepared by NGOs and details violations by states parties of a specific treaty. “Shadow reporting enables grass-roots human rights defenders to engage in United Nations human rights monitoring and enforcement mechanisms,” Program in Human Rights Law manager Perfecto Caparas said.

for more information: Diane Brown IU Communications habrown@iupui.edu

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