University of Minnesota
Human Rights Program

Human Rights Program.

Human Rights Program

Featured Event

Genocide and its Aftermaths: Lessons from Rwanda

A Series of Events to Commemorate the 20th Anniversary
of the Genocide in Rwanda

Sponsorship made possible in part by the Ohanessian Endowment Fund for Justice and Peace Studies of The Minneapolis Foundation.

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  • Call for Nominations: 2014 Human Rights Awards

    tenzin.jpgEach spring, the Human Rights Program and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies celebrate the tremendous work of students in human rights with the Inna Meiman Award and the Sullivan Ballou Award. Faculty and staff: Please help us recognize the work of students in Human Rights by nominating committed undergraduates for the below awards. Students: We encourage you to self-nominate or nominate a peer who has truly impressed you. Please note that all applications and nominations are due by Monday, April 21, 2014.

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  • The Enduring Spirit of Labor

    enduring spirit.pngA series of events surrounding an art exhibition on labor and justice
    Presented by The Human Rights Program, The Institute for Global Studies and The Department of Art

    View the flyer.

    Art Exhibition: April 22nd - May 3rd

    Public Forum on the Intersection of Art and Activism: April 23rd, 6 - 7 PM

    Public Reception: April 23rd, 7 - 9 PM

    Historical Art Exhibition: April 1 - July 18

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  • Beyond Iberian Colonialisms: Spanish Arabs and the Fate of the Western Sahara

    Aminatou Haidar Beyond Iberian Colonialisms.pngThe Global Studies Department at the University of Minnesota and the Iberian Studies Initiative for collaborative research present a conference that will illuminate and draw together the histories of Iberian colonialisms with the present realities of African immigration and cultural production. International scholars, poets and speakers will explore why contemporary poets are rallying to the Saharan cause.

    Friday, April 5, 2014
    Nolte Center 125
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    KEYNOTE SPEAKER Aminatou Haidar
    Keynote Speaker Aminatou Haidar is a Sahrawi human rights activist, advocate for the independence of Western Sahara, and president of the Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders (CODESA). Known as "Sahrawi Gandhi" for her nonviolent protests, she was imprisoned from 1987 to 1991 and from 2005 to 2006 on charges related to her independence advocacy. In 2009, she attracted international attention when she staged a hunger strike after being denied re-entry into Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. Haidar has won several international human rights awards for her work, including the 2008 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and the 2009 Civil Courage Prize. In 2012 she was nominated to the Nobel Peace Prize.

    A related film screening and an educator workshop are also to take place April 4th and 5th. For more information, please view the complete event schedule here.

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Human Rights Beat

  • U.N. asked to examine Chicago school closings for human rights violations

    Chicago-based human rights advocates have sent a letter to the United Nations' Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights asking the international body to monitor Chicago's school closings. Check out WBEZ's coverage of the latest human rights advocacy work from the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights.

    July 24th, 2013
  • Can doctors help stop torture?

    Dr. Steven Miles vividly remembers the notorious 2004 photograph of U.S. soldiers grinning beside a pile of naked prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. Click here to continue reading about the U of M's Dr. Miles at the Star Tribune website.

    July 9th, 2013
  • Prosecutor says Chad's HabrĂ© could face life imprisonment

    Chad's ex-president Hissene Habré has been charged in Senegal with genocide, crimes against humanity and torture by a special court in Dakar, Senegal. Click here to continue reading on

    July 3rd, 2013
  • Feds Seek Decade for NH Woman Over Rwanda Genocide

    Beatrice Munyenyezi entered the United States in 1998 as a Rwandan refugee with three young daughters who told U.S. Customs officials she took no part in the 1994 Rwanda genocide and instead was a survivor whose relatives were among the 800,000 killed. Now federal prosecutors want to put her behind bars for 10 years after she was convicted in February of masking her role as "gatekeeper" at one of the notorious roadblocks where Tutsis were singled out for slaughter. Click here to continue reading at

    July 2nd, 2013