Winners of the Essay Contest, along with other selected participants, are invited to present their papers during the Human Rights Essay Colloquium. The colloquium, which takes place each spring semester, is an opportunity for students to present human rights papers and engage in open and lively discussion with other students and faculty members.
View all past Essay Contest winners below. Click on the winner to see their paper abstract.
Graduate School of Arts and Science, Graduate
Human Rights and Development Practice: Dismantling Aid Conditionalities for LGBTI People
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate
From Gender-Blindness to Gender-Blindness: The Illegitimate Victims of Sexual Violence in the Congolese Conflict
There exists little knowledge about the experiences of male victims of sexual violence, and even less about its connection with norms governing masculinity and power in the context of armed conflict. This intersection deserves attention, both in order to address male experiences of victimhood, and to bring about a more inclusive understanding of the gendered component of sexual violence in conflict (SVC). This paper looks at data gathered on male and female victims of sexual violence in Eastern DRC in March 2010 and discusses a number of assumptions regarding the crime of SVC, such as social stigma and the victim-perpetrator stereotype. Its objective is to highlight the need to transcend conventional societal perceptions of SVC, and by avoiding simple narratives, adopting a more nuanced understanding of its victims, perpetrators, causes, and consequences. This study thus seeks to allow for a more dignified victim response, and in a more general sense, hopes to take steps to engage the human rights framework with rights issues concerning gender and sexuality.