Introducing the 2023-24 global participants in the Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP)

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) is pleased to welcome the 2023-24 HRAP cohort. HRAP was founded at ISHR in 1989 to strengthen the bonds between the academic learning community at Columbia and human rights practitioners. This year marks the program’s 35th anniversary. 

Nine advocates working on critical issues of human rights around the world, including LGBTQI+ rights, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, transitional justice, disability rights, women's rights, and environmental justice, attended skill-based workshops online in the fall of 2023 led by organizations including Human Rights Watch. During the spring 2024 semester, they are joining us on the Morningside campus, where they will participate in academic courses, network with the human rights community in NYC and DC, and share their work with students at Columbia and other venues. They will also participate in opportunities at the United Nations including the Commission on the Status of Women and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. 
“Bringing these remarkable advocates to Columbia each year is an incredible opportunity for all of us to learn from people fighting for human rights and social justice throughout the world and on the ground,” said Joseph R. Slaughter, ISHR’s Executive Director.
More than 350 advocates from nearly 100 countries have attended the program. HRAP alumni have served as UN special rapporteurs, in the ministries of their governments, and at leading human rights organizations around the globe. They have been recognized with honors including the Rafto Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and the  Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, the highest acknowledgment from the international human rights community. Stephanie V. Grepo, director of capacity building at ISHR, said that more than 95 percent of the HRAP alumni body continues to work in human rights, a testament to their commitment to making the world a better place.