Human Rights Now Academy: “Changing the world through human rights: Seminar on International human rights and humanitarian law”

On October 28 and 29, 2017, Human Rights Now led a two-day event including an interactive workshop to learn about International human rights and humanitarian law.

Day one focused primarily on seminar-based learning, by highly experienced speakers of the field.

The first guest, TATEISHI Hiroko (professor, Faculty of Law, Hosei University and director for Human Rights Now), started the morning session with an introductory course on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Next, ITO Kazuko (practicing lawyer and secretary general of Human Rights Now), gave a talk on Human Rights Now – our mission, our work and activities, and our future goals.

SHIBATA Noriko (Senior Advisor/Advocacy Team Leader for World Vision Japan), presented a clear outline of the Sustainable Development Goals, and talked about specific case examples of advocacy activities that World Vision Japan has been leading to meet these goals.

Lastly, TAKAHASHI Saul (Japan Representative for the Business and Human Rights Resource Center) led the final seminar of the day, on the topic of “Business and Human Rights Protection,” and highlighted the issues of violated rights by businesses such as forced labor, child labor, etc. Further, he touched on where Japanese businesses stand in these issues, and closed his talk with career advice based on his own personal career path.

On the second day, the morning began with a talk by OGAWA Ryutaro (practicing lawyer), in which he explained the mechanisms and the system of the UN, and the roles the UN and NGOs play in the field of human rights protection.

Next, MOSLEY Cade (lawyer) gave an engaging introductory seminar on practical English for working in the field of human rights law and advocacy.Finally, as the last guest speaker of the event, SUDA Yohei (lawyer) spoke about the history and development of international human rights law, and provided several case studies drawing from recent global conflict issues, such as those in Afghanistan and Syria.

Afterwards, participants engaged in a workshop where, in groups, they were asked to think: “As a human rights NGO, consider some advocacy approaches concerning the recent Rohingya issue”. Groups then presented their ideas, which was followed by a great, thought-provoking discussion.

We thank and appreciate everyone who participated and contributed to the success of this event.