FRIDAY, 11/20/2020 | 4:00PM EST

Foreign Affairs


Future Leaders

Pursuing a Just Hemisphere: The OAS and Human Rights in the Americas


Friday, November 20th, 2020 at 4:00pm EST

Hosted on Zoom - the link and optional background materials will be emailed to you after registration


Even before the pandemic, Latin America was facing significant human rights challenges. The collapse of Venezuela has resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis with 11 million Venezuelans displaced, a historic number of Latin American women took to the streets to protest gender-based violence, and the World Bank estimates that climate change could generate 17 million displaced individuals by 2050, disproportionately affecting Latin America’s vast indigenous populations. The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights is an autonomous body of the Organization of American States. The Commission upholds the American Convention on Human Rights, and meets regularly to investigate violations of human rights in the hemisphere. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights was established to interpret the Convention. In this event, we will speak Dinah Shelton, former president of the Commission, about human rights questions in the Americas, how the Commission and the Court act to promote and protect human rights in the Hemisphere, challenges both institutions face, and how the United States could better support the OAS's mission on human rights and democracy.

Foreign Affairs with Future Leaders is a series of youth-led discussions which analyze various international issues and topics by collaboratively addressing their most critical questions. They are co-hosted by the Onero Institute and the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity and Sorority at GWU. 



Professor Dinah Shelton is the Manatt/Ahn Professor emeritus at the George Washington University Law School. She served as a member of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (2010-2014) and 2010 she was president of the Commission. Professor Shelton is the author of three prize-winning books, Protecting Human Rights in the Americas (co-authored with Thomas Buergenthal), Remedies in International Human Rights Law, and the three-volume Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. She has also authored other articles and books on international law, human rights law, and international environmental law. Professor Shelton is a member of the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law. She has served as a legal consultant to international organizations and is on the board of numerous human rights and environmental organizations. In 2006, Professor Shelton was awarded the Elisabeth Haub Prize for Environmental Law and 2013 she received the Goler Butcher Prize in Human Rights; she was conferred the degree of doctor honoris causa at the University of Stockholm in 2012 and the Pazmany Peter Catholic University of Budapest in 2014.


Lucy Hale is a senior at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, majoring in International Affairs, with concentrations in International Politics and Latin America, and minoring in Spanish. She studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the fall of 2019 and is a research assistant at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program. Her research interests include Southern Cone politics, political economy, and China-Latin America relations. She is also a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority at GWU.



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