Voices of Defiance: A Reflection on Music in the Pursuit of Human Rights

By Justin Jalea, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University _____________________________________________ An important lesson I have learned from my time at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights is that the work of advancing human rights must appeal to every available
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West Africa LGBT

On Being LGBT in West Africa

By Philip Rodenbough, doctoral candidate in chemistry at Columbia University.  Twitter: @prodenbough ___________________________________________________________________________ The Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS) is a program organized by the US Department of State through which students work part time on a project under the direction of
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Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education: Inuit Culture and Pedagogies in Greenland’s Schools

By Caroline Fidan Tyler Doenmez, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University ___________________________________________________________________________ On November 20th Aviaja E. Lynge, HRAP Fellow at Columbia University, gave a presentation titled: "Indigenous Peoples' Right to Education: Implementing a Culturally Appropriate Education System in
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Panelists from left: Meg Gardinier, Refik Hodzic, Sapna Chhatpar Considine, and Larry Cox

“What is your vision of human rights work?” -Careers in Human Rights Panel Discussion

By Caroline Fidan Tyler Doenmez, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University ___________________________________________________________________________ Human rights work can encompass a myriad of issues, projects, approaches and geographical locations. This wide range of opportunities can be exhilarating for human rights students; however,
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Movie Poster

A Review of The Act of Killing (2012): Trauma, Memory, and the Power of Filmmaking

By Daniel Golebiewski, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University ___________________________________________________________________________ On March 8, 2014, Columbia’s School of the Arts, in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR), screened Joshua Oppenheimer’s 2012 documentary, The Act of Killing.
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Arrest of El Chapo. This image was found at:

The War on Drugs in Far from Over

By Christiane Coste, human rights graduate student at Columbia University _____________________________________________________________________________ Despite the big victory in Mexico’s fight against organized crime, the arrest of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, considered the world’s most wanted drug lord, Mexico continues to face many challenges.  For
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Photograph by Zubair Sayed

Sexual Violence, Human Rights and the Media

By Maria Hengeveld, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University _____________________________________________________________________________ Sexual violence is usually not covered as a human rights issue.  As the archetypical normalized, invisible, overlooked and structural human right violation, it is more often treated as an everyday,
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The Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) was established in 1978 at Columbia University as the Center for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR). In Spring 2010, Columbia University elevated CSHR to the level of an institute. ISHR is committed to its three core goals of providing excellent human rights education to Columbia students, fostering innovative interdisciplinary academic research, and offering its expertise in capacity building to human rights leaders, organizations, and universities around the world.


RightsViews is an ongoing conversation about developments in the human rights field amongst students and faculty from within Columbia University. It is a forum for opinion pieces, individual research, and perspectives from the field on a wide range of subjects related to human rights practice and policy. It is published by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) and is managed by our graduate student editor Tim Wyman-McCarthy.

How to Contribute

RightsViews is an initiative of graduate students at the ISHR, but is a space for all Columbia faculty and students to share, discuss and debate human rights issues. Get involved, have your own research published, cover an event, or simply write about a human rights issue that interests you! To make a contribution to RightsViews, please contact our editor, Tim Wyman-McCarthy,