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Fall 2020 Symposium: Strategies and Tactics of Human Rights Advocacy During a Global Pandemic

The Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review was pleased to host a virtual symposium on Thursday, November 19th, from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm ESTto address how justice-seeking movements and organizations have been impacted by the crises created by COVID-19 and how they have had to respond with different methods to further their work. Panelists identified what tools are proving most effective in their responses and what role lawyers and advocates can play to curb deepened and emerging justice challenges. The panelists addressed how they have changed their legal approaches to advocacy or direct representation in their different fields during the global pandemic and how this might affect future international human rights advocacy strategies and litigation. You can find the recording of our panel here.


Any questions about this event may be directed to Cardozo International & Comparative Law Symposia Editor:



Anita Sinha, an Associate Professor of Law and the Director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University, Washington College of Law. Her scholarship addresses human rights issues related to migration and migration control. Professor Sinha graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College, and cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2001, where she served as Articles Editor for the N.Y.U. Law Review. She is licensed in New York, California, and the District of Columbia.


Eric Tars, who serves as the National Homelessness Law Center’s legal director, leading its human rights, civil rights, and children’s rights programs and managing its cutting-edge litigation, strategic policy advocacy, and outreach and training initiatives at the international, national, and local levels. Eric helped spearhead the launch of the Law Center’s national Housing Not Handcuffs campaign, has served as counsel of record in multiple precedent-setting cases, including Martin v. Boise in the 9th Circuit, and is frequently quoted in national and local media, including NPR, AP, New York Times, Washington Post, and VICE News.


Katie Czapanskiy, a Staff Attorney with the Human Rights First Refugee Representation team in their Los Angeles, California office. She provides mentorship and technical support to pro bono attorneys who represent asylum seekers through Human Rights First’s pro bono program. Katie also provides direct representation to asylum seekers held in ICE prisons in Southern California and those forced to remain in Mexico under MPP. Prior to Human Rights First, Katie was an associate attorney in private immigration practice in Los Angeles handling removal defense cases for detained individuals with mental health concerns under the Franco-Gonzalez litigation.


Suzannah Phillips, the Deputy Director of Women Enabled International. Her work focuses on conceptualizing and supervising the implementation of WEI’s strategies to advance human rights standards at the intersection of gender and disability. Suzannah has played a lead role in developing key institutional publications, including WEI’s Abortion and Disability framing document and our accountABILITY Toolkit, and in strengthening the capacity of stakeholders to protect and promote the rights of women and girls with disabilities, particularly around access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and freedom from gender-based violence.


Rajesh Umadevi Srinivas, works as the Executive Director of Sangama, an organisation working for the rights of sexual minorities,sex workers and people living with HIV since 1999 based out of Bangalore.

Moderated by Ramya Kudekallu, a Telford Taylor Teaching Fellow and Visiting Instructor of Clinical Law at Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights. Ramya has strong research and advocacy interest in anti-discrimination frameworks within International Human Rights Law. During her time at CLIHHR, she hopes to focus her work and scholarship on the rights of minorities and atrocity prevention through international intervention. 

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