The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy hosts and cohosts a range of events every year at the law school. These events include presentations, lectures by experts, bag lunches, intimate discussions on human rights issues with leaders in the field, and the Annual Valerie Gordon Human Rights Lecture. The events are open to law students, faculty, and frequently to the larger Northeastern University community and the general public. To learn about upcoming events, please subscribe to the PHRGE email list.

Upcoming Events

Recent Events

April 14, 2021
Poverty, Human Rights, & the SDG’s
This webinar included presentations from four international experts: Hans Otto Sana (researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights), Sumudu Atapattu (Director of Research Centers and International Programs at the University of Wisconsin Law School), Leilani Farha (former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing), and Natalia Ángel-Cabo (Professor of Law at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). Co-sponsored by the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, the Human Rights Center of the University of Minnesota, and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.

April 13, 2021
Exploring a Human Rights Commission
Professor Martha Davis, PHRGE Faculty Co-Director, presented a talk at the Wayland Free Public Library on how human rights commissions can foster safe and welcoming communities. She discussed the history and efficacy of human rights commissions and offered practical advice for advocates interested in developing human rights commissions in their own municipalities.

April 9, 2021
Valerie Gordon Lecture
Professor Justin Hansford, Law Professor and Director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Georgetown University, delivered the 26th Annual Valerie Gordon Human Rights Lecture, Human Rights and Racial Justice. Co-sponsored by the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy and the Black Law Students Association.

April 7, 2021 | 12:10 - 1:30 PM ET
World Health Day: Celebrating the Work of Mariah McGill ’09

The legacy of Mariah McGill, accomplished human-rights activist and former Assistant Director of the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy, was celebrated by a panel consisting of Esther Kamau (PhD Candidate at the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at UMass Boston), Gillian MacNaughton (Associate Professor of Human Rights at UMass Boston and former Executive Director of PHRGE), and Anja Rudifer (Senior Advisor, Partners for Dignity and Rights). The event was moderated by Professor Martha Davis (PHRGE Faculty Co-Director) and co-hosted by the Center for Health Policy and Law and the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy.

Wednesday, June 17 | 12:00 PM | Live via Zoom
Connecting with NUSL Centers and Projects Around Racism and Police Brutality
The Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration (CPIAC); Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity (CLIC); Center for Health Policy and Law (CHPL), Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE), Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ) and NuLawLab invite Northeastern Law students to a virtual meeting to discuss the ways the School of Law's centers and projects can collaborate with and support students in our responses to ongoing structural racism and police brutality.

The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) at Northeastern University School of Law was proud to co-sponsor a bi-weekly virtual events series last spring.

Spring 2020
COVID-19: Advancing Rights and Justice During a Pandemic
The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) at Northeastern University School of Law was proud to co-sponsor this series of bi-weekly events, which brought together scholars and practitioners to discuss the impact of the novel coronavirus across the world, and in all domains of our lives, from physical and mental health, to job security, housing and family life.
>> Learn more

Friday, May 1, 2020
Racial Justice, Restoration and Inclusion: Human Rights Principles and Local Practice
This program will explore the relevance of human rights norms in efforts to advance racial justice and address historical and ongoing racism, discrimination and intolerance. Speakers will examine strategies to shape effective remedies and redress, including reparations and restorative justice, drawing from international, national and local examples. Panelists include Carmelyn Malalis ’01, chair of the New York City Human Rights Commission. Professor Margaret Burnham, faculty director of Northeastern Law's Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ), will deliver the keynote address.

January 13, 2020
A Conversation With Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Sponsored by Northeastern Law's Center for Public Interest and Collaboration; Human Rights Caucus; Queer Caucus; Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 

November 12, 2019
A Fight for the Future: Holding Governments Accountable for a Livable Climate
Lessons from the Juliana and Urgenda Lawsuits.
Guest speaker: Tessa Khan, Co-Director, Climate Litigation Network/Urgenda

June 19, 2019
A Celebration of Professor Alfred Brownell's Goldman Prize
In April, Alfred Brownell, Distinguished Scholar in Residence in the School of Law's Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE), was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his extraordinary work protecting land rights. Join us on Wednesday, June 19, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. as we celebrate Alfred's award.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 | 5:00 - 8:00 PM 
Resilience, Resistance and the Law: Innovative Strategies for Stopping Discriminatory Land Grabs
The 25th Annual Valerie Gordon Human Rights Lecture featured, as its keynote speaker, Alfred Brownell, an Associate Research Professor and Distinguished Scholar in Residence, at the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy.

Monday, April 8, 2019 | 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Guilty But Not Responsible? The UN, Haiti and Cholera
The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) hosted an eminent panel on the UN's response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti from political, cultural, medical and legal perspectives.

March 21, 2019
Film Screening: Central Airport THF
NUSL's Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) and its Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration hosted the New England Premier of Central Airport THF, a feature documentary that portrays the everyday life of refugees in the hangars of the no longer in use Berlin airport Tempelhof. This screening was a satellite event of the Swedish Human Rights Film Festival, which is run by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund, Sweden.

Thursday, August 9, 2018
PHRGE Forum: Challenges of Human Rights and Law in Sudan
Abdelrahman Al Gasim in conversation with Eric Reeves 

Al GasimAbdelrahman Al Gasim, a Sudanese lawyer who just received the 2018 ABA International Human Rights Award for his courageous and effective work, will discuss his strategies for increasing access to justice for victims of human rights violations in Sudan. Eric Reeves is a renowned expert on human rights in Sudan and a senior fellow at Harvard's François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights

    • October 25, 2017: "Impunity and Human Rights in the Time of Trump: Caso El Mozote," featuring David Morales, lawyer in the El Mozote case. Co-sponsored by the National Lawyer's Guild and the Human Rights Caucus.
    • September 7, 2017: "From Law School to Human Rights Leadership: A Personal Account," featuring Guest Speaker: Jillian Tuck ’12, Manager, Institutional Partnerships, Fortifying Rights. While at NUSL, Jillian Tuck ’12 focused on human rights and immigration courses and was a PHRGE fellow.  She described her path from law student to the leadership of Fortifying Rights, an important human rights organization in Southeast Asia.
    • March 10, 2017: "A Decade of Human Rights and Environmental Laywering in West Africa," featuring Alfred Brownell, Campaigner, Green Advocates Liberia and Visiting Scholar, Northeastern Universtiy School of Law. Co-sponsored by the Kemet Chapter of the Black Law Students Association, NUSL's LLM Program and Human Rights Caucus.
    • November 3, 2016: "Human Rights for the Barrios of Quito, Ecuador," featuring José Luis Echeverría of Movemiento Mi Cometa. Co-sponsored by:Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), Northeastern's Latino/a Student Center and NUSL's Human Rights Caucus and Latin American Law Students Association.
    • April 7, 2016: "The Human Rights of Migrants: A Central American Perspective," featuring Mirna Perla Jiménez, Judge, Professor of Law, and Justice of the Supreme Court of El Salvador. Co-sponsored by Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. (CISPES)
    • April 11, 2016: "Ones Left Behind: The Impact of Migration on Communities in Rural Guatemala," featuring Luisa Hernandez Simaj and Jose Daniel Chich from the Human Rights and Migration Project in Zacualpa, Quiché, Guatemala. Co-sponsored by Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.
    • March 2016: "Working in Fear: Sexual Violence Against Women Farmworkers in the United States," featuring Sarah Kominers, PHRGE Program Associate and former fellow at Oxfam America. While sexual violence in the workplace has been studied extensively, relatively little of that literature addresses the problem as it affects women farmworkers in the United States. Sarah explored the characteristics of sexual violence in the farms and fields, as well as the unique challenges faced by those who see to eradicate it.  Co-sponsored by Northeastern University's Domestic Violence Institute.
    • July 2015: Senior Program Officer at Physicians for Human Rights, Sucharita Varanasi, discussed efforts to forge networks of collaboration among medical, legal and law enforcement sectors to support accountability for sexual violence in East and Central Africa, and about the development of mobile application technology to document human rights abuses in low-resourced settings.
    • March 2015: Assistant Director of PHRGE Jillian Tuck spoke about the rapid expansion of immigration detention for children and families on the US/Mexico border.
    • October 2014: Purvi Patel of La Isla Foundation spoke about her work to uncover the cause of chronic kidney disease among Central American sugar workers.
  • Each year PHRGE hosts an institute on cutting edge economic, social and cultural rights issues. Discussion focuses on domestic application and implementation of these rights. Each Institute brings human rights advocates, scholars and practitioners together to discuss the topic and explore the ways that human rights can inform analysis and advocacy.

    2017 Institute
    Land Rights in the Era of Land Grabbing: The Land Tenure Security Index
    On December 7 - 8, 2017, the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) held its 12th annual Human Rights Institute at Northeastern University School of Law. The 2017 Institute focused on land rights, paying special attention to proposals to develop a Land Tenure Security Index as a tool to help vulnerable rural populations secure their land tenure. PHRGE Visiting Scholar, Alfred Brownell, hosted the 2017 Institute. Brownell, a Liberian human rights lawyer and founder of Green Advocates, Liberia, has worked extensively on human rights and environmental law at national, regional and international levels.

    Watch: Chris Jochnick, President and CEO, Landesa, delivers the keynote address at the 2017 Institute:

    2016 Institute
    Global Justice Goes Local: The Emergence of Human Rights Cities
    On December 8-9, 2016, the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) hosted its 11th annual Human Rights Institute at Northeastern University School of Law. The 2016 institute convened scholars and advocates to explore the human rights cities movement, a movement that is linking human rights to urban social justice organizing in the service of local human rights implementation.

    2015 Institute
    Tapping into the Right to Water: Accessibility, Affordability and Quality
    On November 5-6, 2015, the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) hosted its 10th annual Human Rights Institute at Northeastern University School of Law. This year, PHRGE’s Institute convened scholars and advocates to explore how a human rights framework can be applied to water rights advocacy and implementation, with specific attention to accessibility, affordability and quality.

    2014 Institute
    Rethinking Education Reform: A Human Rights Perspective
    On November 6-7, 2014, the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) hosted its annual Human Rights Institute at Northeastern University School of Law.  The 2014 Institute analyzed and evaluated the combination of initiatives known as “public education reform” from a human rights perspective. It did so with an eye toward identifying policies to help promote and support the human right to education (alongside all other human rights) for all US school children.

    The Institute featured a keynote address by Julian Vazquez Heilig, professor and education activist. Heilig is the author of Cloaking Inequity, a blog which is consistently ranked one of Top 50 education blogs in the world by Teach100

    2013 Institute
    Human Rights and Violence Against Women: Applying the Due Diligence Framework
    The 2013 PHRGE Institute, the eighth in the Institute series, convened over 100 academics, advocates and practitioners engaged in the effort to end violence against women. Co-convened by PHRGE, The Due Diligence Project (DDP) and the Domestic Violence Institute (DVI), the Institute explored the ways in which the international human rights framework might contribute to advocacy efforts against gender-based violence, especially those taking place in the Northeast region of the United States. The exploration was based on presentation and analysis of the experience of the DDP, an international consultation regarding the ways in which various governments are responding to their obligations to stop violence against women.

    Watch the 2013 Keynote Address by Charlotte Bunch: "Human Rights and Feminist Theory in Action Against Violence."

    2012 Institute
    Human Rights and the Social Determinants of Health
    In November 2012, leading scholars, health practitioners, and advocates gathered for a discussion of what a human rights analysis has to offer to the dialogue about health outcomes in this country, and globally.

    2011 Institute
    Framing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for Advocacy and Mobilization: Towards a Strategic Agenda in the United States
    Keynote Speaker: Marshall Ganz, The Harvard Kennedy School
    The “Institute on Framing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for Mobilization and Advocacy: Towards a Strategic Agenda in the United States” is a collaborative effort by the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy at Northeastern University School of Law, the ESC Rights Working Group of the Bringing Human Rights Home Network based at the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative and Human Rights USA. The 2011 Institute brought together the legal activists in the Working Group and academics engaged in sophisticated social movement analysis to think through strategies for moving an ESC rights agenda forward in the United States.

    In particular, the Institute focused on the role that lawyers can play in strategic and effective framing of ESC rights. Frames function as both interpretive lenses and motivational collective understandings. As lawyers, we work with both grassroots constituents and policymakers, framing and mediating ESC rights issues for both audiences. The specific frames that we choose in our work can have a tremendous impact on the public understanding of these issues and on the movement’s success. Far from being a public relations trick, frames are critical to mobilization of constituencies and serve as an essential platform for moving the work forward. Collectively struggling to identify the most effective frames for ESC rights advancement is a key step for lawyers working to support and empower this movement. Considering such diverse topics as housing, health and decent work, Institute participants began to develop effective frames for the multiple forums in which ESC rights are shaped and contested, such as media, grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy and litigation.

    2010 Institute
    Beyond National Security: Immigrant Communities and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

    Two significant trends in the treatment of noncitizens in the United States were the focus of this two-day institute. Beginning in the mid-1990s and gaining momentum after September 11th, 2001, the federal government has imposed increasingly harsh deportation policies, dramatically expanded the enforcement of immigration laws, and delegated more and more immigration enforcement power to state and local police--all in the name of national security.

    At the same time, a wave of state and local laws has been taking aim at the rights of noncitizens in areas such as employment, housing, health, family life, and education. On both fronts, immigrant communities and their supporters throughout the US are increasingly turning to human rights approaches in response.

    On October 14-15, 2010, Northeastern University School of Law's Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE), with support from the Ford Foundation, brought together a core group of leading immigration and human rights advocates, scholars, jurists and activists for a two-day intensive institute to address recent developments within a human rights framework.