Human Rights Watch comes to Stanford

The Program on Human Rights at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) is hosting the Human Rights Watch 2011 Voices for Justice honorees at a special event at Stanford University on November 18, 2011. This year's honorees —Consuelo Morales and Sussan Tahmasebi— will discuss their work defending human rights on the front lines in Mexico and Iran.

The Program on Human Rights at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) is hosting the Human Rights Watch 2011 Voices for Justice honorees at a special event at Stanford University on November 18, 2011. This year's honorees —Consuelo Morales and Sussan Tahmasebi— will discuss their work defending human rights on the front lines in Mexico and Iran.

“These women are powerful and inspirational leaders," said Helen Stacy, director of the Program on Human Rights at CDDRL. "It is a rare and unique opportunity for the Stanford community to learn from their experiences and heroism.” Sitting at the intersection of research and policy, the Program on Human Rights provides a forum for Stanford faculty who work in disciplines that engage or border on human rights and student-initiated human rights groups on campus.

Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. Each year Human Rights Watch honors individuals who have put their lives and safety at risk in the name of defending human rights, presenting these human rights defenders with The Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism.

Consuelo Morales works in Mexico defending victims of human rights violations to hold their abusers accountable. Security forces have committed widespread violations against civilians in Mexico—including torture, rape, and “disappearances”—yet their crimes are virtually never investigated. In the face of intimidation, Morales’s organization continues to lead efforts in the state of Nuevo Leon to document these abuses, litigate key cases, and provide critical support for victims of violent crime. Human Rights Watch honors Morales because of her courageous efforts to end impunity and aid victims of abuses in Mexico’s “war on drugs.”

Sussan Tahmasebi raises broad public awareness about how discriminatory laws violate the human rights of women in Iran. She helped found the award winning One Million Signatures Campaign, which rallies support for an end to Iran’s gender-biased laws. Tahmasebi has been harassed by security forces and was banned from traveling abroad because of her work. Human Rights Watch honors Tahmasebi for her fearless commitment to promoting civil society and bringing national prominence to women's rights issues in Iran.

“We are proud to be honoring two remarkable women and we are thrilled to be able to bring these exceptional defenders to engage with the Stanford human rights community,” said Andrea Dew Steele, director of the California Committee North at Human Rights Watch.

The Human Rights Defenders on the Front Line event will be held at the Bechtel Conference Center at Encina Hall on November 18 from 12:00 to 1:30PM.

For more information and to RSVP, please click Human Rights Defenders on the Front Line: a conversation with 2011 HRW honorees.

To learn more about the 2011 Human Rights Watch Voices for Justice Dinner on November 17, please visit: http://hrw.org/san-francisco