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Kim in the classroom
Kim Thuy Seelinger, director of the Human Rights Center’s Sexual Violence program, talks with students in the Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict and Forced Migration Research Workshop. The interdisciplinary workshop, which she leads with HRC Researcher Khaled Alrabe, includes graduate students from Berkeley Law, the School of Public Health, Social Welfare, and Development Practice.


News and Events

HRC launches Human Rights Investigations Lab—first of its kidsc_0197nd in the world

The Human Rights Center has just launched a pilot Human Rights Investigations Lab—the first university-based lab of its kind in the world that will use open sources to bring attention to and gather evidence of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The lab is a partnership with Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps, which will also include the University of Pretoria and the University of Essex. Amnesty came to Berkeley last week to train more than 40 students in open source techniques. Read more

Public health experts kickoff UC Berkeley’s Gun Violence in America series_dsc0280

Dr. Garen Wintemute, Director of the Violence Prevention Research Program and Baker-Teret Chair in Violence Prevention at UC Davis, and Professor Magdalena Cerdá, Vice Chancellor’s Chair in Violence Prevention and Assoc. Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UC Davis, came to Berkeley in September to discuss firearm violence as a health problem, highlighting successful interventions, and suggest possibilities for the future.

Read the Berkeley Human Rights Q&A with Dr. Garen Wintemute.

Learn more about the Gun Violence in America series. 

Berkeley students study human rights—from law to health, policy to practice

Khaled teaching (for web)
HRC Researcher Khaled Alrabe leads a discussion in the interdisciplinary Sexual Violence in Conflict and Forced Migration Workshop.

Human Rights Center faculty and staff are teaching and engaging dozens of students this fall in coursework and workshops related to human rights—with the promise of practical impact. Learn more information about Human Rights Center courses.

Freccero selected to lead response to gender-based violence in refugee camps

TJulie Freccero for Greece releasehe United Nations Population Fund has selected Julie Freccero, associate director of the Human Rights Center’s Sexual Violence Program at UC Berkeley School of Law, for a three-month deployment in Greece to help develop and coordinate the response to gender-based violence against refugees and migrants in Greece, where more than 50,000 people remain stranded.Read more on the HRC Blog. 

Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins joins the Human Rights Center 

eliot-higginsAward-winning citizen journalist Eliot Higgins has joined the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law as a Research Fellow, as part of the center’s Human Rights Investigations Lab. Read more on the HRC Blog.

West Bank children: living in the balance between trauma and joy

Children in the West Bank
Children at the Dar Al-Fanon community center in the Askar Qadim refugee camp.

Thanh Mai, a 2016 Human Rights Center Fellow, sends a reflection about working with children at a community center in the West Bank. Read her dispatch on the HRC Blog

Prestigious fellowship sends Seelinger to Italy for social good

Group Bamboo
Kim Thuy Seelinger (center with baby), director of the Human Rights Center’s Sexual Violence Program, is pictured with her fellowship cohort in Bellagio, Italy.

Kim Thuy Seelinger, director of our Sexual Violence Program, is in Bellagio, Italy, this month after being selected for a prestigious fellowship sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation. She will collaborate with 12 leading academics, artists, and practitioners from around the world who will exchange ideas about human behavior as it relates to building resilience and more inclusive economies. The Bellagio Fellows, part of a 60-year legacy, are chosen based on contributions they’ve made in their fields and unique approaches to advancing the social good.

“The Bellagio Center is thrilled to bring together leading thinkers from a range of backgrounds to explore the topic of behavior change, and to accelerate this interest and momentum for social good,” said Claudia Juech, associate vice president and managing director at The Rockefeller Foundation. 


PBS’s The Open Mind: Alexa Koenig discusses war crimes, impunity

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Watch this recent episode of PBS’s The Open Mind with Alexander Heffner interviewing Alexa Koenig about crimes against humanity, impunity, Guantánamo, drones, the International Criminal Court, and more.  Koenig is the Human Rights Center’s executive director and the  co-author with Eric Stover and Victor Peskin of Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror

Spotlight: 2016 Human Rights Center Fellow Laura Klivans

2016, Klivans2016 Human Rights Center Fellow Laura Klivans from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism is working with the Investigative Reporting Program this summer, producing a series of radio stories for KQED on the impact of charging kids as adults in California’s prisons.  Read more about Laura and all of our 2016 Human Rights Center Fellows.

Challenges to accountability for sexual violence in Africa


In a new Peace Brief of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), HRC’s Julie Freccero and Kim Thuy Seelinger, along with Ketty Anyeko (of the Fund for War-Affected Children and Youth in Northern Uganda), present key findings from the 2015 Missing Peace Practitioners’ Workshop in Kampala, Uganda. Read the brief: “Improving Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Africa.”

Habré convicted of rape and sexual slavery as crimes against humanity

Habre convictionOn May 30, former Chad dictator Hissène Habré was convicted in the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal of rape and sexual slavery as crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison. The Human Rights Center had worked with a group of leading experts to submit an amicus brief that urged the court to revise charges to include sexual violence crimes. Signatories included Justice Richard Goldstone, Dr. Kelly Askin, George Kegoro, Dr. Patricia Sellers, and Professor Beth Van Schaack. Read more. 

World Affairs Council: Authors discuss search for war criminals


Eric Stover, Alexa Koenig, and Victor Peskin spoke about their recently released book Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror at the World Affairs Council of Northern California in May. The Honorable Rebecca Westerfield moderated.  Watch the video of the event.