ISHR Welcomes the Global Participants of the 2023-24 Human Rights Advocates Program at Winter Reception

Monday, February 26, 2024
The Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) welcomed the 35th cohort of the Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) ) at a reception on Tuesday, January 30, 2024. The nine advocates work on issues including LGBTQI+ rights, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, transitional justice, disability rights, women's rights, and environmental justice around the world.  
Joseph Slaughter, ISHR’s Executive Director, opened the reception by welcoming everyone and sharing some of the work ISHR has been doing since it was established in 1978. ISHR was the first interdisciplinary, academic center of its kind in the world. “Human Rights and social justice are as much social, economic, and cultural matters as they are civil, political, and legal,” said Slaughter in his introductory remarks; “Through its educational work, its research efforts, the Human Rights Advocates Program that we celebrate today, and other projects, ISHR has emphasized the diversity of global issues and approaches since the beginning.”
More than 350 advocates from nearly 100 countries have attended the program since it was created in 1989. HRAP alumni have served as UN special rapporteurs, in the ministries of their governments, and at leading human rights organizations around the globe. They have been recognized with honors including the Rafto Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, and the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, the highest acknowledgment from the international human rights community.
Stephanie Grepo, Director of Capacity Building at ISHR, thanked staff, faculty, students, human rights organizations, donors, and HRAP alumni for contributing to the program in various ways over the years. She said the unwavering support underscored the feeling among the program's alumni that HRAP is a family.
Finally, Advocate Andrea Tock, from Guatemala, spoke on behalf of the cohort: “We're committed to bringing back every encounter, connection, and lesson learned to further advance human rights in our home countries. As advocates, we are so happy to commune with you today. We stand here today on the shoulders of past advocates, who’s work we admire, and recognize our responsibility to future advocates of this program.”