During the first year of the Minnesota-Antioquia Human Rights Partnership, the University of Minnesota has worked collaboratively with the Universidad Católica de Oriente (UCO), located in Rionegro, Colombia, to establish a Human Rights Clinic in their Law School. The clinical program officially started in July of 2013, and the first group of participants was comprised of one faculty member, Professor Maribel Ocazionez, and eleven upper-level law students. It has since added six new students and one new faculty member, Professor Carolina Rojas. In preparation for the launch of this new clinic, the Partnership provided UCO's faculty with training in human rights advocacy strategy and engaged faculty in constructive conversation and brainstorming around the academic and administrative challenges and opportunities inherent to creating, maintaining and running a human rights legal clinic.
Recently in Colombia Category
Visiting Professor Sandra Gómez Santamaría from the University of Antioquia, Colombia spoke with UMN faculty and graduate students regarding ongoing violence in Colombia and presented transitional justice and peace efforts. Professor Gómez is a leading figure in the UMN-Antioquia Human Rights Partnership in the midst of a three-week visit to exchange human rights advocacy techniques and theory with local scholars and activists.
This summer, I traveled to Colombia as a part of the Human Rights Program's Human Rights Law Partnership, an experience made possible by the Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellowship. The Human Rights Fellowship Program provides financial support to residents of the Upper Midwest--including students, teachers, lawyers, health professionals, community leaders and others--interested in gaining practical experience with human rights organizations. Through my fellowship, I worked as student ambassador to the Human Rights Program, in its efforts to develop a comprehensive international human rights law curriculum in four Colombian universities, training law professors in the field of international human rights, fortifying and expanding available human rights resources in each university's library, and involving students in international human rights litigation and official affairs, among other efforts.
Last week the Human Rights Program (HRP) and Human Rights Center (HRC) hosted eight professors, law students, and professionals from the Antioquia region of Colombia for a week-long exchange in human rights education and advocacy. The exchange was an important component of the UMN-Antioquia Human Rights Partnership, which aims to promote and protect human rights in Colombia by enhancing human rights legal education.
The Human Rights Program is thrilled to announce the arrival of visiting faculty and students from Colombia at the University of Minnesota this fall. The visitors come from several Universities in the Antioquia region of Colombia in order to gain a broader understanding of human rights education, clinical practice and advocacy in the U.S.
Anna Meteyer, student assistant for the Human Rights Program, will spend 10 weeks in Colombia this summer as part of our partnership with four Colombian law schools. She spent one week at the Universidad de Medellín, where she studied the work being done by students and faculty in the legal clinic to address environmental degradation that has resulted in many fatalities. She then traveled to Universidad Católica de Oriente, where she will intern for the rest of her stay in Colombia.
The University of Minnesota and Medellín, Colombia law schools partnership kicked off when Human Rights Program Director Barbara Frey and Humphrey Fellow Diana Quintero traveled to Medellín during the first week of December. Frey and Quintero met with the deans of all four law schools involved in the project to finalize objectives. This successful trip is the first step in a nearly three year USAID High Education for Development project designed to strengthen the capacities of the Colombian law schools to teach, research, and provide clinical legal representation toward the promotion of international human rights.
The University of Minnesota has received a $1.25 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Higher Education for Development (HED), to create a human rights law school partnership between the university and four law schools in Medellín, Colombia, to strengthen the capacities of the Medellín schools to teach, research and provide clinical legal representation toward the promotion of international human rights and the rule of law.