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Renowned scholars discuss impact of COVID-19 pandemic on international human rights at AUS conference
Seven renowned human rights scholars from the US, UAE and South Korea talked about international human rights and how their status, challenges and prospects have been impacted in these times of COVID-19 at a recent event entitled Conference on Human Rights and the COVID-19 Pandemic, organized by American University of Sharjah (AUS).
Sponsored by the Sir Easa Saleh Al-Gurg Professorship, the conference was organized by Giacomo Chiozza, Sir Easa Saleh Al-Gurg Professor of International Studies, and Jeffrey King, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the International Studies Department at AUS.
The conference also serves as the springboard for a coordinated research project that will unfold over the next six months in preparation for a full-day conference to be held in October 202
“Since early 2020, the entire world has been gripped within an exceptional crisis. It brought into light questions of global cooperation in responding to this pandemic, as well as highlighted the relevance of leadership, state capacity, and information to devise an effective response. The international human rights regime is, unfortunately, no exception to the strain caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This conference provided an opportunity to investigate the status and prospects of the international human rights regime at the normative, theoretical, legal, and empirical levels,” said Dr. Chiozza.
Divided into two components, the conference included a roundtable discussion that addressed the lessons learned in the protection of human rights in the pandemic; prospects and challenges for human rights in a post-COVID world; and lessons for policy and research on human rights. It also featured various research paper proposals describing their specific contributions to the study and analysis of the human rights regime during and what is envisaged after the Covid-19 pandemic.
AUS students and members of the International Studies Student Association (INSA) were also involved in the organization of the conference and in moderating the roundtable discussions and the proposal presentation panel.
Speaking about her experience, Katia Kanakri, international studies major and treasurer of the INSA said: “I was a moderator at the conference and at the proposal presentation panel along with another colleague of mine. You do not get an opportunity every day to be present among world renowned human rights experts and learn from them about how the current Covid pandemic has impacted human rights worldwide. I learned a lot from the organization of the conference itself as well as from the insightful research shared by the scholars in the field. When the opportunity to be part of this conference presented itself, I wanted to immediately take advantage of it. I'm honored and proud to have been part of the team that worked to bring this important conference to life here at AUS.”
Speakers at the conference included some of the most prominent experts on human rights and political institutions worldwide. They were Dr. Amanda Murdie, Thomas P. and M. Jean Lauth Public Affairs Professor of International Affairs and Head of the Department of International Affairs at the University of Georgia with expertise in non-governmental organizations and human rights advocacy; Dr. Erica Chenoweth, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University, and Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; Dr. Jeong-Woo Koo, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul in Korea, Director of the Sungkyunkwan Center for Human Rights and Development and Manager of Social Science Korea (SSK) Human Rights Forum; Dr José Cheibub, Mary Thomas Marshall Professor in Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University; Dr. Alison Brysk, Mellichamp Professor of Global Governance at the University of California; Dr. Chad Klay, Director of the Center for the Study of Global Issues and Associate Professor of International Affairs at the University of Georgia; and Dr. Sammy Badran, Assistant Professor of Political Science at AUS.
For more information about the international studies program at AUS, visit: www.aus.edu/cas/department-of-international-studies