Collaboration with the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic (2010-2011)
The Issue in Brief
The O’Neill Institute and Georgetown Law’s International Women’s Human Rights Clinic (IWHRC) have an ongoing collaboration to advance the health of marginalized women through a human rights-based approach. This collaboration enhances the O’Neill Institute with different partners at Georgetown Law.
In Spring 2011, the IWHRC will draft a human rights report and propose model legislation to address the ways in which certain customary and traditional laws in Kenya, namely those that permit polygyny and the employment act that has loopholes for child domestic workers, may: (1) discriminate against women; (2) leave women particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS; (3) fail to protect young women and children’s rights to health and education and (4) be incompatible with Kenya’s international and national civil law obligations. O’Neill personnel will advise clinical students on international human rights law as it pertains to HIV prevention and treatment as well as the physical and mental health impact on child domestic workers and on the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in Kenya.
Additionally, O’Neill Institute law fellow, Di Wu will travel with clinical staff and students in March 2011 as the conduct human rights investigations in Kenya. The investigations aim to assess mechanisms by which disempowerment leaves women vulnerable to HIV and adversely affects children’s rights to health and education, and government obligations to intervene. The O’Neill fellow will supervise telephone conferences with the local partner, FIDA Kenya, and interviews with local, state, and national government officials, judges, men and women in polygamous/monogamous marriages, traditional authorities, and care providers, among other stakeholders. Upon returning from the fact-finding mission, Ms. Wu will advise clinical students on the health components of their human rights reports.