Student Perspectives

Archive for Student Perspectives


Incendiary Weapons: Views from the Frontlines and the Financial Sector

This post originally appeared on’s Disarmament Dialogue blog. Videos of the panelists are available there. As states gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, for a major UN disarmament conference, a recent online event illuminated the cruel effects of incendiary weapons and the need for stronger international law. Incendiary weapons, which produce heat and fire through the chemical reaction of a flammable…

New Voices against Incendiary Weapons: Healthcare Professionals, Burn Survivor Groups Demand Stronger Law

Incendiary weapons, which produce heat and fire through the chemical reaction of a flammable substance, cause grievous injury and long-term suffering for civilians. Protocol III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) prohibits and regulates certain uses of incendiary weapons, but it contains loopholes that have limited its effectiveness. As CCW states parties prepare to discuss these weapons and Protocol…

COP26 as Greenwashing? How a Human Rights Approach Can Shift Us Away from the Greenwashing Trap

This month, world leaders and business executives convened in Glasgow for COP26, the 26th United Nations climate conference. Outside the conference rooms, a different kind of convening took place, as hundreds of thousands of activists gathered in Glasgow and globally to demand more immediate and drastic action on climate change. Amongst these protesters was Greta Thunberg, who repeatedly referred to…

Earth Day 2021: What the Yamuna River Teaches Us About Climate Change and Human Rights

You may have seen images of Hindu devotees immersing themselves in large clouds of white foam floating through the Yamuna River in Delhi, India. But what may seem otherworldly belies something much more sinister: a river of deep religious and life-giving significance for millions of people, teeming with toxic industrial and residential pollutants. Alongside three other Harvard Law School students…

Earth Day 2021: Environmental Justice is a Human Rights Struggle

The United States has an environmental human rights problem. Across the country, communities of color and lower socioeconomic status are disproportionately located close to chemical processing plants, power plants, and other industrial facilities and shoulder the burden of domestic environmental contamination. Air and water quality standards frequently fail to protect these communities, leading to detrimental health impacts and continued contamination.…

When War Criminals Run the Government: Not Too Late for the International Community to Vet Sri Lankan Officials

(Editor’s Note: This is the latest in a series on the spotlight placed on allegations of war crimes and other abuses in Sri Lanka during the February 22 to March 23, 2021, session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The series includes voices from former U.N. officials, international NGOs, human rights litigators, and researchers. Find links to the full…