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The Faculty of Law’s International Human Rights Program (IHRP) is the winner of the 2015 Ludwig and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize for its groundbreaking work to end discrimination against women and sexual minorities. IHRP director, Renu Mandhane, and faculty advisory committee chair, Professor Audrey Macklin, will accept the award on the IHRP’s behalf at a formal presentation ceremony on April 13, 2015 at Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto.
“Today’s IHRP team has been tremendously effective in highlighting discrimination and human rights issues nationally and internationally. It has firmly established itself as a thought-leader through its media and public engagement, as well as through interventions before the Supreme Court of Canada,” said Ed Iacobucci, dean of the Faculty of Law.
The Jus prize was presented to the IHRP in recognition of its unique and innovative experiential learning model, one that prioritizes partnerships with civil society and involves law students in cutting-edge advocacy.
Recent graduate Sofia Ijaz, a former clinic student, now volunteers as co-chair of its alumni network. “The IHRP instills a weighty sense of responsibility by allowing students to engage at a high level in important cases.”
The program also works to strengthen the technical capacity of its NGO partners, such as Plan Canada.
“I remain consistently impressed with the IHRP’s professionalism, quality of research and in-depth legal analysis,” said Rosemary McCarney, Plan Canada, president and CEO. “The IHRP has helped Plan Canada and other partners shape best practices and data into accessible solutions that resonate with policymakers here in Canada.”
The Jus prize is awarded annually in recognition of lasting contributions to the University of Toronto community in terms of education and action against discrimination. The prize was established by an endowment from Dr. Karolina Jus in memory of her husband’s parents, Dr. Ludwik and Estelle Jus, Polish educators who put themselves at risk of death during the Holocaust to rescue Jewish people.
“While it is such a privilege and honour to work every day with incredible students, faculty, and NGO partners to advance the field of human rights, sometimes it does seem like an uphill battle,” said Renu Mandhane, IHRP director. “That’s why it is wonderful to be reminded of and recognized for our successes – it makes it easier to continue to fight to end discrimination at home and abroad.”