Celebrating the Relaunch of the IHRP – November 2023

Monday, December 18, 2023


IHRP Relaunch Celebration in the Jackman Law Building, University of Toronto Faculty of Law.  Photo credit: Jagdeep Saggu

IHRP Relaunch Celebration in the Jackman Law Building, University of Toronto Faculty of Law

Photo credit: Jagdeep Saggu


On November 21st, the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) celebrated its official relaunch and the return of its international human rights clinic this fall. The IHRP was pleased to gather students, alumni, Faculty, partners, community members, as well as long-time and new supporters of the Program, including our Program's founder, Professor Rebecca Cook.   


The evening cocktail reception featured Indigenous caterer, CharGer Foods, and an art exhibit showcasing both the Native Women’s Association of Canada “Change the Bill” campaign and original artwork from three talented Indigenous artists: Laura Dieter, Greg Mitchell, and Chris Mitchell.

The IHRP’s newest Faculty advisor, Professor Galit Safarty, commenced the evening with a recognition of the changing landscape of the human rights field in Canada—which includes an increasing demand for corporate accountability for environmental and human rights harms.


IHRP Director, Sandra Wisner, shared the Program’s bold new vision that seeks to emulate the decolonial transformation of the field of international human rights and follows a movement by invested stakeholders, including students, alumni, lawyers, and academics who came together to secure the protection of academic freedom in the Program. She introduced the IHRP’s new clinic projects, which aim to ambitiously tackle the accountability of our most powerful domestic actors—multinational corporations and government. Through partnerships with international and local social movements, the IHRP will train the next generation of movements lawyers through work that will encourage our country’s adherence to its own international human rights commitments and the accountability of Canadian corporations in the following pressing areas: business and human rights, climate justice, and Indigenous rights.


Professor Alex Neve, human rights activist and former Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, delivered the evening’s keynote address, acknowledging the significance of the IHRP for our students, university, and civil society at large:


“That this program faded from Canada’s IHR firmament for a number of years, was a loss felt widely not only by students, faculty and staff here at U of T, but within the wider human rights community... This relaunch, therefore, is very significant. To have a renewed IHRP back in play — ready to demonstrate lessons learned and with a strengthened sense of and commitment to independence from those learnings, ready to rise to whatever human rights requires, regardless of the politics, regardless of the power structures being challenged, and regardless of the company, government or country involved — matters a great deal.”

Read Professor Neve’s full remarks here: Five wishes for a world of human rights — Alex Neve: Moving Rights Along.


We are grateful to all who came to share this moment with us.


Photo Credit: Jagdeep Saggu


IHRP Staff with Professor Alex Neve at the IHRP Relaunch Celebration

Pictured from left to right: Nabila Khan, Monika Hanna, Professor Alex Neve, and Sandra Wisner

Photo credit: Jagdeep Saggu