USIU-Africa sent a delegation of seven students from Kenya, Rwanda, Somali, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and the United Kingdom as well as two faculty members, to make presentations and benchmark the conference organization of the Fall 2016 edition of the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights Workshop Series held at the United Nations, Quinnipiac University and Yale University, and themed "Human Rights and Development:  Institutional Responsibility and Community Action", from 22-31 October 2016.

The Oxford Consortium for Human Rights, is a partnership between the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, Yale University, Quinnipiac University, the United Nations Development Program and the University of Southern California’s Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics. The Fall 2016 seminar featured a mix of workshops and working groups on vulnerability, institutional conduct, and the ethics of development. 

Dr. David Mwambari (Assistant Professor of International Relations) presented a paper titled “Protecting the World’s Most Vulnerable Persons”, at the Global Justice Conference held at Yale University, on October 28 2016.

His paper explored the repositioning of Africa and its place in shaping global rules given its historical and contemporary realities, as well as highlight the importance and opportunities of involving African countries in a global policymaking system, as an equal and effective contributor.

Ms. Afrikana Njuru (M.A. International Relations), made a presentation on “Protecting the Right to Education in Kenya: Emerging Human Rights Issues”, at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, where she was part of a panel discussion: “Youth, Action, and Human Rights: New Directions from Around the World”. The discussion revolved around innovative approaches to human rights from participants based in the Americas, Africa, and Europe, and how new ideas in human rights are transforming it as a field of study.

Ms. Njuru's paper highlighted how LGBTI rights and the exercise of the freedoms of religion and expression, currently intersect with education rights in legal discourse. The paper also discussed ethical considerations in the commercialization of education in Kenya, with specific reference to a case study of Bridge International Academies.  She also spoke on her personal involvement in A Book for Change - a charity organization that has distributed over 10,000 books across Kenya.

 Towards the end of the seminar, participants were asked to apply the principles they had learnt, by interacting with the refugee community living in New Haven, Connecticut. Under the guidance of Prof.Nabeel Hamdi (Emeritus Professor of Housing and Urban Development, Oxford Brookes University) and working with a local community organization - Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) - they identified concrete problems faced by the community. They then presented community action plans that would address the key structural issues faced by the refugee community.

Dr. Elijah Munyi (Assistant Professor of International Relations), Dr. Mwambari and the students successfully lobbied for the consortium to host the first-ever seminar of Oxford Consortium Series in the southern hemisphere, at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Fall 2017.

The team held meetings with the consortium series organizers: Professor Cheyney Ryan (the Visionary of the Consortium and Professor at Oxford and Organ Universities) , Professor Lyn Boyd-Judson (Executive Director and Professor at University of South California) and consortium board members Dr. Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox (Quinnipiac University),Mr. Glaydon de Freitas Filho (University of Huston) and Dr. Johanna C. Luttrell (University of Huston), and agreed on an action plan to market the seminar to their respective institutions.

Oxford Consortium Workshop Series 25102016 09-1
Members of the USIU-Africa delegation to the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights Workshop Series held at the United Nations, Quinnipiac University and Yale University from 22-31 October 2016. From left: Dr. Elijah Munyi (Assistant Professor of International Relations), Emmanuel Ebot (M.A. International Relations),  Florence Bashitsi (M.A. International Relations), Devi Shah (International Relations, 2016), Afrikana Njuru (M.A. International Relations), Abdikarim Said (M.A. International Relations), Melinda Satta Nema Fodey-Khabenje (International Relations Sophomore), Maysoon Omer (International Relations Senior) and Dr. David Mwambari (Assistant Professor of International Relations).