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What is a Human Rights Approach?

Location: Uptown Campus
Jones Hall 102


As we near the 70th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the term "human rights" has become widely diffused around the world.  But what does it really mean to take a "human rights approach" to our work, our advocacy, even our own education?  Noah Bullock arrived in El Salvador in 2005 as a recent college graduate and five years later became the Executive Director of Cristosal, an NGO dedicated to advancing human rights in Central America.  Noah will discuss his experience applying human rights theory in the field, as well as the current migration crisis in Central America.

Noah Bullock first arrived in El Salvador as a human rights intern for Cristosal in 2005 after graduating from the University of Montana in Peace & Conflict Studies. That first year evolved into a more than a decade of crafting human rights-based programs to address problems from hurricane disaster relief to community development.

In 2007, Mr. Bullock became the Community Development Program Director. Three years later, he became Cristosal's first in-country Executive Director, while also earning a post-graduate certificate in Local Development from the University of Central America José Simeón Cañas (UCA).

Mr. Bullock sees at the heart of Cristosal’s mission the challenge to redefine human rights mechanisms and state responses to address today's human rights violations. “Human rights were taught to me as a historical process, and every generation has to be able to understand human rights and violations in their own time. Our moment has changed significantly from when these frameworks were established, so we are challenged now to find ways to apply these same principles in programming to address our moment’s greatest challenges of displacement by violence, poverty, and inequality.”



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