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JoAnn Kamuf Ward
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JoAnn Kamuf Ward is Associate Director of the Human Rights in the U.S. Project at Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute and a Lecturer in Law at the Law School. Ms. Ward focuses on promoting the use of a human rights framework to address inequality and social justice concerns in the United States.

Entries by JoAnn Kamuf Ward

The Myth of Equality in the U.S. Workplace

(1) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 1:25 PM

By JoAnn Kamuf Ward & Hillary Scrivani


Women in the United States have strived for, and achieved, equality in many areas, and have some freedoms that are unparalleled in many countries around the world. However, despite the United States' array of legal protections, women continue to face barriers...

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The New and Not So Subtle Threat to Your Right to Vote

(109) Comments | Posted October 23, 2015 | 9:44 AM

The right to vote is under threat in the United States. Gone are the days of asking individuals to count grains of sand in a jar in order to register, or the days when you had to recite the Declaration of Independence, or have a grandfather who voted. Today, the...

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Calling for Action: Mayors and Human Rights Agencies Seek Federal Support for Human Rights

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 2:16 PM

National news outlets increasingly highlight gaps in human rights protections in the United States. Economic inequality, racial disparities in sentencing and lack of federal paid-parental-leave (which places working families in a precarious position), are in the headlines on a weekly, if not daily,...

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Human Rights Offer a Platform for Change in New York City

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 10:24 AM

By JoAnn Kamuf Ward, Caroline Stover and Douglas Cantwell

Yesterday was Human Rights Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Around the world December 10th signals recognition of the fundamental idea that all people are born equal in dignity and rights.  From...

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Human Rights on Hold

(2) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 3:27 PM

By JoAnn Kamuf Ward, Douglas Cantwell, Victoria Gilcrease-Garcia, Ami Shah and Caroline Stover

Last week should have marked an important milestone for U.S. engagement with the international community on human rights. The United States was scheduled to appear before the United Nations Human Rights Committee as...

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Time to Practice What We Preach: Using Human Rights in Domestic Violence Policy

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 12:43 PM

In April, a domestic altercation made headlines in Seattle when it turned deadly. The perpetrator shot his girlfriend, two neighbors, a police officer, and ultimately himself. In the same month, in Cleveland, a man who kidnapped three young girls turned out to also have a history...

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From Rhetoric to Reality: The Time has Come for the Obama Administration to Take Concrete Steps to Adopt International Human Rights Standards

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2010 | 1:58 PM

The U.S. reached a milestone last week when it underwent the first comprehensive review of its human rights record as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. The review is a forum for U.N. member states to ask questions and make recommendations on the status of human rights within...

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Women's Rights Are Human Rights

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2009 | 6:35 PM

President Obama continues to recognize the vital contributions that women make to the U.S. economy. Last week's Executive Order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls, and the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in January, demonstrate the President's commitment to making women's rights a domestic...

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