Global Human Rights Leadership: Who Will Fill the Void Left by the U.S.?

Date of Event



February 13, 2007 Speaker: Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch Presented by: The Frederick K. Cox International Law Center Summary: The Klatsky Seminar in Human Rights Kenneth Roth is the executive director of Human Rights Watch, a post he has held since 1993. Human Rights Watch investigates, reports on, and seeks to curb human rights abuses in some 70 countries. From 1987 to 1993, Mr. Roth served as deputy director of the organization. Previously, he was a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington. He also worked in private practice as a litigator. Mr. Roth has conducted human rights investigations around the globe, devoting special attention to issues of justice and accountability for gross abuses of human rights, standards governing military conduct in time of war, the human rights policies of the United States and the United Nations, and the human rights responsibilities of multinational businesses. He has written more than 80 articles and chapters on a range of human rights topics in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, the International Herald Tribune, and the New York Review of Books. He also regularly appears in the major media and speaks to audiences around the world. A graduate of Yale Law School and Brown University, Mr. Roth was drawn to the human rights cause in part by his father's experience fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938. He began working on human rights after the declaration of martial law in Poland in 1981, and soon also became deeply engaged in fighting military repression in Haiti. In his thirteen years as executive director of Human Rights Watch, the organization has quadrupled in size, while greatly expanding its geographic reach, and adding special programs devoted to refugees, children's rights, international justice, AIDS, gay and lesbian rights, human rights emergencies, terrorism and counterterrorism, and the human rights responsibilities of multinational corporations.

Lecture Series

Klatsky Seminar in Human Rights

Subject Headings

human rights, human rights abuses, prevention of human rights abuses, leadership in protection of human rights in the world


Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Document Type