It's our great pleasure to welcome Sarah Paoletti and Nicole Phillips as IntLawGrrls contributors.
► Sarah (top right) directs the Transnational Legal Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia, where she's also a Practice Associate Professor of Law. (prior posts) Before beginning work at this international human rights and immigration clinic, she taught at American University Washington College of Law – in the International Human Rights Law Clinic, as well as a seminar on the labor and employment rights of immigrant workers. As reflected in her numerous publications, Sarah's areas of specialty include international human rights, migrant and immigrant rights, asylum law, and labor and employment. She has presented on the rights of migrant workers before the United Nations and the Organization of American States, and also works closely with advocates seeking application of international human rights norms in the United States. On behalf of the US Human Rights Network, Sarah coordinated civil society participation in the U.N. Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review of the United States.
► Nicole (middle right) is a Staff Attorney at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, which, in a lawsuit against the United Nations, represents more than 5,000 victims of a cholera epidemic that has broke out since the January 12, 2010, earthquake in Port-au-Prince. Nicole joined the Institute after the earthquake; before that, she'd been a partner in a union labor firm, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she served as general counsel to unions and employee benefit trust funds across the country, arbitrated collective bargaining disputes, and managed a caseload in federal and state courts involving labor, employment, health insurance, and environmental regulations.
An Adjunct Professor and Assistant Director for Haiti programs at the University of San Francisco School of Law, also the home institution of IntLawGrrls contributors Connie de la Vega and Michelle Leighton. Nicole is a member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Advocates, a Berkeley-based nongovernmental organization. She has appeared before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Human Rights Counsel, Human Rights Committee, Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination, and Commission on the Status of Women on various human rights issues.
In their post below, which appears on the 2d anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, Nicole and Sarah outline the Universal Periodic Review that the Human Rights Council is examining Haiti's human rights record. Complementing it is Amy Senier's post above on the quake's aftermath.
Sarah and Nicole dedicate their post to Sonia Pierre (left), with whom Nicole had the pleasure of working both in the Dominican Republic and at the United Nations. Born 48 years ago in a "batey – the name given to settlements for sugar cane cutters working for the Dominican sugar industry" – Pierre was among 12 children in a family of Haitian descent. At age 13, Pierre led a march for workers' rights, and so was arrested for the 1st time, jailed for a day, and threatened with deportation to Haiti. Thus began a career of human rights activism that included the founding of the Movement of Dominican Women of Haitian Descent. Pierre died from a heart attack on December 4, 2011. In 2006, she had been honored as a Human Rights Laureate by the D.C.-based Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, which has established a Memorial Fund for her family.
Today Pierre joins other honorees on IntLawGrrls' transnational foremothers page.