The COVID-19 virus and the resulting shelter-in-place orders may have limited our physical mobility, but the needs of Santa Clara Law’s clinic clients have not stopped, and neither have the clinical students. Throughout Santa Clara Law’s clinics, students continue to support their clients and to work on their behalf, going the extra mile for their clients during these difficult times. Here is a brief description of our continuing work.
Due to COVID-19, students in the the International Human Rights Clinic used videoconferencing technology to continue their work on several cases and projects this semester.” Four groups of students are drafting amicus curiae briefs in cases pending before the Inter-American Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The briefs address complex issues that include reparations for torture victims in the context of the extraordinary rendition program of the United States, discrimination against transgender individuals in Honduras, access to healthcare during obstetric emergencies in El Salvador, and the forced institutionalization and disappearance of a person with mental illness from a psychiatric institution in Ecuador. Additionally, students are working on a report that addresses human rights violations caused by the lack of adequate maritime public transportation between two island municipalities and Puerto Rico, as well as a report documenting human rights violations of women fieldworkers in the banana and pineapple industries in Costa Rica. Finally, students have also drafted legal advocacy documents in support of a new international treaty that aims to address violence against women and girls worldwide. In the photo, IHRC student Bianca Bonjean spent International Women’s Day interviewing women about alleged labor rights violations in banana plantations in Costa Rica.