International Human Rights

Perseus Strategies has substantive experience analyzing and applying international human-rights law to country situations and individual cases as well as presenting information to appropriate international and regional human-rights courts and related mechanisms.

This expertise includes: (1) major international human-rights treaties and standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Geneva Conventions, UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment, and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; (2) United Nations bodies, including the UN Security Council, UN Human Rights Council and its Special Procedures, UN General Assembly; and International Criminal Court; and (3) thematic areas, including, arbitrary detention; enforced disappearances; torture, the responsibility to protect doctrine; and mass atrocity crimes, including genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing.

Illustrative Past Experiences:

  • Secured the release of an American wrongly convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison on sham charges in Nicaragua by winning his case at the United Nations and advocating on his behalf before the U.S. government.
  • Assisted American family to block the return of their legally-adopted daughter to Guatemala after a court in the country issued an ex parte order for her return three years after the adoption had been completed.
  • Assisted American, whose dual-national spouse wrongly abducted their child overseas, with advocacy efforts before the U.S. government and in the country to which he had been abducted in violation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
  • Oversaw a team of 10 lawyers representing former Czech Republic President Václav Havel and Bishop Desmond M. Tutu in producing Threat to the Peace: A Call for the UN Security Council to Act in Burma. The 125-page, 700 footnote report deduced and applied the criteria by which the Security Council labels a country situation a “threat to the peace.” The report’s release was followed by a successful global campaign to place Burma on the permanent agenda of the Security Council.
  • Assisted non-profit humanitarian organization in presenting evidence to the International Criminal Court regarding crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Led a team of 20 lawyers representing former Czech Republic President Václav Havel, Elie Wiesel, and former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik applying the responsibility to protect doctrine to the situation in North Korea. The 140-page, 1,000 footnote report found that crimes against humanity had been committed in North Korea and recommended a series of steps be taken to address the situation. The report was presented internationally at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, British House of Lords, Foreign Correspondents Clubs of Japan and South Korea, European Parliament, and the U.S. Congress. The report and its sequel were mentioned positively in reports by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea and resulted in government officials at the United Nations referencing the responsibility to protect in relation to the situation there. It also created an international movement to create a commission of inquiry into crimes against humanity taking place in North Korea.
  • Submitted a petition on behalf of a former Nigerian government official to UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights Defenders, Freedom of Expression, and Independence of Judges and Lawyers regarding wrongful persecution by the Government of Nigeria.
  • Represented a non-profit humanitarian organization in researching and presenting a memorandum to U.S. government and United Nations regarding the obligations of the international community to a group of foreign nationals in a country where they had been designated as “protected persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention.