In this week’s podcast, Nicole Phillips, IJDH Staff Attorney, gives us a field report from the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland, for Haiti’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that was held last week, on Thursday, October 13th. The UPR is a process by which the U.N. Human Rights Council can evaluate Haiti’s compliance with its human rights law obligations and make recommendations for further improvements. Nicole notes how important and difficult it was to bring Haitian voices to the hearing, as she was hoping to bring advocates from Haitian grassroots organizations, who unfortunately could not receive travel visas in time. “It’s easy for Americans to travel to Switzerland – we don’t need travel visas. This is a good example of the many barriers for the Haitian civil society to participate in the U.N.,” says Phillips.
Nicole Phillips, Esq., IJDH Staff Attorney, has always been passionate about international human rights and was so moved by the earthquake in Haiti that she left her career as a union labor lawyer to join IJDH in April 2010. Her practice included ten years with 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. She first worked with IJDH in 2006 while directing the University of San Francisco, School of Law, Center for Law and Global Justice, Haiti and Dominican Republic human rights programs, which she continues to do. email: firstname.lastname@example.org