Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Amnesty International Chapter at Bard College is sponsoring a conference "No Exceptions: Children's Rights are Human Rights," at Bard College on Saturday, March 4. The conference begins at 9:00 a.m. in Olin Hall and will continue throughout the day with speakers, lectures, panels, and workshops. An exhibition, War Kids, sponsored by Kinder Artists Gallery, will be on view throughout the conference. The documentary Children in War will be screened and the Academy Award-winning filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond will talk about their film. The conference, documentary screenings, and exhibition are free and open to the public.

The children's rights conference is a student-organized, day-long event that features human rights activists, academics, and individuals who have suffered human rights abuses speaking on a variety of issues. Each speaker or panel leader will also conduct a workshop, and conference participants can choose among workshops offered in morning and afternoon sessions. Workshop topics include domestic and international issues, particularly the sales and trafficking of children, juvenile justice, and child labor.

Rafi Rom, a Bard first-year student and Trustee Leader Scholar, is founder and president of the Amnesty International chapter at Bard and the New York State student coordinator for Amnesty International. "I put this conference together to bring a variety of activists to Bard," says conference coordinator Rom. "My goal is to raise awareness of children's rights issues and involve the community in more activism in the future."

War Kids, curated by and on loan from the Kinder Artists Gallery, will be on view in conjunction with the conference. The exhibition features artwork created by children in times of armed conflict in Bangladesh, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Alan and Susan Raymond spent four and a half years filming Children in War in Bosnia, Rwanda, Israel, and Northern Ireland, exploring the effects of war and terrorism on children. Bradley Clough, visiting assistant professor of religion at Bard College, will speak prior to a documentary screening of Seeds of Tibet: Voices of Children in Exile.

The conference is organized by the Bard Chapter of Amnesty International. Sponsors include Amnesty International, USA, and BardAID, the Trustee Leader Scholars Program, Center for Environmental Policy, International Students Organization, and Human Rights Project, all of Bard College. For further information, contact Rafi Rom at 914-752-4717 or email


Zafaryab Ahmed, a journalist who was jailed in Pakistan for his investigative reporting of the murder of a child labor activist and now lives in the United States, will speak on journalism and children's rights.

Bradley Clough is visiting assistant professor of religion at Bard College. His area of interest is comparative religion, Buddhist studies, and South Asian culture. He chairs the Seminar on Asian Thought and Religion at Columbia University and was faculty leader for the New York State Independent College Consortium for Study in India.

Joanne Fox-Prezworski, director of the Center for Environmental Policy at Bard College and former regional director (North America) at the United Nations Environmental Programme, will speak on children's rights and environmental policy.

Susan Kilbourne, a lawyer and activist with ChildRights International Research Institute, the Steering Committee for United States Alliance for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and a member of Amnesty International Children's Rights Network, will speak on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Laura Lederer, program manager and research director of the Protection Project of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, will speak on sexual abuse, sales, and trafficking of children.

Alan and Susan Raymond, filmmakers, will speak about their documentary Children in War. The Raymonds won an Academy Award for a previous documentary I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School. They specialize in long-form, social-issue documentaries and have made films on education and schooling, mental illness, policing in America, juvenile justice, prison reform and the British Army and IRA in Northern Ireland. The Raymonds were also filmmakers on the 1973 seminal twelve-hour cinema verité PBS series, An American Family.

Karen Robinson, Amnesty International Human Rights Education coordinator, will speak on human rights curriculums.

Dorothy Rozga, a member of UNICEF Urban Services who developed an urban project in Belize, will speak on children's rights, fieldwork, and how to get involved.

Joshua Rubenstein is the author of Tangled Loyalties, The Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg and Soviet Dissidents, Their Struggle for Human Rights. He has been a staff member of Amnesty International since 1975 and Northeast Regional Director of Amnesty International since 1985, as well as a longtime fellow with the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard University. Rubenstein will speak on the United States foreign policy and Russia.

Joanne Tawfilis, owner of Kinder Artists Gallery and Gallery Avenida de los Artistas in Connecticut and Vienna, Austria, a career diplomat on special assignment to the American Embassy in Vienna, and coordinator of the "Women of Srebrenica" project in Bosnia and Herzegovinia, will speak on orphanages overseas and lead an art instructor workshop.


Children's Rights Conference Schedule

9:00–9:45 a.m. Registration

10:00–11:30 a.m. Opening Ceremonies

    • Keynote Speech (speaker to be announced)
    • Susan Kilbourne, Convention on the Rights of the Child
    • Panel on five global children's rights issues

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Workshop I on issues (documentary screenings)

1:00–2:00 p.m. Lunch (War Kids exhibition opens)

2:00–3:30 p.m. Panel on juvenile justice

3:40–5:00 p.m. Workshop II on activism (documentary screenings)

5:05–6:00 p.m. Closing Ceremony featuring a children's chorus

* Note: Schedule is subject to change, call 914-758-4717 for further information.

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This event was last updated on 03-02-2001