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November 24, 2014

Edward M. Kennedy Institute Hosts Discussion Examining Senate's Historic Role on Human Rights

BOSTON – Today, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate (EMK Institute) hosted a discussion for educators about the unique role the United States Senate has had in promoting and protecting children’s rights at home and around the world. The session was held especially for educators and students, timed to coincide with the National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference in Boston. It offered attendees, an introduction to children’s rights issues currently before the U.S. Senate. Developed by a team from the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut, the program allowed attendees to also take on the roles of Senators, as part of the Institute’s unique Senate Immersion Module (SIM) program. Through this program, participants conducted hearings, negotiated provisions, and voted on legislation based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Additionally, a panel discussion took place with members of the NGO community including scholars, experts, human rights advocates, and youth. The discussion was moderated by Glenn Mitoma, Director of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, and panelists included the Director of the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School, and representatives from the International Republican Institute, Girls Scouts of the USA, UNICEF and the Urban Scholars Program at UMASS Boston.

“We are honored to host a discussion about an issue that is always timely – children’s rights,” said Jean F. MacCormack, president of the Institute. “Partnering with respected centers like the Dodd Center, will help us examine the historic role the Senate has played in important policy issues. We hope to conduct many programs like this one in the years to come.”

About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to studying and exploring how our government and the Senate works - and how it can work better - invigorating public discourse, and inspiring visitors and the next generation of citizens to become more active in their own communities. More information can be found at

About the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Devoted to the theme of human rights, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center honors Thomas Dodd’s service as Executive Trial Counsel in the International Military Tribunal, the first of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

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