International Human Rights Day: Speaking Up & Stepping Out

When: Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 at 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM EST

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Promotional materials:

Contact for more details: Simon van Steyn

Language: English


On International Human Rights Day, the U.S. Department of State will host a virtual program focusing on the freedoms of expression and association, the right to peaceful assembly, and the importance of civic participation. Robert Destro, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor will lead the panel discussion with human rights experts and advocates, highlighting these freedoms and rights. Panelists will discuss how to encourage civic participation and why the right to peaceful protest should be protected. The panelists will also answer viewer questions and provide links to resources in the comments section of the Facebook Live. The webchat will take place on Thursday, December 10, 7:00 a.m. EST at


Robert Destro (Moderator)
Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), U.S. Department of State

Robert Destro has served as Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) since September 2019. In October 2020, Secretary Pompeo designated him to serve concurrently as the United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. He has a long history as a human rights advocate and civil rights attorney with expertise in elections, employment, and constitutional law. Destro has served on the faculty at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law since 1982 and served as its interim dean from 1999 to 2001. He was founding director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion and served as the Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies from June 2017 to September 2019. He served as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1983-1989.

Sopheap Chak
Director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights

Sopheap Chak is the Executive Director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), a human rights organization working for the promotion and protection of political and civil rights in Cambodia. As one of the country's most prominent human rights advocates, Sopheap's work has been recognized by former US President Barack Obama. She is a recipient of the Indian-ASEAN Youth Award (Young Women Achiever Category) and Franco-German Prize for Human Rights the Rule of Law.

Patrick Poon
Independent Human Rights Researcher based in Hong Kong

Patrick Poon is an independent human rights researcher based in Hong Kong. He was a China Researcher with Amnesty International. He has worked on China and Hong Kong human rights issues for nearly 20 years. Before working for NGOs, he was a journalist for English media in Hong Kong. He is currently writing his PhD thesis on free speech and internet freedom in “Chinese” societies at the University of Lyon, France.

Fatia Maulidiyanti
Coordinator, Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) in Indonesia

Fatia Maulidiyanti is the Coordinator of the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) a prominent human rights NGO in Indonesia established in 1998. Fatia was involved in various civil society movements since she was in the university, namely student press, best student at the Human Rights School for Students in 2014 and previously acted as an international advocacy head in KontraS.

Promotional Materials:

International Human Rights Day 2020 webchat SocialMedia Dec10 (docx)

Human Rights Day virtual program graphic scaled (jpg)

Questions about this event? Reach out to Simon van Steyn