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Lecture to focus on agroindustry, human rights

April 05, 2013

Many of the most vexing challenges in human rights today involve protecting vulnerable populations from the ravages of environmental degradation, food insecurity and climate change – threats that can only be tackled through truly interdisciplinary work bridging the natural and social sciences, humanities and law.

Since 2010, at the request of campesino groups in Guatemala, the University of Washington Center for Human Rights has been engaged in such a project. Their work examines the causes and implications of environmental changes in relation to access to water and food in a specific area affected by the recent expansion of large agroindustrial plantations. They have supported the work of local leaders by conducting scientific research into the nature and causes of the threats driving their vulnerability, such that they might more effectively advocate for long-term solutions. The work reveals the urgency of greater engagement with these issues in the face of accelerating climate change, and yet also underscores the limitations of the ways we usually think about sustainability, research and responsibility.

In a lecture titled “Agroindustry and Human Rights: A Case Study from Guatemala," from noon-2 p.m., April 12, in the Language and Literature builiding room 165, on the Tempe campus, Angelina Snodgrass Godoy, director of Center for Human Rights at the University of Washington, will present results from a case study in Guatemala and suggest some ideas for long-term solutions. 

Godoy's visit to ASU is co-sponsored by the School of International Letters and Cultures and the Institute for Humanities Research in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and by New College.