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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 3, 2003

Sok To Speak To Two Linn County Groups About Global Child Labor Dec. 11

Chivy Sok, deputy director of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, will speak about global child labor to a joint meeting of the Linn County chapters of Amnesty International and the United Nations Association at 7 p.m., Dec. 11 at People's Church in Cedar Rapids, 603 Third Ave. SE.

The two groups scheduled this special joint meeting in celebration of the 55th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Sok's lecture, Global Child Labor: Policy Challenges for the World Community, will address the attention and effort various international groups have devoted to reducing or eliminating the worst forms of child labor. The UI Center for Human Rights has joined in this effort with its Child Labor Research Initiative, a multi-faceted project devoted to research and education about issues related to global child labor. Sok is the project director for this initiative.

"Child labor as a human rights issue has gained unprecedented prominence in international policy arenas, yet we're still living in a world in which 246 million children toil in appalling conditions," Sok said. "Governments of the world cannot solve this problem by themselves. They will need all the help from civil society organizations such as Amnesty International and the United Nations Association."

During the spring semester, Sok will co-teach two courses on child labor as a human rights issue, an advanced research seminar for law students, "International Human Rights and Child Labor," and an undergraduate course, "Child Labor & Human Rights."

Before coming to the UI in 2001, Sok worked as a consultant with the Cambodian Association of Illinois to assist it in its effort to establish the first Killing Fields Memorial and Museum in the U.S. Sok and her family are survivors of the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields, which claimed almost two million lives between 1975-1979 under the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.

From 1995 to 2000 she was the program coordinator and later program director for Columbia University's Center for the Study of Human Rights. Sok holds a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

For more information about this program, contact Mike Wyrick, Linn County Amnesty International, 319-362-6662.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, Program: Mike Wyrick, Linn County Amnesty International, 319-362-6662.