HCSF Salon Talk: Human Rights in China Discussion with John Kamm

HCSF Salon Talk Series presents a timely conversation on human rights in China, with John Kamm.

Wednesday, February 8
5:30pm - 6:30pm PT

Since Xi Jinping’s unprecedented third term and consolidation of power, all of us have been watching events unfold in China. Come for a salon talk with John Kamm, an advocate of human rights in that country for the last five decades and winner of the GSAS centennial medal. Over the last three decades, John has made over 100 trips to China to engage the government in a dialogue on human rights, focusing on the treatment of prisoners and conditions in prisons.

John Kamm will address how Harvard has influenced his human rights work, focusing on personal relationships and research into open source materials at the university libraries. Recently published article.

HCSF Members: Free

Harvard Club of Silicon Valley Members: Free
Non-Members: $10.00

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Speaker Bio
John Kamm is an American businessman and human rights campaigner active in China since 1972. He is the founder and chairman of The Dui Hua Foundation, based in San Francisco with an office in Hong Kong. Kamm was awarded the Department of Commerce’s Best Global Practices Award by President Bill Clinton in 1997, the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights by President George W. Bush in 2001, and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Centennial Medal in 2022. In September 2004, Kamm received a MacArthur Fellowship for “designing and implementing an original approach to freeing prisoners of conscience in China.” Kamm is the first and to date only businessman to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.
Since his first intervention on behalf of a Chinese prisoner in May 1990, Kamm has made more than 100 trips to China to engage the government in a dialogue on human rights, focusing on the treatment of prisoners and conditions in prisons. He has made 13 visits to Chinese places of detention and attended two trials. Kamm and Dui Hua have submitted requests for information on more than 6,000 prisoners and have helped hundreds gain early release and better treatment. In the words of The New York Times, “No other person or organization in the world, including the State Department, has helped more Chinese prisoners.”
Dui Hua concentrates its efforts on encouraging transparency, accountability, and the humanitarian treatment of at-risk detainees, including political and religious prisoners, juvenile offenders, those facing the death penalty, and women in prison. Under his direction, Dui Hua has held five expert exchanges with China’s Supreme Court on juvenile justice reform, two international symposia on women in prison and girls in conflict with the law, and one online exchange on child welfare laws.
In addition to advising the US-China human rights dialogues, Dui Hua has helped many of the other bilateral rights dialogues and consultations between China and western countries. Dui Hua has had special consultative status with the Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) of United Nations since 2005. Through this, Kamm conducts international advocacy, including making submissions to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Universal Periodic Reviews for China and the United States.
John Kamm received a B.A. (1972) from Princeton University and an M.A. (1975) from Harvard University. He was the Hong Kong correspondent and representative of the National Council for US-China Trade (1975-1981) and President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong in 1990. He managed Occidental Chemical Company’s business in China and the Far East from 1981 to 1991.

Event Organizer
Linda Zhang

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