The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.


2009 Audre Rapoport Prize Winner:

Sherief Gaber

The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice is pleased to announce Sherief Gaber, and his article, Verbal Abuse: Anti-Trafficking Rhetoric and Violence Against Women, as the 2009 winner of the 5th  Annual Audre Rapoport Prize for Scholarship on the Human Rights of Women. Gaber will be awarded a $1,000 prize.

Sherief Gaber is completing his Juris Doctor and a Master's Degree in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas in Austin. His research interests include the ways that locally-scaled urban political issues - such as struggles over housing, work and nature - implicate and challenge our abstract and universal conceptions of human and civil rights, and how such interventions on the urban environment can potentially phrase new types of rights. Sherief is also interested in local collective action, and as a collective member of the Austin Yellow Bike Project thinks that bicycles can be a creative means of challenging us to rethink equity, access, and empowerment in the city.

Asked about the background of his article, Gaber explained: “The article's topic was instigated by a class on feminist theory where trafficking was discussed, and a desire to refute the many do-gooders acting in that arena more to gratify their own consciences than right any wrongs.” Gaber went on to say, “I'm excited to be the 2009 winner, and think that winning this prize will encourage me to continue a line of critical thinking about gender, politics and human rights.”

Seven submissions were received from the U.S. and other parts of the world and were judged in a first-round selection process by a multidisciplinary panel at the University of Texas who selected three papers to forward to the second round of judging. The distinguished panel of judges in the second round included professors Helena Alviar (Professor, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá), Cecilia Medina (President, Inter-American Court of Human Rights), and Hilary Charlesworth (Professor, Australian National University College of Law). 

Runners-up in the 2009 competition were Ronli Sifris, Conceptualising Involuntary Sterilisation As 'Severe Pain Or Suffering' For The Purposes Of Torture Discourse and Gabrielle Simms, 'Exotic Others': Gender And Asylum.

The Rapoport Center extends its thanks to those who submitted papers as well as the judges involved with the selection process. To read Sherief Gaber's article and those of other past winners, click here.