Human Rights Watch: Peter Bouckaert and Father Bernard Kinvi

Peter Bouckaert and Father Bernard Kinvi, human rights experts and activists, visited ASIJ on April 21.


Peter Bouckaert is Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) emergencies director and expert on humanitarian crises. He is responsible for coordinating the organization’s efforts in response to major conflicts and other human rights violations. Most recently, Mr. Bouckaert has been in the Central African Republic, conducting investigations into ethnic cleansing as well as crimes committed during the current civil war.

Bernard Kinvi is a Catholic priest and director at the Catholic mission hospital in Bossemptele, Central African Republic. In early 2014, when sectarian violence  escalated to coordinated violence targeting Muslim civilians, Kinvi saved the lives of hundreds of besieged Muslims, whom he gathered from their homes and sheltered in the Catholic church.

Peter and Bernard were in Tokyo as part of the annual HRW fundraising gala, at which Father Kinvi was recognized with the HRW Alison Des Forges Award, honoring people of extraordinary compassion and courage who work on behalf of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

During their visit to ASIJ, Peter spoke on the activities of Human Rights Watch while both also shared their experiences combating the current civil war and protecting civilians in the Central African Republic. At the end of the assembly, they participated in presenting certificates to the ASIJ-HRW Essay Contest winners.


We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Human Rights Watch-ASIJ Essay Contest. The panel of judges and the final selection committee at Human Rights Watch were very impressed by the quality of thought and the sense of justice in each essay and congratulate all the participants for composing impressive pieces of writing. (Rick Weinland, HS Principal)

Grand Prize Winner

Aman Tiku (Grade 11) – “Killer Robots and the Demise of Morality”

First Place Winners

Varsha Shankar (Grade 10) – “Child Marriage: No Way Out”
Milla Shin (Grade 11) – “Children in Alternative Care in Japan – Without Dream”

Excellence Award Winners

Billy Fujii (Grade 10) – “Children in Alternative Care in Japan: Without Dreams”
Angie Marsh (Grade 11) – “The Islamic State: The Ingenuity of the New Caliphate”
Jocelyn Meyer (Grade 10) – “Child Marriage: No Way Out”
Henry Slater (Grade 10) – “Stopping the Islamic State: How We Can Make A Real Difference”
William Zhang (Grade 10) – “Lethal Autonomous Robotic Systems For Improvement”

You can read more on the Human Rights Watch website.