CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 29, 2001
UICHR appoints deputy director to head child labor research project
Iowa The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) has appointed
a deputy director, Chivy W. Sok, who will principally serve as the Project
Director of a $900,000 UICHR Child Labor Research Initiative (CLRI) recently
funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. UICHR Director Burns Weston, an emeritus
professor of law, said Sok will bring experience working with human rights
advocates from developing countries, especially those from Asia, Africa, and
Latin America, and an abundant energy and passion for social justice.
"Knowledgeable about human rights generally and especially interested
in economic, social, and cultural rights in particular, Ms. Sok will bring
to the UICHR and our wider university and civic communities a measure of intellect,
contact, energy, passion, and grace that is, quite simply, stunning,"
Sok was the international programs coordinator, and later the program director
of the Columbia University Center for the Study of Human Rights, the oldest
university-based human rights program in the United States. While passionate
about human rights and social justice in general, Sok has a particular interest
in the intersection between business and human rights, especially in the areas
of labor rights and the development of codes of conduct as they affect child
"I look forward to working with Professor Weston, members of the Executive
Council, and friends and NGO colleagues around the world to successfully accomplish
our tasks on child labor research," Sok said. "I am certain that
this project will contribute significantly to the global effort of finding
viable solutions to the most abusive forms of child labor."
Sok has spent the last year with the Cambodian Association of Illinois in
Chicago where she was in charge of raising national awareness of the effort
to establish the Killing Fields Memorial and Cambodian American Heritage Museum.
She and her immediate family members are survivors of the Khmer Rouge Killing
Fields, which claimed almost two million lives between 1975-1979 under the
Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. Because she survived a child labor camp, this
project is particularly meaningful to her.
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.