The State of the City and County: An Issue Briefing On Lead Poisoning in Chicago and Cook

April 4, 2016
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
25 E. Pearson, Chicago, IL | Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, 10th Floor  
In light of the recent lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, and increased interest and concern about lead in Chicago and Cook County, the CHRC and its co-sponsors hosted an informational briefing that brought officials from the city and county to present local data and experts from the field to address issues relating to sources of lead, its impact on children, families, and communities, and remedies and solutions for its eradication. This event provided an opportunity for the public, including public agencies, advocates, researchers, physicians, philanthropy, faculty, students, and community members to learn more about the problem lead in our communities and learn more about how we can work together to address the issue. 
Co-Sponsors:  Ann & Robert H. Lurie: Children's Hospital of Chicago Foundation; Chicago Physicians for Social Responsibility; Civitas ChildLaw Center, Loyola University Chicago; Department of Public Health Sciences, Loyola University Chicago; The Great Lakes Center for Children's Environmental Health; Health and Medicine Policy Research Group; Illinois PIRG Education Fund; Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago; The Institute of Public Health, Loyola University Chicago.

Child Soldiers: Forced to be Cruel

The exhibit, “Child Soldiers: Forced to Be Cruel,” is based on the book “Child Soldiers,” by Leora Kahn. It features forty photographs taken by talented and devoted photographers, depicting child soldiers from around the world who have been manipulated by war criminals and subjected to unspeakable violence. Their faces depict the reality of a lost childhood. Instead of the frivolity, joy, defiance, or rebellion of childhood, we see a deadly seriousness on the face of a gun-toting teenager. This internationally traveled exhibition has been shown at the Capitoline Museum in Rome, Italy, the Bonn Kunstmusem in Bonn, Germany, and the United Nations in New York City. 

For more information about the exhibit and book: and

For photos of the event, see here. For video, click here.

Children Crossing Borders Photo

The Child Migrant: Children Crossing Borders

On November 13, 2014, the CHRC hosted a day-long educational program to provide Loyola students and the community an opportunity to learn more about this critical children’s rights issue. Who are children and families leaving their homes? What are their experiences migrating alone through unfriendly territory and systems? What is happening to children once they arrive in the United States, and what happens to the children who are sent back? What is being done to respond to this humanitarian crisis?

For videos, click here for the morning session and here for the afternoon session.

Dane Placko from Fox 32 News interviewed CHRC Director Katherine Kaufka Walts about this issue, read the article here.

Advancing Healthy Homes & Healthy Communities Summit

Healthy Homes Photo

On June 19, 2014, a day-long summit to develop a blueprint for the City and County to advance a healthy homes agenda was held at Loyola's Corboy Law Building. Over 150 professionals were in attendance.

For more information on the event and to view the outcomes, visit Healthy Homes.

For photos, click here.

Trafficking in Persons Report Release

Trafficking Report Release Photo

The CHRC was represented at the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report release event, held on June 20, 2014, in Washington, DC. Katherine Kaufka Walts, CHRC Director, joined other advocates, service providers, and leaders in the anti-trafficking movement to hear presentations by survivors, Secretary of State John Kerry, Ambassador Lou CdeBaca, and Sarah Sewall, Undersecretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. Read Ms. Kaufka Walts' statement on the report here. Read the TIP 2014 Press Release. View Secretary Kerry's remarks

Creating a Non-Violent Future: Children's Rights and Advances in Protection from Corporal Punishment

Non-Violent Future Photo

On May 23 & 24, 2014, the CHRC hosted a two-day symposium at Loyola University Chicago's Information Commons. The symposium was titled, "Creating a Non-Violent Future: Children's Rights and Advances in Protection from Corporal Punishment."

  • For more information, click here.
  • For photos, click here.
  • For videos, click here.

Geneva Switzerland—CHRC/Young Center Alternative Report

Geneva Switzerland Photo

June 18, 2012—US NGO delegates outside of the Office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

From left to right:

  1. Maria Woltjen, Director, Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights at the University of Chicago
  2. Katherine Kaufka Walts, Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University Chicago
  3. Jonathan Todres, Jonathan Todres, Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law, Advisory Board Member, ECPAT-USA
  4. Carol Smolenski, Executive Director, ECPAT-USA
  5. Gertrude Lenzner, Director of the Children's Studies Center at Brooklyn College

For more information, please refer to the CHRC's Past Events.