We are one of the oldest, most experienced and well respected academic human rights
centres in the world. We have 50 academic staff members and 30 external fellows, so bring
together some 250 scholars and practitioners across disciplines and courses, representing
50 nationalities. Our staff teach and research in the field of human rights, and many pursue
activities linked to international governmental organizations, international non-governmental
organizations, research networks, and other academic courses.
We have identified broad research themes that are designed to streamline and structure the
diverse interests of our members. These themes are intended to promote interdisciplinary collaboration,
especially across emerging areas of contemporary human rights research. Presently, these themes
- human rights in situations of acute crisis: humanitarian law, armed conflict and peacekeeping;
- security and human rights: treatment of prisoners under international law;
- torture and policing;
- people on the move: migration, refugees and asylum;
- the Human Rights Act 1998 and the promotion and protection of human rights in the United Kingdom;
- health and human rights;
- democracy, elections and international democratic assessment;
- trade, business and human rights;
- gender and human rights of women; and
- race, ethnicity, minority rights and indigenous peoples.
Find a PhD
Use our research finder to find the right PhD for you. Studying for your PhD at
Essex gives you a chance to investigate your topic with depth and understanding.
You develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build networks, opening doors to many careers.
Our ground-breaking research projects include the Children and Armed Conflict Unit, the Democratic Audit of the United Kingdom, and
the Right to Health Unit, which reflect our world class reputation for human rights research and practice.
Our outstanding reputation is reflected in our research
publication record, which is just one of the reasons why we are the UK’s leading centre for the interdisciplinary
study of the theory and practice of human rights.
Our Centre has have built a number of research collaborations
with other organisations. Such partnerships reflect how our staff teach and research in human rights, pursuing activities linked to
international governmental organisations, international NGOs, research networks, and other academic courses.