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08 April 2014

Former Legal Adviser of the United States Department of State to address new Human Rights summer school

Harold Hongju Koh, Legal Adviser to the US State Department from 2009 to 2013, will give the keynote speech at the Essex Summer School in Human Rights Research Methods.

The newly launched Summer School is aimed at giving students and professionals working in human rights the chance to increase the impact of their work .

Professor Koh, who returned to Yale Law School in 2013, is one of the leading US experts on international law, national security law and human rights.

Hosted by the Human Rights Centre, the Essex Summer School in Human Rights Research Methods will take place at the University’s Colchester Campus from Monday 30 June to Saturday 5 July. It will draw on the world-renowned knowledge of Essex experts to offer a new type of summer school focusing on how using the right research methods can improve funding opportunities and bring about real change to policy and practice.

Other speakers will include some of Essex’s internationally-respected practitioners such as current Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Iran Professor Ahmed Shaheed plus international experts including Professor Margaret Satterthwaite from the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University, Professor Nora Sveaass, a member of the UN Committee against Torture, Joanne Mariner of Amnesty International and funding expert Julie Broome of the Sigrid Rausing Trust.

Lorna McGregor, Director of the Human Rights Centre, said: “This summer school is unique as it focuses on core research skills rather than human rights themes.

“From my experience as a legal adviser to NGOs and now as an academic, I know that strong methodology is absolutely critical to the legitimacy of all human rights research, and to the success of funding applications. We have thought hard about what the core qualitative and quantitative skills for human rights research are, the contexts in which we research human rights, and the range of methodologies that can be used, and have made sure that we have a fantastic international faculty of academics and practitioners to deliver it.”

Former Secretary General of Amnesty International and Head of the UN Human Rights Missions and Peace Operations in Rwanda, East Timor, Nepal and Libya, Ian Martin added: “These are exactly the types of skills needed by researchers in NGOS and in the UN and other international organisations. Knowing the Essex Human Rights Centre, I am confident that it will deliver a summer school that is not only strong in academic content but very relevant and applicable to practical contexts.”

Participants at the Essex Summer School in Human Rights Research Methods will learn how honing their research skills can help attract funding, ensure their research findings stand up to criticism and challenge and enhance their impact. Participants will learn everything from interviewing victims to researching in repressive and post-conflict states to using socio-economic statistics in their research.

Drawing on the uniquely inter-disciplinary nature of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, researchers from disciplines such as law, political science, and sociology will provide participants with insights from a range of perspectives.

Find out more about the full programme, speaker details and fees.

Ends

Information for the media:

For more information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or email: comms@essex.ac.uk.

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