Human Rights Centre

Part of School of Law

Chalking of the steps, University of Essex

Pioneering the theory and practice of human rights from the local to the global

The Human Rights Centre at Essex is the hub of human rights activity. It brings together a vibrant community of students, over 2000 alumni, more than 100 members from 11 disciplines, fellows and partners.

At the heart of our work is the interface between the theory and practice of human rights, conflict and acute crises. Our excellence in research and in education is defined by the application of theory to real human rights problems.

Through our research and practice, we influence and set human rights agendas and make concrete differences at the international, national and local level. Through our consultancies, we offer a leading voice on how to address a range of human rights issues. Through our education, we produce the next generation of human rights defenders throughout the world.

We strategically identify enduring and emerging human rights challenges and play a leadership role in responding to these challenges through education, research and impact activities. We do this through close relationships with our alumni and extensive practitioner network to ensure that we are working on issues that are a priority and of direct relevance to beneficiaries such as victims of human rights violations, governments, NGOs and international organisations.

Beyond our expertise within disciplines, we play an intellectual and practical leadership role in defining what is meant by interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, impact and education in human rights and developing a distinctive interdisciplinary identity in human rights at Essex.

Through the Law School and contributing departments, Essex offers a collaborative and transformational education in the theory and practice of human rights within disciplines and from an interdisciplinary perspective. Our education provides students with a deep and critical knowledge of human rights and their application in practice, providing them with unparalleled preparation for entry or return to human rights academia or practice.

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Our courses

Human Rights at Essex?

Excellence in human rights theory and practice through multi and interdisciplinary research and education
Awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2010 in recognition of our work in advancing global human rights
Join our Human Rights Centre Clinic, develop practical skills, work with world-renowned human rights organisations
Benefit from a range of career events organised throughout the year to give you an insight into specific areas of human rights
Take part in highly rewarding human rights competitions that provide invaluable practical experience on a wide range of issues
We offer a range of opportunities for working with projects associated with our Centre that focus on human rights in practice
University of the Year (Times Higher Education Awards 2018)
Two students talking in Library
Student chalking the steps during Human Rights week
Two members of the Human Rights Centre
Four students faces during lecture
Student drawing on a mirror
Two students standing against Human Rights week poster
UoTY winners 2018
Portrait of Lorna McGregor
"The Essex Human Rights Centre is recognised throughout the world for the vital and enduring contributions our staff and students have made and will continue to make to the global defence of human rights."
Dr Andrew Fagan Director Human Rights centre
Professor Sir Nigel Rodley KBE
Sir Nigel Rodley KBE

The late Professor Sir Nigel Rodley KBE was a global figure within the field of human rights and one of the founding fathers of our Human Rights Centre.

Read our official tribute to Sir Nigel

Kevin Boyle

Professor Kevin Boyle was the longest serving director or the Human Rights Centre. He led the Centre from 1990 to 2003 and again in 2006 to 2007. Throughout his time at Essex, Kevin played a pivotal role in developing the Centre into the multidisciplinary powerhouse it is today. Learn more through his archive.

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Download our brochure

"We seek to deepen understanding of the complex realities of contemporary threats to human rights, as well as harnessing opportunities to advance the realisation of universal human rights locally and globally." Download our brochure to learn more about how we promote Human Rights at Essex.

Contact the Human Rights Centre
Contact the Human Rights Centre
52.5.5 Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: +44 (0)1206 874810