The Human Rights Centre Clinic is part of one of the oldest academic human rights centres in the world, and continues to conduct key research to protect human rights globally.
Founded in 2009, the Human Rights Centre Clinic runs projects that enable students to apply their human rights knowledge to practical situations and further develop their professional skills, working in partnership with civil society organisations, international organisations, governments and national human rights institutions.
There are two pathways open to students – the Human Rights Clinic Module (HU902), which combines projects with partners and classroom study, and stand-alone projects, which are opportunities which may be open to undergraduate or postgraduate human rights students, and are not linked to the Human Rights Centre Clinic Module.
Projects address various types of human rights and humanitarian law-related issues. They generally involve research that partners need in order to further human rights advocacy and/or implementation of human rights or humanitarian law norms.
Our projects are grounded in international human rights or humanitarian law. Some projects are interdisciplinary in their approach, and projects employ a variety of research methods. In selecting projects and partners, we ensure that in any academic year, there are projects focusing on a range of regions and human rights issues.
The projects may support litigation, advocacy, policy and programme development or technical guidance on human rights for civil society organisations, national human rights institutions, governments, UN human rights bodies and international organisations.
Current and recent international partners include the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International, Global Initiative on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Reprieve, OHCHR, WHO, the UN Special Rapporteurs on the right to freedom of religion and the right to health and the International Centre on Human Rights and Drugs Policy. Current and recent national partners include the Philippines Human Rights Commission, the Observatory of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law of the Government of Colombia, and national NGOs in countries including the UK, Morocco, Uganda and the Philippines.
Partners choose to work with the Clinic because at Essex we have gifted human rights students as well as specialised faculty support with the expertise that partners need.
The Human Rights Centre Clinic also runs stand-alone Units. In 2019/2020, the Clinic is running a Death Penalty Sentencing Mitigation Unit, in partnership with Reprieve, providing opportunities to undergraduate students in the School of Law, Department of Sociology and Postgraduate human rights students (LLM/MA). It is also running a Digital Verification Unit, providing opportunities to undergraduate and postgraduate students, and a Rule of Law in Armed Conflict project. providing opportunity to postgraduate students
The Human Rights Centre Clinic also runs projects as part of the Human Rights Centre Clinic Module (HU902), which is open to postgraduate human rights students.