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, 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. Learn more about the types of projects the Clinic undertakes, find out about working in the Clinic as a student, or find out how to become a partner.
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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. See how you can become one of our partners.
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. Module-based projects are open to postgraduate students only. Explore our projects for 2021/2022 below.
The Human Rights Centre Clinic also runs stand-alone Units. In 2020/2021, the Clinic will run 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 will also run a Digital Verification Unit, providing opportunities to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
This project aims to understand the origins of reproductive coercion in outdated, colonialist, and harmful mental health laws and policies. It will support the mapping of such laws and policies in a geographically diverse selection of countries from the Southeast Asia/Pacific region, as well as the work of the UN human rights system to address these practices in the selected countries (UPR and Treaty Bodies).
2021 marks 21 years since the States Assembly passed the Human Rights (Jersey) Law 2000, which came into force in 2006. Modelled closely on the UK’s Human Rights Act 1998, the Law also mirrors legislation adopted in the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The Law was designed to “bring rights home” by incorporating internationally recognised rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic legal systems. This project will review the operation of the Human Rights (Jersey) Law 2000 to measure the effect the 2000 Law has had.
This project will present a baseline analysis of how various UN Human Rights Special Procedure mandate holders have addressed issues related specifically to displaced and/or stateless persons in recent years. The mapping exercise will be accompanied by summary factsheets on respective mandates, accompanied by recommendations on how UNHCR can further enhance its strategic engagement with Special Procedures.
National Action Plans are the policy strategy developed by States to protect against adverse human rights impacts of business. This project will consist in a comparative analysis of six countries in Europe and Latin America to identify commonalities and differences in relation to planning design, implementation and monitoring mechanisms on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This comparative study should show how countries are designing their public policies on corporate responsibility in light of relevant international human rights standards.
This project will examine what kind of reparations would be most appropriate for people living in refugee camps who are victims of violations of the most serious crimes of concern to the global community. The project will consider how reparations would need to devised to distinguish them from humanitarian assistance. It will also analyse to whom, how and when such reparations should be provided.
This project will map the mechanisms for oversight, scrutiny, and accountability of UK Special Forces activities, to provide recommendations for how the UK could ensure that Special Forces activities are subject to meaningful oversight and accountability, without compromising troops’ safety or national security, and provide advocacy opportunities to educate parliamentarians on investigations.