Human Rights Centre

Human Rights Centre Clinic

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Protecting human rights around the world

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 opportunities open for students to participate in.

The first opportunity is the Human Rights Clinic Module, which combines projects with partners and classroom study and is open to postgraduate human rights students. This year there are six module-based projects.

Applications for module-based projects are now closed for 2022 and will reopen in the summer term.

The second opportunity is to participate in our stand-alone projects. This year we're running one project; the Arbitrary Redress Detention Unit (ARDC) which has its own eligibility requirements and application process.

Applications for the ARDC are now closed and will reopen in the summer term.

Learn more about the types of projects the Clinic undertakes, or if you're an organisation interested in being involved with the Human Rights Centre Clinic, you can find out how to become a partner.


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What sort of projects does the Clinic undertake?

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 Dejusticia, Minority Rights Group, Amnesty International, and WHO. Current and recent national partners include the Philippines Human Rights Commission, 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.

Module-based Human Rights Clinic projects

The Human Rights Centre Clinic also runs module-based projects as part of the Human Rights Centre Clinic Module (HU902). These projects are open to postgraduate human rights students. Explore our projects for 2022-23.

Stand-alone Human Rights Clinic projects

The Human Rights Centre Clinic also runs stand-alone projects. For the 2022-23 academic year, we are running the Arbitrary Detention Redress Unit which provides opportunities to all postgraduate students studying at the University of Essex.

Find out more information about working in the Human Rights Centre Clinic.

Essex students’ work featured in Amnesty report on Lebanon protests

Essex students have played a significant role in new research by Amnesty International, looking at the role played by French law enforcement equipment in a crackdown by Lebanese security forces on largely peaceful protests.

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Module-based projects for 2022-23

United Nations submission alleges “constant cruelty” towards dual nationals held in Iran

Students at the Essex Human Rights Centre Clinic have provided support for a legal submission filed at the United Nations (UN) on behalf of seven dual and foreign nationals held in Iran, accusing their captors of “constant cruelty” and “a systemic practice of arbitrary detention”.

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Past projects

Previous projects 2010-2018

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Human Rights Centre Clinic