human rights centre

Research and practice

Cutting-edge academic and policy research

The Human Rights Centre is internationally recognised for the breadth and depth of its research projects.

The projects hosted by the centre operate at the interface between the theory and practice of human rights, bringing together experts from different disciplines and making concrete differences at the international, national, and local level.

They address economic, social and cultural rights, with a particular focus on the right to health; civil and political rights, including the prohibition against torture and detention related issues; and the law of armed conflict and acute crises.

"This is a very famous university that has been involved in the fight for human rights around the world"
Nelson Mandela on campus, 1997

Research projects

The Human Rights Centre is proud to be home to some incredible research projects. Our inspiring and dedicated academics cover a breadth of human rights issues from investigating in situations of armed conflict, to the role of national human rights institutions.

Explore our current research projects and past research projects below.

Current research projects

Positions held by our members and fellows

Human Rights Centre Members also conduct country- and region-specific human rights work, and possess particular expertise with respect to the United Nations mechanisms, including the UN Special Procedures.

Some of the prominent human rights-related positions held by our members include: Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Committee, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Religion or Belief, member of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, member of UN’s Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen, Legal Advisor to the UK House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution, Rapporteur to the International Law Association’s Committee on the Use of Force, Law Commissioner in Jersey, and Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law.

Our members are also involved in the work of various NGOs and international organisations including Amnesty International, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Oxfam, REDRESS, the Euro-Med Human Rights Network, Child Soldiers International, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, and the AIRE Centre.

Essex is also one of only four universities with a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a development that recognises the breadth of education that Essex provides in relation to the protection of refugees.

Human Rights Centre blog

Read articles relating to the theory and practice of human rights, looking at both contemporary events and longstanding issues in times of peace, instability, and in conflict and post-conflict settings

Read our blog

Litigation work

Our members are also extensively involved in litigation, particularly before the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and actively engage with the major UN human rights institutions.

Past activities undertaken by our members include litigating the case of Garcia Lucero and others v Chile before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, submitting comments to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to the draft general comment on Article 12 of the Covenant, and submitting an amicus curae brief to the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Hassan v United Kingdom and Georgia v Russia cases.

 

Human Rights Centre consultancy

As the leading centre for the interdisciplinary study of human rights, we have extensive experience providing advice and consultancy services to national and international governmental agencies including:

We have also provided similar consultancy services to numerous non-governmental organisations such as the International Committee of the Red CrossAmnesty InternationalHuman Rights WatchArticle 19Minority Rights Group, the Consortium for Street Children, and Interights.

“We’re finding ourselves shaping the global discussion on mental health reform. There is an international debate happening about law reform and how to achieve compliance with the UN Convention and we’re helping people chart a course through the issues  they are facing.”
Professor Wayne Martin Director of eap
Get in touch
Get in touch
General enquiries Human Rights Centre Team