About the Human Rights Centre Clinic

The Human Rights Centre Clinic is based in the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. It is staffed by postgraduate and undergraduate human rights students, who work under the supervision of the Clinic Director. The work of the Clinic is supported by a network of academics who offer subject-specific expertise as appropriate.

The Clinic operates as part of the module, ‘HU902: Right Skills for Human Rights Professionals’. All students enrolled in this module are required to participate in the Clinic, and Clinic membership is restricted to HU902 students.

The Clinic’s primary objective is to provide students with the opportunity to develop the skillset necessary to become successful human rights practitioners through structured engagement in the practice of human rights. The Clinic provides students with the opportunity to work in a professional human rights environment, and to actively engage with key human rights mechanisms.

The Clinic also seeks to support and facilitate the work of human rights organisations, by working in partnership with these organisations on specific projects.

Clinic projects can address any human rights-related issue. Projects focus primarily on engaging the Geneva-based UN human rights mechanisms. For instance, a Clinic team may:

  • Prepare written and/or oral submissions for the Human Rights Council;
  • Prepare alternative reports for submission to a Treaty Monitoring Body;
  • Prepare subject-specific reports for submission to a Treaty Monitoring Body, such as comments on a Draft General Comment;
  • Prepare stakeholder submissions in relation to the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review;
  • Prepare subject or case-specific submissions for UN Special Procedures, such as briefing notes, situational or legal memos, and individual communications;
  • Provide support in relation to individual communications submitted to Treaty Monitoring Bodies.

Clinic projects may also be directed towards engagement with regional human rights systems, such as the Inter-American Commission/Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights, or the African Commission/Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Students are provided with further information on HU902 and the Clinic during induction week.

Patricia Palacios Zuloaga, Director, of the Human Rights Centre Clinic

Want to join the Clinic?

More information on how to join the Human Rights Centre Clinic can be found here: Applying for the Human Rights Centre Clinic

  • Developing practical skills

    The Human Rights Centre Clinic aims to:

    • Provide students with the opportunity to develop the skillset necessary to become successful practitioners through structured engagement in the practice of human rights.
    • Provide students with the experience of working in a professional human rights-based environment.
    • Positively contribute to the overall practice of human rights through engagement with the UN human rights mechanisms, and other mechanisms as appropriate.
    • Contribute to the capacity development of external partner organisations, inter alia, by means of a sustained and collaborative working relationship, and through the placement of Clinic staff.
    • Demonstrate the practical application of human rights and its relevance to ‘real-world’ issues.
  • Working in collaboration

    The Clinic fosters cooperation between practitioners and academics, whose complimentary knowledge and skills are essential in improving analysis, informing practice, and advancing innovative approaches to contemporary challenges in the field of human rights.

  • Contact us

    For more information about our Human Rights Centre Clinic, please contact:

    Patricia Palacios Zuloaga

    Human Rights Centre Clinic Director

    Email p.palacioszuloaga@essex.ac.uk


  • Support the Clinic

    The Human Rights Clinic extends a warm welcome to new donors. If you are interested in getting involved with the Clinic, please email hrclinic@essex.ac.uk and insert 'Donor' into the subject line. Thank you.