Research Project

Debt Justice, Corporate Capture and Human Rights

Principal Investigator
Dr Koldo Casla
University steps chalked with human rights declaration

This project is in collaboration with the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Globally, countries are facing social, political, economic and environmental crises intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. For low- and middle-income countries, these crises have been compounded by debt burdens, constraining governments’ ability to respond to the immediate and essential needs of their people. This phenomenon has heightened inequality and imperilled human rights.

The Human Rights Centre Clinic will work with ESCR-Net to support various research, advocacy and campaigning initiatives in relation to the impact of the neoliberal economic model on public debt, the responsibilities of international financial institutions, and the relationship between debt justice and the enjoyment of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. The project will contribute to promoting accountability for corporate capture and highlight corporate impact and responsibilities in relation to human rights and debt.

Project description

How to apply

This exciting research project is open to postgraduate human rights students as part of the Human Rights Centre Clinic Module (HU902). If you want to join the module-based projects of the Human Rights Centre Clinic in 2022-23, please submit your application by Monday 10 October at 5pm to

The application should include two attachments:

  • your CV (two pages maximum)
  • a 400-word statement explaining why you want to join the Clinic and what you expect to learn from it. The statement should include your preferred three module-based projects in order of preference. We would do our best to accommodate your choices

Interviews will take place via Zoom on Wednesday 12 October (afternoon), Thursday 13 October (all day) and Friday 14 October (morning). You would be allocated a time slot for a short conversation with the HRC Clinic Director and one of the Co-Deputy Directors.

We will communicate the decision on Monday 17 October, and we expect to have the teams in place that week itself.


  • students taking part in any of the six module-based projects will also need to enrol in HU902 (Spring Term and two sessions in Autumn Term)
  • the process described above applies to module-based projects only, not to the stand-alone project on arbitrary detention, which follows its own application process. Students on the stand-alone project do not need to take HU902
  • students are free to apply to module-based projects and to the stand-alone project at the same time, but note that the module-based projects will require approximately 8-10 hours of your time per week from late October to the end of June on top of the coursework for all other modules. We recommend you do not overstretch your commitments

Project supervisor

Fountains on the lake
Get in touch
Human Rights Centre Clinic Human Rights Centre
Essex Law School
Dr Koldo Casla Project Supervisor