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Centre for the Study of Human Rights

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Centre for the Study of Human Rights
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Location on campus:
8th Floor, Tower 3, Clement's Inn

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The Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE is a trans-disciplinary centre of excellence for international academic research, teaching and critical scholarship on human rights.

EXECUTIVE COURSES IN HUMAN RIGHTS - Last chance to apply for bursary spaces!

The Centre for the Study of Human Rights offers a range of CPD certified Human Rights executive short courses designed to attract professional participants who are or will be leaders in their field. This includes civil servants, judges, barristers, solicitors, legislators (or those involved in the legislative process), business people and NGO representatives. Interested members of the general public who want to improve their knowledge of human rights are also welcome. A university degree will normally be required as a condition of acceptance to attend the executive short courses offered at the Centre. 

Forthcoming courses include:

Women's Human Rights (1 - 2 June 2017)

Business and Human Rights (4 - 5 July 2017)

Human Rights Advocacy (16 - 17 November 2017)

International Human Rights Law and Practice (October - December 2017)

Subsidised places for those who would otherwise be unable to attend: Application for subsidised places has been extended and we will continue to accept applications, until 30 April 2017, which is beyond the advertised deadline for the 2016-2017 courses. Places will be awarded on the basis of merit and financial need.  Please visit individual course pages by following the above links to apply.

Priority will be given to those working in non-governmental or voluntary sector organisations who are able to demonstrate a clear benefit to that organisation beyond their personal education and professional development.

Chetan Bhatt
In March, Professor Chetan Bhatt attended the 34th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. He spoke about the rise of the far and religious right at a United Nations side event on ‘The Global Avalanche of Hate’.  This UN side event coincided with the launch of an important report on global extremism and fundamentalism by Prof. Karima Bennoune, the UN
Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights.

New research awards
Dr Bronwen Manby, Visiting Senior Fellow, has been awarded funding from the LSE Middle East Centre through the LSE Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities Programme. The research project "Preventing Statelessness among Migrants in North Africa and their Children: Role of Host and Sending States in Providing Birth Registration and Identity Documents" will investigate the identification needs of Sub-Saharan African and other migrants in North Africa, particularly focusing on children born outside the country of nationality of their parents. The objective is to establish evidence-based recommendations of the best practical methods to ensure universal birth registration, even of children whose parents are in irregular migration status, and the restoration of official identification documents for adults whose papers have been lost or destroyed (for example by smugglers). Our broader objective is, by promoting the recognition and respect of the rights of children and adults to documents that officially confirm their identity and nationality, to contribute to the reduction of statelessness.

Haneen Naamneh has been awarded a 2017–18 Fellowship for Palestinian Scholars Conducting Field-Based Research on Palestine, granted by The Palestinian American Research Center (PARC).

Dr Ayça Çubukçu participated in  'Turkey After the Referendum: A Roundtable' on 16 April 2017 organsied by Jadaliyya.  As part of Jadaliyya's commitment to analyzing ongoing political events in Turkey, they offered the roundtable as a series of initial responses to the referendum results, as well as the state of politics in post-referendum Turkey. It follows upon an earlier roundtable that anticipated the results of the referendum, published in both English and Turkish. Jadaliyya will be publishing further and more detailed analyses in the weeks to come, and will continue to address whatever may come next.
Dr Claire Moon, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Senior Research Associate in the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, will deliver the Aberystwyth Post-International Group (APIG) Annual Lecture "Human Rights, Human Remains" at the University of Aberystwyth on Tuesday 2 May. This lecture will address the rise in importance of the dead body to investigations of atrocity. It will speak to three things: first the use of forensic science to make the dead body 'speak' to atrocity; second, the social and political significance of human remains; and third, the implications for human rights. Specifically, it will explore whether it is possible to claim, now, that the dead have human rights.
Nicolas Bueno1

Dr Nicolas Bueno, LAB Visiting Fellow, has written a new article 'Corporate Liability for Violations of the Human Right to Just Conditions of Work in Extraterritorial Operations' published in 22 The International Journal of Human Rights (2017).

When 250 workers die in a fire at a Pakistani factory producing jeans for a German discount chain or when workers commit suicide in Chinese factories producing electronics for international brands, should only the corporations in Pakistan and China be held liable? What about the liability of their parent and subcontracting companies abroad? The United Nations and the OECD increasingly recommend that parent and subcontracting companies conduct human rights due diligence throughout their global operations. This is also reflected in General Comment 23, which was recently adopted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and relates to the right to just conditions of work. To date, however, there is no domestic law that specifically addresses the liability of parent or subcontracting companies for violations of the right to just working conditions of employees of foreign subsidiaries or suppliers. This article presents emerging tansnational case law and the most recent legal developments in that regard.

For a copy of the full text/pdf, please contact Dr Bueno direct.

street spirit

Visiting Fellow, Steve Crawshaw's new book Street Spirit: The Power of Protest and Mischief  has been published, with a foreword by Ai Weiwei. Steve's book addresses the power of nonviolence, the relevance of creative mischief, and the challenges of achieving successful protest in today's complex world. Ai Weiwei called the book "relevant and powerful". John le Carré described the book as "powerful, moving, necessary". 


Dr Claire Moon, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Senior Research Associate in the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, has been awarded a prestigious Wellcome Trust Investigator Award in Humanities and Social Science for £385,000. The project is entitled ‘Human rights, human remains: forensic humanitarianism and the politics of the grave’ and she’ll be working on it for the next four years.

The project addresses the power of forensic science to turn the dead body into to a witness to atrocity. It’s about the experts who make the dead speak. It’s about the families of the dead. And it’s about the dead, and what we owe them. It comprises a history of the ‘forensic turn’ in humanitarianism; an investigation of challenges and innovations in the field in the context of Mexico’s war against organised crime; and an exploration of whether, as a consequence of the forensic turn, it can be argued that the dead have human rights.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the project Claire can be contacted on c.moon@lse.ac.uk


On 23 March, the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights in collaboration with the Law and Financial Markets Project and the Transnational Law Project hosted an evening discussion on Financial Institutions and Human Rights. The event attracted over 40 participants from banks, banking associations, law firms, students, academics and civil society. Andrea Saldarriaga moderated the discussion centered on the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement on human rights. Representatives from the Dutch Banking Association, ING Bank in the Netherlands and Standard Chartered Bank in the UK offered their insights on the agreement and whether such an initiative might make sense in the UK context. A lively debate followed, which was initiated by Dr. Philipp Paech, Andrea Shemberg and Dr. Jan Kleinheisterkamp.

Stefanie Grant
Stefanie Grant, Visiting Senior Fellow, has co-authored a paper 'IOM and the UN: Unfinished Business'. The paper examines the place of UN human rights obligations regarding migrants and the IOM Member states' position that it should remain a 'non-normative' agency even after its inclusion in the UN system. The abstract can be viewed here.

Eyob Ghilazghy, Visiting Fellow, Exiled Eritrean, Executive Director of AfricaMonitors and resident writer with English PEN has contributed to a number ofdiscussions on human rights situations in Eritrea.  Highlights of these events include:

The Asylum Journey: More than one story

On the 20th March 2017 Eyob was one of five speakers in this event organized by the Refugee Centre, Notre Dame University in
London. The event addressed the challenges of migration and the problems, dangers and hardships refugees and asylum seekers face including sexual and economic exploitation, human trafficking, and hostage taking for ransom, abductions and rape.

Writers at Risks: Goldsmiths English Pen

On the1st March 2017, Goldsmiths English Pen organized this event where Eyob was one of  two speakers. The speakers shared their experiences and discussed the state of freedom of speech, expression and protest drawing on the situations in their respective countries: Eritrea and Turkey.  The event took place at Goldsmiths University and was attended by Goldsmiths English Pen members.

Eritrea's Forgotten Journalists:

Eyob participated in this event on the situation of freedom of expression in Eritrea at the Frontline club on the 8th of February 2017. The event was organized in partnership between English Pen and the Frontline Club in London under the theme: Eritrea’s forgotten journalists. During the event the speakers underscored the grave human rights conditions in Eritrea,  focusing on the situation of freedom of expression and the press, where there is a total shut down of private media and the disappearance of many journalists and writers,held incommunicado for almost two decades without being charged or brought before a court of law.

Bronwen_Manby_crop 2015
'Toxic rhetoric' takes human rights into dark age:  Dr Bronwen Manby is interviewed about Amnesty Internationals' "The State of the World's Human Rights' assessment. "Some of the world’s largest countries are not being held to account when it comes to human rights violations."
Bangladeshi Bloggers

A new project on Bangladeshi bloggers facing persecution and death at the hands of the violent religious right was launched in Michaelmas term.  The project, organised by The Swadhinata Trust UK, aims to report on the key human rights issues related to the recent murders and attacks on secular, human rights and rationalist bloggers in Bangladesh.  The project will produce a comprehensive online toolkit to provide support to bloggers currently under serious threat.  The project is coordinated with the Centre, which is providing research and other support.

The Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights in collaboration with the Law and Financial Markets Project and the Transnational Law Project, Department of Law, invites you to an evening discussion 'Financial Institutions and Human Rights: what is the Dutch banking sector agreement on human rights and should UK financial institutions follow suit?'.

This event will welcome representatives from the Dutch Banking Association, ING Bank in the Netherlands and Standard Chartered Bank in the UK to discuss the recently signed Dutch Banking Sector Agreement on human rights and its international implications.

Date: 23 March, 2017, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm  -  cocktails will follow

Venue: LSE New Academic Building, Thai Theatre, 54 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3LJ

RSVP by 10 March 2017 atlaw.lfmp@lse.ac.uk. Space is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please indicate your role and affiliation when registering for the event.

Bronwen_Manby_crop 2015
Dr Bronwen Manby, Visiting Senior Fellow, contributed a chapter on “Legal identity for all” to the biannual report of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion on The World’s Stateless, focusing this year on childhood statelessness. The report was launched on 2 February in London. Details of the launch event can be found here
In January 2017, Dr Ayça Çubukçu presented her lecture "Thinking Against Humanity" at the Political and Legal Theory Workshop, National University of Ireland, Galway and as the 48th Gender Lecture, University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Dr Claire Moon was invited to present a paper at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queens' University, Belfast at a panel entitled 'Representing Disappearance' on 9th January 2017.  Her paper, entitled 'Ventriloquists of the object world', spoke to the role of forensic visualisation in representing the dead and disappeared victims of mass atrocity.


Dr Moon also has a new publication in a key volume of collected papers on forensic biohistory.  Her contribution looks at the role of forensic biohistory in investigations of atrocity: Clair Moon (2017) 'The biohistory of atrocity or the social life of human remains' in Christopher M. Stojanowski and William N. Duncan (eds.) Studies in Forensic Biohistory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).


The Investment & Human Rights Project (IHR Project) at the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy closed its doors on 1 November 2016 after three successful years - and a year longer than its original mandate. During its operation, the IHR Project delivered an impressive list of concrete results, including developing the innovative Investment & Human Rights Learning Hub – which will continue –  and carrying out capacity building on the State Duty to Protect in investment policymaking at high-level workshops in Colombia and Indonesia. The IHR Project also became a focal point for civil society, governments, international institutions and others seeking to make sense of the entry points for human rights in investment, and the Project was an active contributor to international policy debates on the subject. It contributed to the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights on issues related to investment contracts and the reform of IIAs; produced an on-line Guide for how States can integrate the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into their investment policymaking and worked with governments to support this integration; hosted policy discussions on investment and human rights in international fora including UNCTAD and the OECD and contributed to the discussion on the reform of the investment treaty regime and the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), including at a meeting with the European Commission.

The IHR Project co-leads Andrea Shemberg and Andrea Saldarriaga will remain involved with the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy and the ongoing management of the Learning Hub as a key resource for States, companies, lawyers, academics and civil society as Visiting Fellows at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights.

Stefanie Grant

Stefanie Grant, Visiting Senior Fellow, has co-authored a paper with Professor Elspeth Guild, Queen Mary University. 'Migration Governance in the UN: What is the Global Compact and what does it mean?'. The abstract is available here 

Asma Jahangir credit Wolfgang Schmidt
Religious intolerance and its impact on Democracy
Professor Chetan Bhatt chaired the recent LSE International Inequalities Institute/STICERD Amartya Sen Lecture 2017.  The speaker, Asma Jilani Jahangir is a Pakistani human rights lawyer and activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.  A podcast is available here
Bronwen_Manby_crop 2015

Dr Bronwen Manby has co-authored a blog with Alan Gelb of Center for Global Development 'Has development converged with human rights? Implications for the legal identity SDG'

AHRI Utrecht Declaration on Academic Freedom
The Utrecht Declaration on Academic Freedom was adopted by the Assembly of the Association of Human Rights Institutes on 3 September.  The Centre for the Study of Human Rights is a longstanding AHRI member and Dr Margot Salomon is vice Chair of its Executive Committee. 
ID4D image
The June 2016 World Bank report 'Identification in the Context of Forced Displacement: identification for development (ID4D)' by Dr Bronwen Manby, Visiting Senior Fellow, is now available online.

Dr Ayça Çubukçu on the Turkey coup attempt                      

Dr Ayça Çubukçu has written for The Guardian about the recent events in Turkey. In her piece, entitled 'It’s the will of the Turkish people, Erdogan says. But which people?', Dr Çubukçu writes that "After the failed coup on 15 July, followed by a state of emergency, little is how it appears to be any more". Follow the link above to read the full article online.

Margot Salomon
UN Independent Expert draws on Dr Salomon’s research for his mission to Brussels

The study by Margot Salomon and Olivier De Schutter on Economic Policy Conditionality, Socio-Economic Rights and International Legal Responsibility is cited by the United Nations Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights after his recent visit to the EU institutions. The aim of his visit was to assess the response of the institutions and member States of the European Union to the sovereign debt and financial crisis from a human rights perspective. The Independent Expert’s full findings and recommendations will be presented in his report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017.


SPEAK OUT! In this piece on Development under Uncertainty in the Arab World, Dr Ali Kadri discusses obstacles to development in the Arab world with emphasis on the baleful impact of conflicts. He tells us about the social efficiency criterion, the legal corruption of institutional lenders, and how private interests exhibit a necrotrophic relationship with the public sector or indigenous economy. The key question to investigate, it is said, is the relationship between wars and violent social order restructuring.

Margot Salomon
LSE REF Impact case study: Respecting, protecting and promoting human rights beyond national borders

LSE produced a case study to map the important work by Dr Margot Salomon over the past several years on socio-economic rights, and duties, beyond borders. The case study is meant to engage a wide audience and highlights the findings in her book on international human rights law and world poverty, her contribution to the drafting of the Maastricht Principles on Extraterritorial Obligations of States in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and, most recently, her research on austerity in Greece and the responsibility of international creditors. The case study can be found here and the video with commentaries from Zoe Konstantopoulou, former Speaker of the Greek Parliament, and Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, can be found here.

Andrea Shemberg

On 16 November, the Investment and Human Rights Project (IHRP) at the Centre’s Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights hosted a joint session at the UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights. The session addressed how States should implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPS) in the context of investment policy, drawing on the recent work by the IHRP in Colombia and Indonesia. The UN Panel discussion brought together representatives from both countries to discuss the current plans for investment policy to be included in their respective National Action Plans to implement the UNGPs. Andrea Shemberg of the IHRP participated on the Panel along with a representative of Rio Tinto. Dante Pesce of the working group moderated. The UN Annual Forum is a public meeting, but registration was required here

Andrea Saldarriaga
Does Europe need a new investment policy? What should be the underlying values and objectives of that policy? On 19 June 2015, Andrea Saldarriaga addressed these questions at a seminar organised by the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union on the 'Treatment of EU investors in the Single Market'. Her remarks pointed to the need to construct a European investment policy reflective of Europe's values of transparency, democracy and respect for human rights. Read the remarks on the Investment and Human Rights Learning Hub
Margot Salomon

15 June 2015: Legal brief prepared by Dr Margot Salomon and Professor Olivier De Schutter for the Debt Truth Committee of the Hellenic Parliament points to the responsibilities of the Eurozone states, EC, ECB, Council, EU states, IMF member states and IMF for the human rights impacts of economic conditionality. Read the legal brief (PDF)

Chetan Bhatt

Some say origin stories give people a sense of belonging, but in his TEDx talk Professor Chetan Bhatt dares us to refuse them. Instead we should develop a deeper sense of personhood, responsible to humanity as a whole. Chetan delivered ‘Visions of a Future without Origin Stories and Identity Myths’ as part of TEDxExeter’s event ‘Taking the Long View’. Watch the video 

Awol Allo
Washington enables authoritarianism in Ethiopia - in a recent post on Al Jazeera America, Dr Awol Allo argues that blanket US support for the Ethiopian regime risks dismantling the country’s already beleaguered opposition. In a recent Gearty Grilling  Dr Allo discussed the courtroom as a method of resistance, the current political climate in Ethiopia, and his own activism. He highlighted the central themes of his forthcoming edited volume The Courtroom as a Space of Resistance: Reflections on the Legacy of the Rivonia Trial (Ashgate, 2015). Watch the Interview 
Margot Salomon

Linking the Troika to social rights violations in Europe, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica draws on the recent work of Dr Margot SalomonOf Austerity, Human Rights and International Institutions’ exposes a series of black holes when it comes to establishing responsibility for the violation of human rights’. Dr Salomon was invited by the Speaker of the Greek Parliament to join the Special Committee of the Hellenic Parliament for the Audit of the Greek Debt (Debt Truth Committee). 

Woman walking carrying basket on her head
Investment & Human Rights Learning Hub: where users can explore the connections between investment and human rights, find relevant resources in the toolboxes, watch learning videos and read expert articles on a range of investment and human rights themes. The Investment & Human Rights Project is an initiative of the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy (The Lab)

Global Civil War: Solidarity by Proxy

Speaker: Professor Susan Buck-Morss, Distinguished Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Theory, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Chair: Dr Ayça Çubukçu, Assistant Professor in Human Rights, Centre for the Study of Human Rights,

In the twenty-first century any world war is a civil war, and any civil war affects the world. Does this mean the end...

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