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Centre for the Study of Human Rights

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LSE Human Rights
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

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First Floor, Dept of Sociology
St Clement’s, Clare Market
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LSE Human Rights is a trans-disciplinary centre of excellence for international academic research, teaching and critical scholarship on human rights.

LSE Human Rights 

Important and exciting changes are planned for the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE.  In Michaelmas Term 2017, the Centre will move to the Department of Sociology and be relaunched as LSE Human Rights.  LSE Human Rights will be the key focal point at LSE for interdisciplinary human rights teaching, research, and public engagement. LSE Human Rights will benefit considerably from the strong support and commitment of the Department of Sociology and other departments at LSE, including the Department of Law. LSE Human Rights will relocate to a new dedicated cluster space within the Department of Sociology and will develop further its engagement with new academic colleagues working in human rights areas. The new organisational structure of LSE Human Rights will improve its academic capacity to better meet the challenges of human rights today. The Stan Cohen Library will be housed in Sociology in recognition of a key founder of the Centre and renowned sociologist, the late Stan Cohen, a former colleague in the Department. 

Current Centre activities will continue in LSE Human Rights, and new activities are planned in several areas. These include the development of a new human rights Executive Masters programme, potentially a second Masters in Politics and Human Rights, and further high profile public engagement activities and research projects.  LSE Human Rights will also offer two new short courses in 2018 in migration and in cybersecurity, and these will join the existing portfolio of six short courses on international human rights, war, women’s rights, children’s rights, advocacy and business. LSE Human Rights will remain committed to public engagement, including through its highly successful public events programme, the human rights blog, newsletter, social media, and other planned activities. The Scholars at Risk programme will continue to be managed by LSE Human Rights and will expand its fundraising capacity to assist more scholars in the future.  Current Centre funding and research staff will remain in place under the umbrella of LSE Human Rights, overseen by and under the governance of the Department of Sociology. LSE Human Rights will have its own Strategy Committee, comprised of a subset of current Advisory Board members along with Department staff representatives and other interested collaborative partners internal to the LSE. 

Commenting on the relaunch of LSE Human Rights incoming Director of the LSE, Dame Minouche Shafik said: “During this period of escalating attacks on human rights in many parts of the world and on many of the freedoms we take for granted, I am delighted to affirm LSE’s commitment to human rights, ones that are key to LSE’s mission of international education, research and public engagement. I warmly support the transition of LSE Human Rights into the Department of Sociology, a transition that will expand its interdisciplinary activities and increase further the profile of human rights across and outside the School.  I look forward to working with LSE Human Rights colleagues and wish it every success for the future.”



Registration is currently open: 

Law, War and Human Rights  (15 - 16 February 2018)
This programme examines the laws of war and international criminal law from the perspective of international human rights law. It confronts the crucial questions: are human rights law, the laws of war and international criminal law three distinct disciplines? Have they now become so entwined that it is not possible fully to understand one without some knowledge of the other?

At the course's conclusion, participants will have a real grasp of how human rights law now informs all aspects of conflict and its aftermath, including terrorism and international crimes. 

Congratulations to Dr Claire Moon who has won an Excellence in Education Award for the second year running in the Student-Led Teaching Excellence awards.

Designed to support the School’s aspiration of creating ‘a culture where excellence in teaching is valued and rewarded on a level with excellence in research’ (LSE Strategy 2020), the Excellence in Education Awards are made, on the recommendations of Heads of Department, to staff who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments.

Francesca Klug
Francesca Klug OBE, Visiting Professor, will give the Hans Albrecht Foundation - Annual lecture at the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, on 2 November 2017. Full details here
Ali Kadri
Dr Ali Kadri joins the Lab as Visiting Fellow
Ali Kadri is a Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore and formerly Head of the Economic Analysis Section at the United Nations regional office for Western Asia. Ali’s scholarship has focused on de-development and the issue of accumulation through destruction, the production of waste and militarism. Recent books include The Unmaking of Arab Socialism (2016) where he shows that the destructive tendencies of imperialism in the Arab world and Africa are neither accidental nor historically contingent, but systemic and necessarily rooted in the global crisis of overproduction. His most recent work is The Cordon Sanitaire: a Single Law Governing Development in East Asia and the Arab World (2017).
Chetan Bhatt

'Dare to refuse the origin myths that claim who you are'

We all have origin stories and identity myths, our tribal narratives that give us a sense of security and belonging. But sometimes our small-group identities can keep us from connecting with humanity as a whole -- and even keep us from seeing others as human. In a powerful talk about how we understand who we are, Chetan Bhatt challenges us to think creatively about each other and our future. As he puts it: it's time to change the question from "Where are you from?" to "Where are you going?"

Professor Chetan Bhatt's TED Talk is now available at Ted.com

Margot Salomon
On 1 August Dr Margot Salomon launched her new research project on 'Legal rights and the political economy of debt and austerity in Europe’, as
experienced Marie Curie fellow. Following on from her recent work on the
austerity crisis and the legal duties of international institutions, this next
phase will draw on the state-of-the-art from across a range of critical fields to study how law’s progressive potential is circumscribed by the intellectual and practical justifications of dominant economic narratives.

Dr Salomon will carry out this work at the Robert Schuman Centre for advanced Studies, the interdisciplinary research centre at the European University Institute (Florence). This EU funded project will run during the academic year 2017-18
Stan Cohen

Each year The Stan Cohen Prize is awarded for the best LSE MSc Human Rights dissertation.  In the most recent cohort three MSc students shared the prize. 

Many congratulations to the three prize winners!

Nicolas Bueno1
On 19 May 2017 Dr Nicolas Bueno, LAB Visiting Fellow, presented his paper "From Responsibility to Liability: The Swiss Popular Initiative on Responsible Business." at the international conference on Accountability and International Business Operations organized by Utrecht University
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 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.
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 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.

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
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.
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.

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 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 

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)
Accidental Anarchist: life without government
Speaker: Carne Ross, Founder, Independent Diplomat
Chair: Dr Ayça Çubukçu, Assistant Professor in Human Rights, LSE
Date: Tuesday 21 November 2017, 6.30 pm - 8.00pm  
Venue: NAB.1.04 - New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields 
International Human Rights Day Lecture
Speaker: Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)
Chair: Professor Chetan Bhatt, Director, LSE Human Rights
Date: Monday 4 December 2017, 6.30 pm - 8.00pm  
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre,  New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields 
Francesca Klug
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: rejuvenate or retire?
Speaker: Francesca Klug OBE, Visiting Professor, LSE Human Rights
Chair: Professor Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights Law, LSE and former Director, LSE Human Rights
Date: Monday 5 February 2018, 6.30 pm - 8.00pm  
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building, Houghton Street
Human Rights in the Neoliberal Maelstrom
Speaker: Samuel Moyn, Professor of Law and History, Yale University
Chair: Dr Ayça Çubukçu, Assistant Professor in Human Rights, LSE
Date: Wednesday 7 February 2018, 6.30 pm - 8. 00 pm
Venue: TW1.G.01 (Tower 1, Ground Floor)
The Glocal Governance of Transgression: Corruption Rules Beyond the State and the Problems of Transnational Criminal Law
Speaker: Dr Radha Ivory,  Lecturer, TC Beirne School of Law at The University of Queensland
Chair: Dr Ian Patel, BJS LSE Fellow, LSE Human Rights
Date: Monday 12 February, 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue: NAB.1.04 - New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields 


LSE Human Rights student-led blog

Measuring Business & Human Rights blog (external to LSE Human Rights)





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