Human Rights Research Students’ Conference May 2019

Date: Thursday 16th May, 9.00am - 6.00pm
Location: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Russell Square, University of London

On the 16 May  2019 the Human Rights Consortium hosted the latest Human Rights Research Students's Conference. Students from across the UK and beyond gathered to present on a wide array of pertinent issues, ranging from the impact of new technologies on the right to health in the UK to the rights of people with disabilities in Latin America. 

Conference Programme

HRRN annual conference 'Activist Scholarship in Human Rights: New Challenges

The first HRRN annual conference 'Activist Scholarship in Human Rights: New Challenges' was held on 28 June 2017 at the Senate House, University of London. The conference brought together scholars, activists and NGO practitioners to reflect on the challenges facing activist scholarship from both within and outside, including the relationship between knowledge production on human rights and eradication of human rights violations, and the role of the scholar in bringing social change. During the parallel sessions, the conference participants 

The opening panel featured Professor Donatella Della Porta, Dr Aziz Choudry, Professor Nadje Al-Ali and Dr Ornette Clennon. The themes of the parallel panel sessions included Law and Activist Scholarship, Methods in Activist Scholarship, Ethical Dilemmas in Activist Scholarship, Using Activist Scholarship in Education, Activist Scholarship in Social Movements, and Academia and Activism in Turkey: Challenging State Narratives and Defending Human Rights.

For the full conference programme, please click here

Storify summary of the conference by Dr Ornette Clennon

We would like to thank the John Coffin Memorial Trust and the Taylor and Francis Publishers for their support.​

Indigenous peoples, genocide and the stand-off at Standing Rock

8th of March Seminar - Ben Madley

On 8 March 2017, the Human Rights Consortium held a seminar on 'Indigenous peoples, genocide and the stand-off at Standing Rock' looking into the historic genocide of indigenous peoples, the growing understanding that genocide includes the extinguishment of culture and the environment on which we all depend, and their relevance to one of the largest and longest acts of recent indigenous resistance in the USA now taking place at Standing Rock.

On the occasion of the publication of University of California Los Angeles historian Benjamin Madley’s book on the genocide of the indigenous peoples of California during the Gold Rush of the 1850s, the HRC invited the author to make the case for this little known period of Californian history that reduced the native population from 150,000 to some 16,000 in a period of 20 years. Meticulously gathering evidence of over 370 massacres, often federally instigated and funded, Madley demonstrates that these acts fall squarely within the articles of the Genocide Convention.

Damien Short (University of London) complemented the key note speaker by making the case for a wider understanding of the notion of genocide including ecocide and ethnocide drawing on material in his recent publication on genocide.

Colin Samson (University of Essex) who has recently co-authored a book on indigenous peoples and colonialism reflected on how the colonial mind-set is as present as ever in the violent confrontations at Standing Rock where Native Americans are resisting the construction of an oil pipeline affecting their lands.

Strategies to protect human rights researchers and academics at risk

Attacks on human rights defenders and academics are increasing at an alarming rate across the world. By carrying out their research, campaign and advocacy activities they become the target of both state and non-state actors. At a time when documenting human rights violations is more critical, human rights defenders face imprisonment, torture and threats of death. Similarly, academics face increasingly repressive reaction by the governments simply because of what they say or write. 

On 9 December 2016, the Human Rights Consortium organised a workshop on the strategies to protect human rights researchers and academics at risk with the participation of academics, students and human rights NGOs. The workshop aimed to contribute to the global efforts to develop collaborative and proactive strategies to protect and promote the rights of human rights defenders and academics at risk. We aim to bring together researchers in academic institutions and NGOs to reflect on creative tactics to prevent attacks and improve the conditions of researchers worldwide.


  • Ms Sinead O'Gorman, Scholars at Risk 
  • Dr Alice Nah, Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York 
  • Mr Stephen Wordsworth, Council for At-Risk Academics 
  • Ms Eva Blum-Dumontet, Privacy International
  • Ms Susi Bascon, Peace Brigades International UK
  • Mr Adán Guillermo López Lone, Association of Judges for Democracy 
  • Ms Hannah Smith, Tactical Technology Collective

Workshop Report

For the workshop concept note, please click here

For the workshop programme, please click here.

Human Rights Research Students’ Conference November 2016

Date: Friday 11 November 2016, 9.00am - 6.00pm
Location: Senate House, School of Advanced Study, University of London

On 11 November 2016, the Human Rights Consortium organised Human Rights Postgraduate Research Students’ conference, as part of a conference series aimed at students working within the broad interdisciplinary field of human rights and social justice. The conferences aim to stimulate research on contemporary human rights issues, problems, challenges and policies, and to facilitate the dissemination of such research.

The conferences are co-convened by the Human Rights Consortium, University of London, the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex and the Glasgow Human Rights Network, University of Glasgow.

Conference Programme
Call for papers