the human rights defender hub...

was launched at the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) within the University of York in February 2016.  Supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations the Hub aims to become a world-leading provider of training and research on the protection of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs).  The purpose of the Hub is to facilitate dialogue, collaboration and reflection amongst scholars, practitioners, and defenders.  The Hub has introduced a new ‘rapid research response’ service, significantly expanding CAHR’s current research on HRDs, and has established an international network on HRD research.

The Hub’s ‘rapid research response’ service involves the prompt production of research to support the immediate needs of strategic partners.  Initially this service is being piloted through a strategic partnership with the Special Procedures Branch of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) which supports the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of HRDs.

The Hub has expanded CAHR’s current research related to HRDs by establishing a thematic research programme with projects initially addressing

  • Legal and Administrative Mechanisms for Repression
  • Fostering Enabling Environments for the Defence of Human Rights
  • Ethnographies of Risk and Protection
  • Assessing the Effectiveness of Protection Mechanisms

The Hub has started to build and maintain an international network on HRD research through a range of network-building activities, including a working paper series, seminar series and biannual HRD conference.

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