On 18 February 2016, the HRD Hub was launched at the Kings Manor, York. The event was attended by over 80 people, including key University of York staff, academics, practitioners and funders.
Michel Forst, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders gave the keynote speech on the situation of human rights defenders and the context and scope of his work. Panelists included Andrew Anderson, the Deputy Director of Frontline Defenders, who spoke about the shrinking space for civil society and the role of academic research in the protection and promotion of human rights defenders worldwide.
Other key panelists included Alice Nah from the Centre of Applied Human Rights (CAHR) and Azza Soliman, an Egyptian human rights defender fellow from CAHR. The panel was chaired by Julie Broome from the Sigrid Rausing Trust.