research projects 

Wellbeing and Temporary International Relocation Initiatives for human rights defenders

A critical but often neglected issue within the human rights movement, is the wellbeing of those protecting and promoting human rights. In valuing deep commitment and sacrifice, cultures of human rights practice often prompt feelings of guilt in relation to ‘self-care.’ The aim of this project is to deepen understandings about the norms, beliefs, and practices that hinder as well as support human rights defenders at risk in strengthening their mental and emotional wellbeing. This project also expores how supporters of human rights defenders can assist those at risk in strengthening their mental and emotional wellbeing and investigates which creative and reflective practices strengthen the mental and emotional wellbeing of defenders at risk, and why.

This project is in collaboration between the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York (CAHR), Justice and Peace Netherlands, the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN), The Martin Roth Initiative, and The New School in New York.

The law of asylum in the Middle East and Asia: Developing legal engagement at the frontiers of the international refugee regime seeks to systematically explore recent successes by local providers of legal aid to refugees and to determine whether these successes can form the basis for a new approach to refugee protection.

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The Hub publishes a series of working papers which aim to make research related to human rights defenders accessible to the public and to promote further research that is relevant to human rights defenders



Find out about Tunisian farmers' grievances and ActionAid's work on unpaid care in our recent blogs.



Policy briefs

The Hub's Security of Defenders project has produced policy briefs related to the security and protection of human rights defenders.  These are available on the Security of Defenders website in English, Arabic, Spanish, Bahasa Indonesia and Kiswahili.

response to research

Civic space is increasingly shrinking across the globe. In a short film made by students based at the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR), human rights defenders from Egypt, Ethiopia and Turkey discuss their experiences of activism and human rights work in a hostile environment. The film features Getachew Simie, currently taking part in our protective fellowship scheme, and is based on research conducted at CAHR.

Poetry films were recently made by MA students from the Centre for Applied Human Rights as part of the Culture and Protest module.  The films are based on verbatim poetry created from interview transcripts from the Navigating Risk, Managing Security, and Receiving Support research project led by Dr. Alice Nah.