Human rights and social justice
Human Rights and Social Justice are central to the interests of the Global Justice Academy, and are key themes in our rapid reaction events series addressing current global challenges.
Renewing our Commitment to Human Rights
08 September 2018
As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, we, the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI), meeting at the University of Edinburgh on 8 September 2018, call for firm and unreserved human rights engagement in times of turmoil. We need to confront and to respond to the wave of racism, populism and violent language we see in politics, the media and society. We reject the anti-human rights ideas which have entered mainstream political discourse. Humanity should always trump nationality. We strongly reaffirm the universality and indivisibility of all human rights as the foundation of international peace, sustainable development and human dignity.
We should engage with today’s rather than yesterday’s battles. But, are the challenges truly different than they were 70 years ago?
The drafters of the Universal Declaration found that ‘disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind.’ In response to the genocides in Rwanda and Srebrenica, world leaders in 2005 unanimously decided that governments and the international community have a responsibility to protect populations against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Today, we are appalled by the fact that the international community again is allowing gross and systematic human rights violations,including genocide, to happen before our eyes. We are also deeply disturbed by the attacks against human rights defenders in Colombia, Venezuela and countless other countries. As we meet, we cannot fail to be shocked by the outrageous war crimes in Syria, South Sudan and Yemen and the ongoing genocide of the Rohingyas. We call upon States Parties to the Genocide Convention to hold both individual perpetrators and States responsible for violations with a view to preventing and stopping them and to seek accountability and reparation.
In line with the Universal Declaration we, as a global network of academic human rights institutes, call on every individual and every organ of society to stand up for a new social and international order in which all human rights can be fully and effectively realized.
Comparative Anthropology of Conscience, Ethics and Human Rights
This project is a comparative anthropology of conscience, ethics and human rights. Numerous international human rights documents formally declare their commitment to protect freedom of conscience. But, what is conscience and how do we know it when we see it?
The Documentation of Torture and Ill-Treatment
The Documentation of Torture and Ill-Treatment is a comparative analysis of the challenges faced by those attempting to document torture and ill-treatment in Low-Income Countries, focusing on Nepal, Bangladesh and Kenya.
Minority Women, Activism and Austerity
'Minority Women, Activism and Austerity' was a comparative study that examined minority women’s experiences of, and activism against, austerity in Scotland, England and France. This project finished in 2016, but the research website is still available.
Political Settlements Research Programme
The Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP) examines how political settlements come into being, how open and inclusive they are, and how internal and external actors shape them.
Realising Justice? Land Reform in Southern Africa
'Realising Justice? Land Reform in Southern Africa' is a collaborative programme of workshops, research and training, addressing the critical issues of land rights and reform in southern Africa.
Other Centres and Projects working on Human Rights and Social Justice:
- Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences, and the Law
- Confronting the Liminal Spaces of Health Research Regulation
- Centre for Canadian Studies
- Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC)
- Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES)
- Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Contact us if you would like your centre or project listed here.
LLM in Human Rights
The LLM in Human Rights at Edinburgh Law School is an interdisciplinary programme providing a theoretical and practical understanding of international human rights law in its broader political context.
Social Justice and Community Action - Online Learning
This part-time and fully online Masters programme at the Moray House School of Education and Sport offers you the opportunity to critically engage with foundational ideas and debates about equality, fairness, power, democracy and citizenship and to consider a range of actions in communities, in public and third sector organisations, and in policy and legislation processes, for the real world application of these ideas.
MSc Carbon Management
The MSc Carbon Management is an interdisciplinary programme which focuses on the response to the challenge of climate change and decarbonising the economy. Drawing upon business studies, climate science, economics and the social sciences, it is delivered by the School of GeoSciences and the Business School at the University of Edinburgh.
Guantánamo Bay, Human Rights and International Law
Dr Kasey McCall-Smith visited Guantánamo Bay in 2016 to observe its military commission proceedings.
Specifying and Securing a Social Minimum
In June 2017, the Global Justice Academy supported a workshop at the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law on 'Specifying and Securing a Social Minimum'.