UCL Institute for Human Rights



The UCL Institute for Human Rights treats the task of continuing to research and develop the ideal of human rights as ongoing

The institute was established to bring the university's multidisciplinary expertise (eg in law, the humanities, social sciences and medical sciences) to bear on human rights.  The institute will play a prominent role as facilitator to bring together stakeholders and researchers and to develop new working partnerships in the advancement of human rights.


  • to advance and disseminate knowledge regarding issues of moral justification, legal interpretation and practical implementation of human rights both domestic and international
  • to develop models of accountability for different types human rights, equality and social justice claims
  • to provide innovative, workable solutions to domestic and international human-rights problems by bringing together UCL's immense multidisciplinary wealth of intellectual capital, international collaborations and commitment to advancements in human rights
  • to equip students studying human rights with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to contribute to the human-rights movement, be it through civil society, government institution or legal practice


The UCL Institute for Human Rights (IHR) coordinates research undertaken in the field of human rights across UCL. Research work is organised around seven themes:

Human-Rights Theory
  • Philosophical foundations of human rights – Saladin Meckled-Garcia (UCL School of Public Policy), Jonathan Wolff (UCL Philosophy) and Stephen Guest, William Twining and George Letsas (UCL Laws)
  • Interpretation of human-rights law – George Letsas (UCL Laws)
  • Scepticism and critiques of human rights - Richard Bellamy (UCL Political Science & School of Public Policy), Ronan McCrea (UCL Laws)
  • Economic and social rights theory; equality and human rights – Colm O’Cinneide (UCL Laws)
  • Legitimacy and authority of supranational human-rights courts – Richard Bellamy (UCL Political Science & School of Public Policy
  • Public-health ethics – James Wilson (UCL Centre for Philosophy, Justice & Health)
  • Human rights promotion and post-colonial theory – Ralph Wilde (UCL Laws)
  • Freedom of religion rights and secularism, Cecile Laborde (UCL Political Science), Ronan McCrea (UCL Laws)
  • Self-determination – Ralph Wilde (UCL Laws)
  • Social Rights; Labour Rights; Privacy - Virginia Mantouvalou, UCL, Laws
Political Science & Human Rights
  • Human rights indicators
  • Human rights indicators and democratic indicators, Rod Abouharb (UCL, Political Science)
  • Empirical analysis of institutional practice
  • NGO Human Rights movements and agendas (Lisa Vanhala, UCL, Political Science)
  • Religion and religious freedom rights (Cecile Laborde, UCL, Political Science, 
  • Rights without constitutional entrenchment (Richard Bellamy, UCL, Political Science)
Human-Rights Law: UK, European and International
  • Economic and Social human rights protections (Virginia Mantouvalou, UCL, Laws)
  • Labour Rights (Virginia Mantouvalou, UCL, Laws)
  • Law of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the ECHR – Colm O’Cinneide, Rodney Austin, Silvia Borelli, Ralph Wilde, Ronan McCrea and George Letsas (UCL Laws)
  • Extra-territorial application of human-rights treaties – Silvia Borelli, Ralph Wilde, Douglas Guilfoyle (UCL Laws)
  • Terrorism, emergency law and transfer of individuals – Silvia Borelli (UCL Laws)
  • Human rights in private law and conflict of laws – Myriam Hunter-Henin (UCL Laws)
  • Migration law and policy; refugee law – Ingrid Boccardi and Ralph Wilde (UCL Laws)
  • Freedom of expression – Eric Barendt (UCL Laws)
  • Freedom of information – Rodney Austin (UCL Laws)
  • Children’s rights – Michael Freeman (UCL Laws)
Health & Human Rights
  • Public-health ethics – James Wilson, (UCL Centre for Philosophy, Justice & Health)
  • Cross-cultural issues in health; health and development – Nora Groce (UCL Population Health)
  • Women’s health – Raymond Noble (UCL Institute for Women’s Health)
  • Medical rights of asylum seekers – Cornelius Katona (UCL Mental Health Sciences)
  • Human rights of people with dementia – Maria Parsons (London Centre for Dementia Care)
  • Research ethics and bioethics – Sarah Edwards (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health)
  • Nutrition in emergencies – Andrew Seal (UCL Centre for International Health & Development)
  • Disability-related issues in situations of disaster and conflict – Maria Kett (UCL Medicine)
  • Global-health governance – David McCoy (UCL Centre for International Health & Development)
  • Medical law and ethics – Michael Freeman (UCL Laws)
Archaeology, Anthropology & History of Human Rights
  • Forensic anthropology and human-rights issues – Roxana Ferllini (UCL Institute of Archaeology)
  • Transnational, transatlantic, international, human rights, and diplomatic history, Sarah Snyder (UCL, History)
  • Cross-cultural healthcare and anthropology of post-conflict societies – Alexandra Argenti-Pillen (UCL Anthropology)
  • Religious toleration in Europe – Benjamin Kaplan (UCL History)
  • Cultural history of detention and censorship – Jann Matlock (UCL French)
  • Conservation and indigenous peoples – Renata Peters (UCL Institute of Archaeology)
Information, Security, Migration & Human Rights
  • Geography of political violence; political theory of terrorism – Alex Braithwaite (UCL School of Public Policy)
  • Information security – Ingemar Cox (Adastral Park)
  • Computer security – Anthony Finkelstein (UCL Computer Science)
  • Terrorism and the new constitutionalism – Rodney Austin (UCL Laws)
  • Terrorism, emergency, warfare and human rights – Silvia Borelli and Ralph Wilde (UCL Laws)
  • Records management and freedom of information – Elizabeth Shepherd (UCL Information Studies)
  • International migration, refugees, skilled migration and trafficking – John Salt (UCL Migration Research Unit), Ralph Wilde (UCL Laws)
  • EU migration law and policy – Ronan McCrea, (UCL Laws), Ingrid Boccardi (UCL Laws)
Built Environment, Business & Human Rights
  • Planning and municipal poverty-reduction practices – Yves Cabannes (UCL Development Planning Unit)
  • Corporate social responsibility and human rights – Nina Seppala (UCL Management Science & Innovation)