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The Stanford Human Rights Center provides tools for students, advocates, states, and civil society to better understand how to respect and protect human rights.

The Center was created in 2013 to conduct applied human rights research. We promote events, student engagement, and public understanding of international human rights and global justice.

Our work focuses on public policy analysis in the areas of criminal justice reform, conditions of detention, and developing incentives for states and corporations to respect human rights. Although our main area of focus for this work is Latin America, our work on corporate accountability has taken us across the globe.


The Center launched in early April 2013 with the first of a series of events in its year-long speaker series on the "Future of Human Rights."  The series resumed in the fall of 2013 with speakers including Mahmood Mamdani, Professor of Government and Anthropology at Columbia University and Makau Mutua, Dean of the University at Buffalo Law School, where he is also a SUNY Distinguished Professor and the Floyd H. & Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar.  In the winter and spring of 2014, the series continued with James Anaya, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples and Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona College of Law, as well as Manfred Nowak, former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and professor for International Law and Human Rights at the University of Vienna, Faculty of Law, among other distinguished guests.

Upcoming events in the fall of 2014 include speakers from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Frontline Defenders.  

Our principal event this fall is an interdisciplinary and international conference on “Human Rights and the Environment: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Measuring Impact and Defining Advocacy Goals.” Funded by the Ford Foundation, this Conference is part of the Center's Human Rights Legal Education Project for the Americas.  

Click here for a full list of past events.


Each year, the Stanford Human Rights Center awards one fellowship for post-graduate work at a supranational human rights body whose focus, engagement and activities are in the Global South.  The aim of these fellowships is to provide aspiring human rights practitioners with direct experience in human rights advocacy in order to better prepare them to pursue a life-long engagement in human rights work.  Read more about the fellowship here