Intersectionality and Human Rights Workshop

by | Sep 10, 2018

On 14 November 2018 – with the generous support of the Society of Legal Scholars – the University of Bristol will host a one-day workshop, entitled ‘Intersectionality and Human Rights Law’. The event will take place in the Lady Hale Moot Court, 8-10 Berkeley Square. The event is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Implementation Centre and Centre for Law at Work.

The term ‘intersectionality’ was coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989 and represents an interdisciplinary field of studies which explores how structures of disadvantage associated with race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, class etc are co-constituted in relation to one another. This workshop will examine the relationship of intersectionality with human rights law. The purpose is to understand how the diversity in human identity and disadvantage affects the articulation, realisation, violation and enforcement of human rights, and in particular, the areas of education, housing, asylum, reproduction and sexual health.

Intersectionality has both a theoretical, as well as, a doctrinal role to play in human rights law. This role, however, remains largely unexplored and under-theorised. There is little research connecting, on the one hand, established discourses in intersectionality studies and, on the other hand, discourses in human rights law. The proposed workshop aims to unearth the role of intersectionality theory in human rights with a view to systematically reflecting upon the diverse ways in which human rights are experienced. We thus hope to facilitate a conversation on both the future of intersectionality, as well as the future of human rights.

The workshop is organised around four panels. Each panel has two speakers who will offer their reflections on a particular human right or issue. Prepared interventions will last 15 minutes each. The speakers will reflect on the connection between intersectionality and specific human rights. This will be followed by 30 mins of discussion. We hope to invite up to 30 additional participants to take part in the Workshops. Panels will be as interactive as possible and leave maximum time for all participants to join the conversation.


The organisers warmly invite expressions of interest to participate in the Workshop. If you would like to attend, please email either Shreya Atrey ( or Peter Dunne ( Lunch will be provided on the day, and we would be delighted if participants join us for a reception after the Workshop.

We are able to offer up to three small travel bursaries to assist doctoral researchers to attend the Workshop. If you would like to be considered for a travel bursary, please indicate this in your email, explaining whether you have access to alternative institutional funding.



10:30 – 11:00 Registration and Tea

11:00 – 11:15 Welcome

11.15 – 12:15 Panel 1: Intersectionality: From Equality to Human Rights

Professor Iyiola Solanke (University of Leeds): Intersectionality as a concept, discourse in equality law and possible contribution to human rights generally

Professor Joanne Conaghan (University of Bristol): Intersectionality as a concept, its critique and possibilities for future engagement in human rights law

12:15 – 12:30 Tea

12:30 – 13:30 Panel 2: Intersectionality and Contemporary Human Rights Issues

Professor Geraldine Van Bueren (Queen Mary University): Right to housing and Grenfell Fire

Dr Senthorun Raj (Keele University): Right to asylum, refugee crisis, sexuality and gender

13:30 – 14:15 Lunch

14:15 – 15:15 Panel 3: Intersectionality and Socio-economic rights

Professor Colm O’Cinneide (University College London): Socio-economic rights, form and structure, and their relationship with intersectionality

Professor Sandy Fredman (University of Oxford): Right to education, gendered poverty and SDGs

15:15 – 15:30 Tea

15:30 – 16:30 Panel 4: Intersectionality and Rights of Disadvantaged Groups

Professor Fiona de Londras (University of Birmingham): Reproductive rights and sexual health

Dr Gauthier de Beco (University of Huddersfield): Right to education and disabled children

16:30 – 16:45 Closing Remarks

16:45 – 18:00 Reception

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