The Oxford Human Rights Hub will be taking a short break over the festive season until early January, 2016. Before we go, we would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the great achievements of the OxHRH in 2015 – another year of connecting academics, practitioners and policymakers globally to understand and advance human rights law.
A major focus for the OxHRH has been the use of digital technology to foster inclusive and democratic discussion and debate around human rights law topics. We believe that human rights discourse is strengthened when it engages with wider audiences, and that geographical location or financial constraint should not inhibit participation in a digitised world.
With this in mind, we ran a three-part webinar series, attracting hundreds of participants from around the world to engage in real time-debate and discussion on the right to education, the right to strike, and refugee and migrant protection in Europe. In July, we partnered with the Open Society Foundations to host an online workshop on the challenges of public-private partnerships in realizing the right to education. The workshop was a pioneering multimedia event, including pre-recorded videos, a live studio panel and an online Q&A with experts and participants from all over the world. The workshop was attended by Dr Kishore Singh, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, and proved to be a vital resource for Dr Singh as he prepared his latest report for the UN General Council.
Out podcast team ventured into new territory this year by producing a magazine style podcast series called ‘Rights Up’. Episodes highlighted human rights challenges posed by issues such as revenge pornography, business and human rights, and women’s rights, by engaging with original interview material with leading academics, policy makers, campaigning groups, activists and lawyers working around the globe. The podcasts have drawnsizable audiences and the series is set to continue in 2016 with new episodes.
The OxHRH Blog has continued to go from strength to strength. Since its inception in 2012 we have published almost 1, 200 posts – and 255 in 2015 alone. Some of the highlights from this year include a dedicated series focusing on the human rights implications for asylum seekers in Europe, a series honoring the late Sir Bob Hepple, and debate and discussion over the Human Rights Act in the UK given its uncertain future in the current political climate. We were immensely proud to publish the second edition of our edited annual anthology ‘Global Perspectives on Human Rights’. You can read the online version here.
Our digital activities supplement those happening here amongst our Oxford community. We welcomed more than a dozen engaging expert speakers to our term-time seminar series this year, recordings of which can be accessed on our See/Hear page of the website. We were also delighted to host a special panel in November to reflect on the UN Women’s Progress of the World’s Women Report 2015 ‘Transforming Economies, Realising Rights’; and hosted the inaugural human rights workshop for graduate students in Oxford.
The OxHRH has a number of exciting events planned for 2016. In January we will collaborate with the Open Society Foundations and the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy to host a workshop in New Delhi on Comparative Perspectives on the Right to Education for Minorities and Disadvantaged Groups.
Thank you to all of our supporters in 2015. Particular thanks to our funders, the Bertha Foundation and the Open Society Foundations, and to the Oxford Faculty of Law. Thank you as well to the entire OxHRH team who have worked tirelessly to achieve what we have this year, and to all of those who contribute to our blog, attend our events and engage with us as we strive to forge greater connections between academics, practitioners and policy makers on human rights law globally.
All the best for the festive season.
The OxHRH Team