On June 10, 2017, representatives from academic human rights institutes across Canada met at the 2017 Realizing Rights conference organized by the University of Ottawa. Organizations in attendance were: Centre for Human Rights Research (U Manitoba), Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (McGill U), Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC at uOttawa), International Human Rights programme (UofT), Native Law Centre (U of Saskatchewan), Programme on Human Rights (St. Thomas U), Clinique de droits international penal et humanitaire (U Laval), Atlantic Human Rights Centre (St. Thomas U) and Landon Pearson Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children’s Rights (Carleton U).

The goal of the meeting was to explore the possibility of creating an Canadian Association of Human Rights Centres, Institutes and Programs operating in academic institutions. Given the interest expressed by participants, the creation of an association was agreed. This would not entail at this stage establishing a legal entity and the group would operate mostly virtually. The definition of members is broad and includes centres, institutes, programs, chairs, laboratories, SSHRC partnership grants, clinics, etc. as long as they focus on human rights topics and are situated within a Canadian university or college.

Members agreed to consider collaborating and sharing information on their mandate, funding models, thematic priorities, resources, etc. Based on the information gathered on research priorities, a student could be engaged to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses/gaps. Members agreed to collaborate on research projects and grants, events (multi-site, shared costs) and advocacy initiatives as opportunities and needs arise.

The group will seek to meet annually, ideally coinciding with large academic events that member institutions plan to attend. Virtual participation will be an option for members unable to attend in person. The location of the meetings will rotate among member institutions.

List of Members

Atlantic Human Rights Centre, St. Thomas University

  • Contact: Dr. Christina Szurlej Director
    Email: cszurlej@stu.ca

Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, McGill University

  • Contacts: Dr. Nandini Ramanujam, Co-Director
    Email: nandini.ramanujam@mcgill.ca
  • Frédéric Mégret, Co-Director
    Email: frederic.megret@mcgill.ca

Centre for Human Rights Research, University of Manitoba

  • Contacts: Dr. Pauline Tennent, Manager
    Email: Pauline.tennent@umanitoba.ca

Clinique de droit international pénal et humanitaire, Université Laval

  • Contacts: Dr. Fannie Lafontaine, Co-Director
    Email: fannie.lafontaine@fd.ulaval.ca
  • Julia Grignon, Co-Director
    Email: julia.grignon@fd.ulaval.ca

Clinique internationale de défense des droits humains de l’UQAM

  • Contact: Dr. Mirja Trilsch, Director
    Email: trilsch.mirja@uqam.ca

Human Rights Research & Education Centre, University of Ottawa

  • Contact: Viviana Fernandez, Assistant Director
    Email: viviana.fernandez@uottawa.ca

Indigenous Law Center, University of Saskatchewan

  • Contact: Marilyn Poitras, Director
    Email: marilyn.poitras@usask.ca

Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on the Rights of the Child, University of Ottawa

  • Email: LRIDE@uottawa.ca

International Justice & Human Rights Clinic, University of British Columbia

  • International Justice and Human Rights Clinic Contact: Nicole A. Barrett, Director
    Email: barrett@allard.ubc.ca

International Human Rights Programme, University of Toronto

Landon Pearson Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children’s Rights, Carleton University

McMaster University Centre for Human Rights and Restorative Justice, McMaster University

  • Contact: Dr. Juanita De Barros, Director
    Email: debarr@mcmaster.ca

Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Concordia University

  • Contact: Kyle Matthews, Executive Director
    Email: kyle.matthews@concordia.ca

Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security

  • Email: nathansoncentre@osgood.yorku.ca

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba

  • Stephanie Scott, Executive Director
    Email: NCTR@umanitoba.ca

The University of Winnipeg Global College, University of Winnipeg

  • Email: global.college@uwinnipeg.ca

Academic Programs 

Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, St. Thomas University

Human Rights Minor, St. Paul’s University College, University of Waterloo

Master of Human Rights, University of Manitoba

Summer School on International Humanitarian Law, University of Ottawa

Interdisciplinary Course on the Rights of the Child, University of Ottawa

Joint CAHRI initiatives

Canadian Yearbook of Human Rights

Essay Competition on the Rights of the Child. The winning manuscripts (graduate and undergraduate categories) are published in the Canadian Journal of Children’s Rights, produced by the Landon Pearson Centre.

The “Human Rights Research Hub” has been launched. The purpose is to share YOUR events and build a stronger human rights research community in Canada.

Are you working on human rights issues and want to let people know what you are doing? Do you have a book launch coming up? Hosting a speaker? Organizing a workshop? Involved in a film screening, performance or art show focused on human rights? Then please send us information regarding your event so that we can add it to our Human Rights and Human Rights Research calendar and share it on our wide-reaching social media.

Listings can include in-person events if in Winnipeg (and surrounding areas) but virtual events can also be included, regardless of location, if you are a Centre for Human Rights Research affiliate and/or board member, or a member of the Canadian Association for Human Rights Institutes and/or Association of Human Rights Institutes.

Please email information about your event (when, where (including web-platform link if applicable and/or registration information) and a short description to chrrman@umanitoba.ca

Looking forward to sharing your good work and strengthening communication with those engaged in human rights research!