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Centre for Applied Human Rights

A unique research and teaching environment focusing on human rights defenders in the modern human rights system.

The Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) is an interdisciplinary research and teaching centre. We champion research, teaching and practice that is interdisciplinary, collaborative, comparative, and both local and international. 

We have established a global reputation, informed by signature interventions such as the Human Rights Defenders Hub, York becoming the UK's first Human Rights City, and innovative funded research. 

CAHR provides a platform for academics, activists, policymakers and others to discuss shared challenges and co-produce solutions. 

CAHR is an activist centre situated in a university. Our work places people, notably human rights defenders, at the core of human rights work and anchors all of our activities in real-world human rights challenges and opportunities.

Professor Paul Gready, CAHR Director

Research and innovation focus areas

Explore our research and publications

Making a difference

Our work plays a critical role in bringing about change by creating action and influencing policy.

Human rights defenders

100 defenders, 50 countries, 10 years - We are the first centre to involve frontline human rights defenders in every aspect of our work, through protective fellowships, teaching and research, under the umbrella of the Human Rights Defenders Hub.

York: Human Rights City

York was declared the UK's first Human Rights City in April 2017. We were a leading member of the York Human Rights City network (YHRCN) which campaigned for the declaration and champions social justice in the city.

An honest representation of the beauty and learning through the chaos, challenge and collaboration of human rights work (especially that which has a grassroots focus).

Katrina Jorene Maliamauv (Chevening scholar), MA Applied Human Rights. Read our MA student experiences.

Study with us

CAHR presents an opportunity to join a friendly community of ambitious and critical thinkers striving to bring about change.

We run two postgraduate programmes built around human rights practice for you to explore.

Explore our postgraduate programmes

Having only limited practical experience in the field, York's LLM (and especially the placement) seemed like an opportunity to enhance my professional skills. Now that I have completed it, there is no doubt it has made me more confident to pursue work in the human rights field.

Helen McCall, LLM International Human Rights Law and Practice. Read our LLM student experiences.

Students in action

CAHR is distinctive in supporting practical student activism, which is embedded in our degrees, linked to ongoing research, and initiated by students themselves.

Explore our students' work

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