At the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR), we respond to the challenges posed by complex conflicts and crises to individuals, groups and communities through interdisciplinary, co-productive, and impact-oriented research.

Contemporary conflicts relate to land and water governance, to environmental degradation, to development models that skew opportunities for large sections of the population, to an ever-diminishing civic and political space, and to power imbalances that sustain oppressive structures. They are protracted, or move in and out of violence, and between different forms of violence. 

At CAHR, we focus on understanding how actors and norms shape each other in conflict, crisis and post-conflict settings, and whether and how such interactions can lead to transformative processes. We work in partnership with non-, inter- and governmental partners ranging from organisations with global reach to local social movements and indigenous groups. 

Projects in focus

Ritualising Protection Project

The project is a collaborative visual ethnography of the cultural and spiritual protection practices of the Nasa people in Colombia. It seeks to understand how these practices protect indigenous communities in armed conflict and how the state could better support them.

Generating Respect Project

The research examines how religious leaders influence the behaviours of State and non-State actors in war towards compliance or abuse of humanitarian norms. It developed policy guidance on why and how humanitarians should engage with religious actors.

Transformative justice

Transformative justice moves beyond a critique of transitional justice to explore ways in which 'justice in transition', and a focus on local agency, processes of change, and challenging inequality and power dynamics, can disrupt the status quo and leverage transformative change.

Publications and digital outputs

'Considerations and Guidance on the Humanitarian Engagement with Religious Leaders' by Ioana Cismas, Marta Furlan, Piergiuseppe Parisi, Chris Rush, Ezequiel Heffes and Hasnaa El Jamali. Published by the Generating Respect Project, University of York.

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'Transitional Justice as a Driver of Transformation in Colombia' by Paul Gready, José Antonio Gutiérrez Danton, Piergiuseppe Parisi, and Simon Robins. Policy brief 6 published by CAPAZ - Instituto Colombo-Alemán par la Paz

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