Part of the  School of Advanced Study at the University of London, the Institute sits at the crossroads of research, policy, human rights practice and international relations. 

Vision

Our vision is that people around the world, including throughout the modern Commonwealth, live in societies grounded in democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The Institute works towards this vision by:

  • developing effective, evidence-based policy solutions to the challenges facing the modern Commonwealth;
  • supporting the modern Commonwealth’s global network of civil society;
  • engaging with Commonwealth stakeholders, including its Member States; and
  • offering ground-breaking MA and PhD programmes in human rights.

The Institute strives to achieve its mission through a culture of integrity, professionalism, inclusion, diversity, innovation and collaboration.

Primary areas of focus

We have three primary areas of focus:

  • Strengthening the rule of law;
  • Combatting climate change; and
  • Promoting freedom of expression and digital rights.

Library

The Institute’s Library is an international resource with particularly impressive Caribbean, Southern African and Australian holdings with over 190,000 volumes and 230 archival collections including resources on Nelson Mandela and the Ruth First papers.

Human rights education

The Institute is home to the longest-running interdisciplinary and practice-orientated human rights MA programmes in the UK, including the campus-based programme. Currently, we offer an MA in Human Rights by distance learning with cutting-edge content which looks at human rights issues from a practical perspective as well as a theoretical and legal one. There are over 850 alumni around the world who work for human rights NGOs, humanitarian organisations, in academia, national governments, businesses, and UN agencies. The Institute also offers a Postgraduate Certificate in Human Rights, a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Rights and MPhil/PhD in Human Rights.

Fellows

The Institute maintains a dynamic community of inter-disciplinary and cross-sector Fellows that engage on issues relevant to the Institute’s vision.

Culture

The Insitute strives to achieve its mission through a culture of integrity, professionalism, inclusion, diversity, innovation and collaboration.