Human Rights is one of the four research domains that UGlobe explores within the overarching theme of global challenges and the contested global order.

Professor Antoine Buyse on UGlobe and human rights

Universal human rights as the normative bedrock of the international order have increasingly come under attack. Not only are the norms themselves violated on a large scale, by states, armed groups, businesses and individuals. The system of monitoring and supervision itself has equally come under pressure.

In authoritarian and hybrid regimes – but also in democracies – civic space, democracy, the rule of law, and their defenders, face increasing oppression, violence, and challenges to their legitimacy. At the same time, the world is confronted with ever more pressing issues of economic inequality, poverty, armed conflict, and environmental sustainability.

The question is how the existing human rights mechanisms can face these challenges and how they should adapt. These mechanisms are both arenas and sources of contestation. Human rights issues are thus at the core of the contested global order.

To solve human rights issues, knowledge of the law is never enough. We need to understand why human rights violations happen and how they can best be countered. UGlobe offers the perfect platform to study these issues.