Centre for Human Rights

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) at Birmingham City University promotes the protection of human rights, access to justice and the rule of law, around the world.

We undertake advisory roles in the United Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the African Union, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region. We provide consultancy services to governments and nongovernmental organisations, and in selected individual cases we draft legal opinions and file legal briefs in domestic courts and in international human rights courts.

Since the creation of the CHR in 2014, we have been either the lead implementer or partners on externally funded projects through the European Union’s Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, and the UK government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Human Rights and Democracy Program, and five Midlands4Cities studentship provided by the Arts and Humanities Council.

The work from the CHR significantly informs the School of Law’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission, in providing key publications, and for contributing to the School’s case studies. We have also created high-level human rights simulated exercises, including a UN Security Council “Model United Nations,” to contribute to the School of Law’s submission in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). In our work with international organisations, governments, and nongovernmental organisations, we engage effective and efficient processes to further the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF).      

UN - Consultancy pages


We provide legal advice and report drafting for political regions, governments, nongovernmental organisations and wider civil society stakeholders.
Law clinic 1


CHR members provide legal advice, drafting legal arguments, and amicus curiae brief writing for litigation in international and domestic cases.
Projects and consultancy tile

Research and Education

We engage in world leading research and publications, and provide innovative human rights education through Model United Nations simulated exercises.


A networking stream for membership and collaborative support for organisations engaging in the protection of human rights around the world.


Learn more about the academic team working within the Centre.

PhD opportunities

The CHR has a successful PhD programme. We have been awarded seven AHRC-funded studentships within the Midlands3Cities and Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnerships. Our successful recipients include Dr Alice Storey, Dr Amna Nazir, Dr Michael Lane, Ms Jyoti Wood, Ms Melisa Oleschuk, Mr Ethan Read, and Ms Maria Oliveira.

In 2019, Dr Michael Lane was awarded an M4C studentship under the supervision of Professor Jon Yorke, Dr Amna Nazir, and Professor Liz Wicks (School of Law, University of Leicester). He is investigating the extent to which the UK’s acceptance of international commitments at the UN’s Human Rights Council translate into domestic legal change to protect the human rights of those within the UK.

In 2021, Ms Jyoti Wood was awarded an M4C CDA studentship under the supervision of Professor Jon Yorke and Dr Paul Edmondson (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust). Her research is exploring Shakespeare and the articulation of human rights in the United Nations.

In 2022, Ms Melisa Oleschuk was awarded an M4C studentship under the supervision of Dr Alice Storey and Professor Sarah Cooper. She is investigating the effectiveness of international human rights law to promote civil liberties in the US and utilising the UPR and the American Civil Liberties Union's Campaign for Smart Justice as a case study.

In 2022, Mr Ethan Read was awarded an M4C studentship under the supervision of Dr Amna Nazir, Professor Jon Yorke, and Dr Damian Gonzalez-Salzberg (School of Law, University of Birmingham). He is investigating the effectiveness of the UPR in the promotion and protection of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Rights in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation States.

In 2022, Ms Maria Oliveira was awarded an M4C studentship under the supervision of Professor Jon Yorke, Dr Alice Storey, and Professor Sangeeta Shah (School of Law, University of Nottingham). She is investigating the effectiveness of the UPR to help safeguard the rights of those affected by human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Portugal.

CHR Members provide the following to PhD students:
  • World-class supervision
  • Key access to the relevant international stakeholders
  • A holistic approach to career development
  • A wonderful collegiate environment

Enquire now

For more information please contact:

Professor Jon Yorke
Director and Professor of Human Rights
Email: jon.yorke@bcu.ac.uk

Dr Alice Storey
Associate Director (Clinic and Consultancy)
Email: alice.storey@bcu.ac.uk

Dr Amna Nazir
Associate Director (Partners, and Research and Education) 
Email: amna.nazir@bcu.ac.uk

Full list of Centre for Human Rights members.