Current Research topics

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Business and human rights

The growth and interest in corporate responsibility for human rights has in part stemmed from recurring examples of corporate irresponsibility. This project focuses on the intersection of human rights and business, in particular, examining the accountability of transnational corporations for human rights violations.

Children’s rights

The children’s rights project is a hub for research and teaching about new challenges to children’s rights, from theoretical and practical perspectives alike. Led by Noam Peleg, the project seeks to bring together students, scholars, and practitioners who work in areas concerning children and their lives.

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Civil society and international criminal tribunals

International criminal tribunals are increasingly the venue for advocacy by civil society organisations, including through the use of the amicus curiae, or friend of the court. This project focuses on the influence of civil society on legal outcomes, the impact on the right of the defence to a fair trial, and whether such interventions are truly representative.

Cultural heritage and human rights

This project examines the intersections between human rights and cultural heritage in international law. It also explores heritage as both an obstacle to human rights and as a means of facilitating a human right to cultural heritage, in an attempt to refine mechanisms for a community governance of their cultural heritage via human rights concepts.

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Digital media and human rights

This project aims to develop a broader understanding of human rights in a digital age, focusing on the problems and possibilities associated with digital media. The project maps out, and critically explores, areas where digital media and human rights intersect, as in debates regarding the utility of social media advocacy or digital forms of evidence and witnessing.

Disability and human rights

This project focuses on issues of disability and human rights - including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and its international and domestic implementation. Contacts: Andrew Byrnes and Rosemary Kayess

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Environmental justice and human rights in Asia

The project, led by Dr Pichamon Yeophantong, examines how the forces of economic modernisation and regional integration work to transform Asia’s geopolitical landscape, and how the region is faced with an array of exigent ecological and social challenges.

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Health, sexual orientation and human rights

There is compelling international and local evidence that sexual minorities, including LGBTI people, are subject to high levels of discrimination and experience poorer outcomes across a range of key health and wellbeing indicators, comprising pervasive inequities in health for these groups.

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Human rights, international law and security

Analysing recent developments in public policy and international diplomacy, this project directed by Christopher Michaelsen comprises several sub-projects focusing on a range of human rights issues in the context of international law and security. These sub-projects include studies on Security Council accountability and sanctions, the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, terrorism and counter-terrorism as well as preventive detention in a criminal justice context.

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Migrant and refugee rights project

This project undertakes applied research to advance the human rights of migrants and refugees in Asia and Australia. In recent years it has focused on the rights of migrant workers from South and South East Asia who work in the Middle East, and on temporary migrants working in Australia. It focuses in particular on migrant workers’ access to justice in their countries of origin and destination, and on governance and accountability within migrant worker recruitment.