Human Rights Program, UW-Madison

About the Program

GLS received a Mellon Foundation Area and International Studies Research Award in 2013 to establish an interdisciplinary, campus-wide human rights program.  The proposal combined a new research agenda with an institutional innovation to deepen cross-regional and interdisciplinary research for faculty as well as educational opportunities for students across campus. It seeks to create a cross-campus Human Rights Program (HRP) using the momentum created by the Human Rights Initiative and the administrative and coordinating capacity of the Global Legal Studies Center (GLS).

The project seeks to synergize existing resources in a way that creates a unique research platform for a wide range of scholars and students on campus while promoting a significant institutional innovation that will help to strengthen and sustain human rights as an important dimension of our international capabilities.

Scholars Affiliated with the Human Rights Program

Distinguished Lectures

The International Division handed over the coordination of two distinguished lectures on human rights to the Human Rights Program. These lectures are intended to contribute to the “internationalization” of the campus, celebrate the achievements of the selected lecturers, educate the university community about specific, important international issues, and partner with university and community groups dedicated to global education and international awareness.

A sub-committee of the HRP comprising Alexandra Huneeus, Lori Diprete Brown, Lalita du Perron, Aili Tripp, Allison Sambo and Sumudu Atapattu nominates names and coordinates the lectures.

Mildred Fish Harnack Human Rights and Democracy Lecture 

Judge Thomas Buergenthal to deliver Fish-Harnack lecture on April 20, 2016 

Lecture Recording Here

J. Jobe and Marguerite Jacqmin Soffa lecture

Renana Jhabvala to deliver Soffa lecture on September 30, 2015 
Lecture Recording Here

Annual Human Rights Conference

"A New Politics of Human Rights: Crossing Disciplines, Regions, and Issues" November 5-7, Pyle Center 

Plenary Address by Professor Tanya Hernandez (Fordham Law School)

Lecture Recording Here 

All Events

Research clusters

The Human Rights Program is constituted by four broadly defined yet distinctive research clusters:

Intellectual framework

These clusters will engage each other through a common intellectual framework which will include a special focus on four domains of human rights policy and practice. This framework will enable the different clusters to engage in a deep cross-regional and interdisciplinary dialogue:

  • advocacy and mobilization
  • policy and social analysis
  • Law and implementation
  • accountability and memory

Summary of the program


Governance structure

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