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Human Rights Lab

The Human Rights Lab is a new, interdisciplinary space for faculty and students at the University of Minnesota to investigate and model ways that cutting-edge research can be used more effectively with NGOs, communities, institutions, and policymakers to reduce inequalities in the enjoyment of human rights.

A group of faculty across several colleges and degree programs have designed this joint endeavor to build on areas of established expertise and leadership, as well as on the existing institutional foundation at the University for excellence in human rights research, teaching, and outreach.

The lab was catalyzed by the University’s Grand Challenges strategic initiative and made possible through the award of one of the highly competitive Grand Challenge Exploratory Research Grants as seed money for 2016-2018.

The Human Rights Lab makes significant advances in human rights research and student experiential interdisciplinary training. The lab prioritizes projects that reduce inequalities by making meaningful contributions with partners that are on the frontlines of promoting the rights of marginalized groups. Through the labs, we build our lasting capacity as a nationally and internationally recognized "Human Rights University."

Current lab projects focus on creating a database on disappearances and impunity in Mexico, identifying transformative reparations parameters for the International Criminal Court, developing strategic litigation tools to advance accountability for corporate complicity in Latin American human rights violations, expanding local support and funding for human rights organizations in Mexico, exploring memories and transitions to peace in Northern Ireland, using international human rights law to protect Central American refugees, and addressing injustice and collective memory regarding the "Sioux Massacres" and "Dakota Genocide" in Minnesota.

Read more about the Human Rights Lab.