HRREC Hits 40!

Round teal logo for the 40th anniversary of the University of Ottawa Human RIghts Research and Education Centre



Our Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) is celebrating its 40th anniversary during the academic year 2021-2022! This is a major milestone and we want to mark this accomplishment by remembering key moments of the Centre’s history, in particular the direct link between the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms (1982) and the birth of our Centre a few months earlier.




Research, Educate, Advocate and Convene for Human rights

The work of the HRREC is essential to better understand, advance, and support human rights in Canada and beyond. By promoting human rights through a dynamic and rigorous action-research approach, we add value to global and national progress on human rights through the original research and outreach activities of our members, and our partners. By building on links with relevant actors in government, civil society, Indigenous Communities and academia for events, knowledge exchanges, research projects and other initiatives, the HRREC also offers training opportunities for students and civil society organizations on cutting edge concepts and methodologies. Based on this work, we have composed an exciting programme of activities and events over the coming months and we want to invite you to join us!

Support the HRREC

Our ambition is to reach further in order to serve and support the needs of tomorrow’s students and community partners—with increased and enhanced program offerings, advocacy with global impact, and more intensive training reaching more communities. Help sustain the important work of the HRREC in the future by considering these flagship initiatives to support.

We thank the members of our 40th Anniversary Committee: Professors Valerie Steeves, André Laliberté and Scott Simon (Faculty of Social Sciences, uOttawa), former uOttawa President and Professor Allan Rock, Alex Neve (former Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada [English Section]), Ph.D. Candidate Stéphanie Bacher, Ph.D. Candidate and HRREC Student Members Representative Slava Balan, Professor Tenille Brown (Bora Laskin School of Law), as well as Assistant Director Viviana Fernandez and HRREC Director John Packer.

Join us to make this anniversary year something special!


Showcasing the Centre

The HRREC Celebrates 40 Years of Supporting Human Rights Research and Education

Established in September 1981 at the University of Ottawa, the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) was a pioneer of its time in Canada and North America. Throughout the 2021–2022 academic year, it will celebrate four decades of engagement in human rights research, outreach, training and advocacy.




Colourful raised hands behind barbed wire.
The Human Rights Clinic of uOttawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre:
Making a Difference Nationally and Internationally

For the last seven years, the Human Rights Clinic (Clinic) of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) at the University of Ottawa has quietly and steadily established its reputation as a solid and invaluable partner to NGOs, government offices and international actors seeking assistance to advance their Human Rights (HR) projects across Canada and the world.




Emilie Di Grazia



Bringing People Together through Human Rights

A University of Ottawa collaborator of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre committed to supporting reconciliation between communities in Kosovo.



David Petrasek Memorial Forum 2021 | Climate Change, Migration, Human Rights & Conflict: Vital Interdependence
NOV 30 | 10 a.m. (EST) --- 4 p.m. (CET) | Zoom Webinar | Event in English

David Petrasek was professsor in the University of Ottawa Faculty of Social Sciences. He passed away on May 12, 2020 from cancer. This is the second annual forum organized as part of an initiative to carry his tremendous legacy forward.


Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous Peoples and How to Fix It: A Conversation around Bruce McIvor's Standoff
DEC 3 | 1:30 p.m. | Zoom Webinar | Event in English

The Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) is pleased to partner with the Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies at the University of Ottawa to present the virtual Ottawa launch of Bruce McIvor's latest book Standoff.


VOICES: Addressing the Ongoing Genocides against the Rohingya and the Uyghurs
DEC 9 | 11:30 a.m. | Zoom Webinar | Event in English

On the Human Rights Defenders Day and the Genocide Prevention Day, join us in this important conversation with our guest speakers Yasmin Ullah (advocate for Rohingya rights) and Mehmet Tohti (advocate for Uyguhr rights).


Advancing Human Rights as a UN Special Rapporteur: Reflections from Three Canadians
DEC 10 | Noon | Zoom Webinar | Event in English

As we mark the 73rd anniversary of the United Nations adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there is no denying that the world continues to face considerable human rights challenges. Amidst the turmoil, independent experts within the UN human rights system play a vital role. On International Human Rights Day 2021, three current or former Special Rapporteurs will share their experiences in a discussion moderated by Alex Neve, Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Leilani Farha, now Global Director for The Shift, and Professors Michael Lynk and François Crépeau, will reflect on the importance of the Special Procedures, the ups and downs they have faced, and what it is like for a Canadian to take up this role.


Working for Human Rights with Alex Neve
FEB 15 | Noon | Virtual meeting | Event in English

This series is an opportunity for students, alumni and any other person interested in Human Rights to hear about notable practitioners who will share their professional experience with them. Participants will have the chance to ask them questions on their career path. More details soon!

MAY 2022

The Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella — A Life of Firsts
MAY 12 & 13 | Delta Ottawa City Centre | Conference

The HRREC is a proud partner with the uOttawa Public Law Centre, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice and the The Advocates' Society, in the organization of this two-day conference to celebrate the retirement of the Honourable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella from the Supreme Court of Canada.

All past HRREC events.

Images of Justice 2021: The Right to Housing

The Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) is pleased to participate, in partnership with CONTEKST, THE SHIFT, the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, the Ryerson Lincoln Alexander School of Law, and The Law Foundation of Ontario, in the third edition of IMAGES of JUSTICE: The Right to Housing!

 drawing of skyscrapers on a purple background
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