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]), Anoush F. Terjanian (HRREC Fellow), 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.


MAY 2022

Violations Committed in the War in Ukraine: A Clear Case?
MAY 26 | 11:30 a.m. (EDT) — 5:30 p.m. (CET) | Webinar | Event in English

While Russia is the aggressor in the war in Ukraine, both sides have to comply during that war with international humanitarian law and both sides have human rights obligations. Both sides have committed violations but there are also instances of respect. The violations committed by the Russian Federation, however, are by far larger in scale and nature. Professor Marco Sassòli will review the findings of the OSCE mission of enquiry into violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Ukraine during the first five weeks following the Russian invasion of 24 February 2022.


Summer School in International Humanitarian Law 2022
MAY 29 — JUNE 3 | University of Ottawa | Summer School

The University of Ottawa and the Canadian Red Cross are pleased to invite you to register to the 2022 Summer School on International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The goal of this course is to offer students and professionals the fundamentals of IHL and the opportunity to apply this knowledge through realistic case studies and a full simulation day.


Case Study: Canadians Arbitrarily Detained in Northeast Syria for Suspected Islamic State Ties
MAY 31 | 5 p.m. | Webinar | Event in English

With Farida Deif, Canada Director at Human Rights Watch. The session will be structured as a case study of four dozen Canadians unlawfully detained in locked-desert camps and prisons for Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and their families in northeast Syria. The Canadians have been held by the Kurdish-led authorities since the fall of ISIS in March 2019 in life-threatening, deeply degrading, and often inhumane conditions. They have never been charged with a crime or brought before a judge to review the legality and necessity of their detention. The innocent, such as the children who never chose to be born or live under ISIS, have no hope of leaving without their government’s intervention. Meanwhile, any detainees potentially implicated in ISIS crimes may never face justice. We will examine the plight of these Canadians, the government’s justification for its inaction, and Canada’s international legal obligation to intervene when citizens abroad face serious abuses.

JUNE 2022

The Challenge of China: Protecting Human Rights and Democracy in the Global Institution of the 21st Century
JUNE 2 & 3 | Conference

The People’s Republic of China (PRC), without a doubt, poses the most pressing human rights challenges since the creation of the United Nations and global institutions that were built to end war and protect human rights for all. What can the international community, specifically Canada, do to encourage China to conform to international human rights standards? How can we learn from Taiwan about how to deal with the human rights challenges posed by the PRC beyond its borders? Legal experts and social scientists from Taiwan, France, the US, Canada, and U of Ottawa will discuss what is at stake for Canada and its partners in the Indo-Pacific region.


Our Charter—Our Rights
JUNE 16 to 18 | More details soon.

A conference to highlight the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.

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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