Human Rights Clinic

HRREC Human Rights Clinic

Since September 2014, the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) runs a Human Rights Clinic and invites graduate and undergraduate students to develop their knowledge and acquire new skills in relation to projects in Canada and abroad.

The Human Rights Clinic is a project-based initiative that, under the academic guidance of faculty members from the University of Ottawa, aims:

  • To strengthen the protection of human rights, by promoting advocacy, research, training and technical assistance emphasizing their effective implementation.
  • To foster capacity-building and to provide recommendations to ensure that policy and law have a human rights-based approach.
  • To promote research regarding the implementation of human rights standards in Canada and abroad.

Current Projects

Volunteer opportunities are open to undergraduate and graduate students who will work in an interdisciplinary approach on projects directed by the HRREC.

Past Projects

Skills Development Workshops

The Centre organizes skills development workshops for the students participating in the Human Rights Clinic. Topics can include mapping exercises, writing techniques and fact-finding methodologies, among others. 


For further information, please contact us at: hrclinic@uottawa.ca.

To apply to the Clinic, please complete the Student Application Form and submit to hrclinic@uottawa.ca.

To propose a project for the Clinic, please fill out the Project Form and send to hrclinic@uottawa.ca.

Testimonial - Stephany Caro Mejia

Stephany Caro Mejia

Stephany has been a member of the human rights clinic for over a year and will begin her MA in International Relations at New York University in September: “Participating in the human rights clinic highly enriched my undergraduate experience by offering me the opportunity to gain valuable research experience, collaborate in a supportive group setting, and strengthen my knowledge on my topics of interest such as indigenous peoples, extractive industries, and Latin America. As an undergraduate student, I was able to participate in the research and drafting of the Amicus to the Supreme Court of Mexico - an opportunity that I would not have had otherwise. The human rights clinic quickly became my favorite extracurricular activity and a standout component in my Masters applications. “

Testimonial - Mary Kapron

Mary Kapron

Being a member of the Extraterritoriality in Latin American Project at the Human Rights Clinic has been an amazing experience. Working as part of a team with other students, faculty members and non-governmental organizations, I have had the opportunity to conduct research and write reports and amicus curiae submissions on a number of current and pressing human rights issues. Not only has this permitted me to gain practical skills in international human rights practise, the projects that I have worked on have had an actual impact on the promotion and protection of human rights as they have been presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Supreme Court of Mexico. The Human Rights Clinic has inspired me to pursue a career in international human rights law and I will be beginning my LLM at the University of Essex in the fall of 2016.

Testimonial - Véronique Lahaie-Luna

Véronique Lahaie-Luna

"My experience as a Student Research Intern at the Human Rights Clinic within the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) has been one of the most enriching and life changing academic experiences. I was a part of the Scholars at Risk in the Americas Project and the Extractive Industries in Latin America Project teams that have allowed me to see firsthand the injustices that different legal systems impose on high risk communities. For example, I have participated in the production of an amicus curiae submitted to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as well as reports to the Scholars at Risk Network, monitoring attacks against academic freedom in the Americas. All these first-hand experiences on the different components of legal work have enforced my belief on the importance of culture and respecting diverse opinions; all of which have been integral components in my life and values throughout my studies at the University of Ottawa. All my supervisors and colleagues have supported me to think outside the box, adapt to new environments and to be unafraid to take a stance on my morals and beliefs on the environment and other human rights issues. I am very grateful to have had this interning opportunity during my studies, and I know that future students will have as many valuable lessons and opportunities as I did."

Véronique is a graduated Honours BSocSc International Development and Globalization student at the University of Ottawa. Interested in human rights, gender rights and the environment, she will be pursuing a practicum at the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation in New York City, USA, and hopes to pursue her graduate studies in law in the near future.

Testimonial - Tatyana Budilskaya

Tatyana Budilskaya

I have always had a passion for justice on the global scale. From matters related to access to justice, to nuances of the transitional justice process, the Human Rights Clinic has allowed me to bring my passions to fruition. By volunteering at the Clinic for nearly two years, I received exceptional exposure to ongoing challenges in the fields of international law and human rights. The work of the Clinic complimented my studies throughout law school and continues to provide benefit as I article at the federal government. Being part of such a talented team has undoubtedly been a highlight of my young legal career (with special thanks to Salvador Herencia and Aboubacar Dakuyo for being remarkable leaders).

Testimonial - Caitlin Wardrop

Caitlin Wardrop

I am very grateful for my experience with the Human Rights Clinic. As an International Development and Law student, the Clinic allowed me to apply my academic knowledge to projects which I was passionate about. While working on the Handbook on International Standards to Address Crimes of Sexual Violence, it was fulfilling and motivating to know that my work would help practitioners apply and promote human rights internationally. It was inspiring to see how the Clinic’s research and academic work was being put to use in practical situations to assist vulnerable people. My work with the Human Rights Clinic also allowed me to broaden my understanding of international legal topics, something I will bring forwards with me in future academic endeavours. Overall, the Human Rights Clinic was a great way to expand my knowledge outside of the classroom and foster my passion for human rights work!

Testimonial - Victoria Rose King

Victoria Rose King

Having the opportunity to be a student volunteer for the Human Rights Research and Education Centre was a honour. While volunteering at the clinic I was able to challenge myself by learning how to research core international crimes committed by various countries and then upload the relevant documents to the Legal Tools Database; of which equips a world wide amount of users in both richer and materially less resourceful countries, with legal information they require for their legal pursuits. Overall, volunteering for the Human Rights Research and Education Centre was an enriching experience and thus I encourage others who are interested in dipping their toes in International law to join this wonderful and dynamic team!

Testimonial - Danna El-Arab

Danna El-Arab

Volunteering for the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) has been an extremely rewarding and enriching experience. I joined the Human Rights Clinic after attending a Skills Training Session, where I learned about the Clinic’s different projects. I was most interested in the Scholars At Risk (SAR) in the Americas Project, as it gave me the opportunity to apply my communication background to the field of human rights. Since May 2019, I have been working on the SAR Project, which involves writing reports on threats against higher education communities in the Americas. Not only has my work on the SAR Project allowed me to learn more about the importance of defending and protecting academic freedom, it has also allowed me to contribute to great human rights works, including Free to Think 2019. I am truly grateful for my time at the HRREC and for the amazing people that I have met.

Photo Gallery - Human Rights Clinic

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