Our mission

The Australian Human Rights Institute breaks silos between academic research and real-world problems to progress human rights.

We deliver multidisciplinary, applied research, empowering communities and educating the next generation of human rights leaders.

We work in partnership with government, industry and human rights defenders through advocacy, education and public engagement to achieve impact.

Our research

The Institute's research projects seek to understand the barriers to, and realisation of, rights across the three strategic pillars of business, health and gender justice, with an increasing focus on climate change among other pressing human rights issues. ​

We aim to develop applied solutions to address human rights abuses, as well as strengthen UNSW’s capacity for policy and media outreach on human rights issues. ​

We're continually seeking to build new partnerships with alliance universities, national and international human rights organisations, government, corporations, and non-government organisations to advance knowledge exchange and develop research projects. ​

Our history

The Australian Human Rights Centre logo

The Australian Human Rights Institute was created as part of Strategy 2025 to enhance the ability of the University of NSW (UNSW) to create a world-class research institute focused on human rights to further the strategic goals of pursuing academic excellence and enhancing social impact.

Launched under the directorship of Professor Louise Chappell in 2018, the Institute built on the outstanding legacy of one of the oldest centres in the faculty, the Australian Human Rights Centre, established at UNSW in 1986 and led by such formative directors as Emeritus Professor Andrea Durbach.

Professor Justine Nolan – who also had a long history of involvement with both the Centre and now Institute – took the helm as Director in early 2021.