Human Rights
A Global Interdisciplinary Conference


Saturday 18th September 2021 – Sunday 19th September 2021

This event has been moved online due to COVID-19.

In just 30 Articles, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) outlines the core rights that are essential to maintaining the inherent dignity of human beings, their fundamental freedoms, equality among individuals and peaceful concord between nations. Indeed, the rights to life, liberty, the security of the person, equality before the law without discrimination, nationality, movement, to marry and have a family, free choice of employment, an adequate standard of living, education, participation in the political process, freedom of association, thought, conscience and belief, and freedom of participation in the social life of the community have been endorsed by most of the world’s nations since the UDHR was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948. In the aftermath of the devastation created by the Holocaust, two world wars within the span of 30 years, and waves of economic depression, the articulation of inalienable rights conferred upon members of the human family simply because they are human provided a blueprint for building a fair and just global community.

The challenges posed by COVID-19 and the ascendency of right-wing, populist regimes in countries around the world are among the many developments in the 21st Century that have contributed to a situation in which the protection of human rights is particularly crucial.

Historically, the fight for human rights has taken a variety of forms, ranging from peaceful resistance to violent uprisings, and coalesced around leaders whose words and deeds provide a call to activism. Movements such as Black Lives Matter have resonated across countries, and activists from around the world are able to channel the power of social media and our interconnected lives to raise awareness of their campaigns – from Indigenous water defenders in Canada, to gay rights activists in Russia, to refugees trapped at the borders of Europe. Ultimately, the role of activism has been essential in the case of well-known figures – such as Ida B Wells, Martin Luther King Jr, Barbara Gittings, Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai and others – and the countless individuals whose names are not recorded in the annals of history, but whose efforts have created genuine, positive change.

Yet pushback against human rights campaigns remains and human rights themselves are often subsumed by political and geopolitical considerations. Furthermore, historical, cultural, and geographical factors can be used to silence calls for human rights to be protected. ‘Whataboutism’ and comparisons to similar or worse oppression are deployed – whether through genuine ignorance or as a calculated move – to suggest that calls for equal application of human rights are unnecessary or unjustified.

But when crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, arise and when resource supplies are suddenly burdened, the existing inequalities within society and the precariousness of human rights, particularly for those who are most vulnerable, come into stark relief.

It is therefore an appropriate time to take stock of the state of human rights and develop strategies for realising the ideals of the UDHR. The global interdisciplinary Human Rights conference provides a platform for engagement among professionals and volunteer grassroots champions working in the human rights space.

Key Topics

Key topics, themes and issues for discussion may include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • Philosophies on the nature and implications of human rights
  • Past, present and future human rights movements/struggles
  • Comparative case studies across countries/cultures
  • Human rights and geopolitics 
  • Legal aspects to human rights and the role of institutions such as the ICC
  • Barriers to recognition and protection of human rights (and how to address them)
  • Negotiating conflicts between different human rights 
  • The case for limiting human rights
  • Studies of specific figures associated with human rights movements
  • Methods and strategies associated with human rights campaigns (including analyses of particular tools, such as boycotts)
  • Violence and human rights
  • Impact of COVID-19 (and other public health issues) on human rights
  • Strategies for developing policy and law that enshrine human rights
  • The rollback of human rights under populist governments
  • The impact of technologies (e.g. social media, digital networks etc.) on human rights movements
  • Art, literature and music as a tool of human rights movements
  • Inequality, intersectionality and marginality: issues of gender, sexuality, race, immigration status etc. within human rights movements/campaigns 

What To Send

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 2nd October 2020. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 9th October 2020.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 12th February 2021

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Human Rights Submission.

Where To Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Project Administrator:

Details and Information


Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ online registration
~ online abstract and programme submissions
~ access to the conferencing platform
~ ~ a virtual registration areas where conference information and materials will be available
~~  virtual ePoster possibilities
~ ~ virtual break out rooms
~ ~ virtual one-to-one meeting capabilities
~ ~ virtual networking rooms

~ electronic book of Abstracts
~ access to downloads of all conference materials
~ physical copy book of abstracts (on request)

~ participation in project output discussion session
~ live session with the publications team as part of a development meeting
~ discounted rates for any outputs emerging from the event

Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

Friday 2nd October 2020
Abstract/Presentation submission

Friday 9th October
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Friday 30th October 2020
Booking Form Submissions

by Friday 13th November 2020
Circulation of Draft Programme
Invoices issued

Monday 14th December 2020
Final date for payment

Friday 22nd January 2021
Circulation of Revised Programme
Full draft of presentation to be submitted

Friday 19th March 2021
Final programme to printing

The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.

Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 30th October 2020 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Monday 14th December 2020.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We regret we cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation to any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

What’s so Special?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.


A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.


A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.


An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.


An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.


Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.


Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network inspiring inclusive interdisciplinary research, publishing and collaboration