Our Story

The Centre for Human Rights was established by law professors at Universal College Lahore in 2013 for the promotion of human rights law and due process in Pakistan. The Centre is now an independent legal research organisation that continues to actively research on human rights issues, legal policy, the rule of law, and due process. This is done through legal analysis which is rights-based, human centric and aimed at enhancing the constitutional freedoms of equality and non-discrimination.

During its early years, the Centre comprised the Human Rights Journal and the Moot Courts to encourage student scholarship and advocacy. In its later years, the Centre expanded to include a Fellowship Programme for young professionals and a Human Rights Clinic for law students as well. As the Centre’s initial beginnings were student-focused, over the years the Centre has morphed into a youth-led organisation that invests deeply in youth engagement and empowerment. With 64% of Pakistan’s population being under 30, the Centre provides various opportunities to the current youth to build a future which is shaped by their voice and to cultivate future leaders who are equipped with strong knowledge, experience and exposure to human rights law and policy.

Our work

Through both student and professional contributions, the Centre carries out a combination of evidence-backed legal and policy research to find workable solutions to pressing human rights concerns and violations, both at the national and international levels. As one of our fundamental motivations to work in human rights law is building a rights-respecting future, sustainability lies at the core of our research, analysis and advocacy work.
Through our work, we engage in multistakeholderism to enable the creation, promotion and advancement of human rights-based solutions which are holistic and impactful. To that end, we regularly engage with government representatives, civil society organisations, academics, legal professionals, members of the judiciary, bar associations, activists, experts in various fields, as well as international organisations.
Since its inception, the Centre has developed several journals, held mooting competitions, published research papers, housed fellows, hosted training events and seminars in a wide variety of areas relating to human rights. The Centre has a broad research mandate. In its initial years, the Centre worked extensively on understanding the effects of anti-terrorism laws on human rights, fair trial protections in Pakistan and gender-based violence. Over the years, the Centre has expanded its research into the areas of environmental law, and technology.