Call for Papers

4 February 2020 by Centre for Human Rights

The conference theme is 'The future of human rights: Socio-economic rights, equality and development'. The conference will be held at the University of Pretoria, in South Africa.
We live in a deeply divided world. While there has never been a better opportunity to finally rid the world of extreme poverty, the great divide between the haves and the have-nots seems to be here to stay. Technological developments will change everyone’s lives, both rich and poor. The future will bring opportunities that were previously unheard of. Access to electricity and connectivity is already improving and with that come improved economic opportunities and hopefully improved health and education. The future also brings many challenges. Some of these challenges are already well known, such as climate change. Others are as yet unknown.  
How can we move to a more equal world without environmental degradation on a scale that would threaten our very existence? How can the playing field be levelled so that migration comes to mean ‘opportunity’ and not ‘threat’? What do the challenges and opportunities of the future mean for human rights, in particular socio-economic rights?
Socio-economic rights are recognised in international treaties and in many national constitutions. Even where they have not been included in constitutions they have been recognised as fundamental by courts and other actors. The right to life is increasingly understood as not only meaning a right to physical existence but also the right to live life in dignity.  How can we ensure that these rights. can be claimed by all without discrimination? What is the role of various actors to ensure the actual implementation of these rights (by governments, parliaments, courts, traditional and social media, corporations, NGOs etc) now and in the future?


We invite anyone interested in these questions to submit abstracts, and to propose panel discussions for consideration under the following tracks: 

  • Track 1: Vulnerability and discrimination
  • Track 2: Future opportunities and challenges in the protection of socio-economic rights
  • Track 3: Ensuring implementation of human rights

Abstracts and panel proposals not directly linked to the theme of the conference will however also be considered. 

Abstracts submitted by doctoral candidates may also be considered for the doctoral workshop which will precede the conference.


The conference will be held on 4 and 5 September 2020 (preceded by a doctoral workshop on  2 and 3 September 2020).

Abstract submission

Submit abstracts or panel proposals (max 300 words) via Submittable:

Click here to submit abstract

Deadline for submission of abstracts or panel proposals: 15 May 2020 (deadline extended)

Selected presenters and panels will be notified by: 1 June 2020


Prof Magnus Killander 
[email protected]


About the Centre for Human Rights

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is an internationally recognised university-based institution combining academic excellence and effective activism to advance human rights, particularly in Africa. It aims to contribute to advancing human rights, through education, research and advocacy.

About the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI)

The Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI), is a network of over 70 member institutions that all carry out research and educational activities in the field of human rights. The member institutions are from over 30 different countries. AHRI’s objective is to bring together human rights researchers from across disciplines, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and collaboration, and to promote research, education and discussion in the field of human rights.

Important Dates
Conference Duration
4 September 2020 09:00 - 5 September 2020 17:00
6 March 2020 - 30 June 2020 [OPEN]
AHRI 2020: Conference of the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI)
Prof Magnus Killander
Contact Email
[email protected]
Contact Number
+27 12 4205407