The aim of this award was to bring together scholars, practitioners and human rights defenders in order to discuss research priorities for an emerging area of research on human rights defenders at risk and to explore forms of future collaboration that would best suit this 'epistemic community'.
We used this award to co-fund a workshop from 15-17 May 2013 for scholars, practitioners and human rights defenders. This workshop led to a Special Issue in the Journal of Human Rights Practice on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (November 2013). We are in the process of putting together a second Special Issue for the International Journal of Human Rights.
This event was also a crucial moment for securing the confidence of a donor, which has led to a 3-year research grant worth GBP229,502 entitled 'Strengthening the Security of Human Rights Defenders at Risk' (Budget Account Ref: R15813).
We have an ongoing collaboration with other partners in this project. After this event, we co-organised a workshop at the 14th Annual Association of Human Rights Institutes Conference (London, 9-10 September 2013) entitled 'Human Rights Activism and Risk: Assessing the Global Impact of the European Union', a side session at the Human Rights Council (Geneva, 11 March 2014) entitled 'Creating a Safe and Enabling Environment for Human Rights Defenders', and an Expert Group Roundtable (Geneva, 12 March 2014) entitled 'Innovative Thinking for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
I am currently drafting a research grant application with one of the project partners, for submission to the ESRC.