The First of its Kind: University of Leeds Human Rights Journal

The First of its Kind: University of Leeds Human Rights Journal

Founded in 2012 by History undergraduate Hannah Tigerschiold, the University of Leeds Human Rights Journal was actualised as an ambitious, multidisciplinary platform for aspiring undergraduates to publish works on the topic of human rights. Attracting submissions from a wide domain of creative and academic backgrounds, the journal reaches out to all departments. The first of its kind in the UK, as an undergraduate led human rights journal, it allows those involved in the content and production of the journal to develop skills that are highly beneficial for future careers such as marketing, journalism, design, editing and publicity.

With an integral part of the publication being to raise awareness around issues of Human Rights violations and struggles, the journal does not shy away from the most pertinent and salient events in the contemporary world, from the Israel-Palestine conflict to human rights infringements in post-Jungle Calais, along with tackling the historical dimension of issues such as the conception and continuation of the Indian caste system. It is hoped that the journal engages students in a challenging but accessible way with a mix of journalism and photography. Articles in the journal that have also been published centred around less covered topics such as the abuse many workers receive in the global shipping industry, one of the world’s most important industries, showing that the journal promotes investigation into all areas of human rights violations.

Students new to the journal would be joining an established team including Abhaya Ganashree as Editor-in-Chief, Hugo Jones and Mailes Fleming as managing editors, Nathan Olsen as Online Editor and Solange Warlow as Marketing Officer. The experience students can gain from working in the production of the journal can be seen in the progression of previous members of the editorial team such as founding member Hannah Tigerschiold who was seconded as an EU-funded advisor to the Nyein Foundation in Myanmar. She helped with negotiations and settlements and now works as conflict advisor in the Department of International Development.

The journal itself also does not lack in ambition for its future, with it developing year on year in stature and recognition, Solange Warlow (marketing officer) speaking on behalf of the journal, says the aim is “to collaborate with the White Rose universities in the North and gain further national recognition for its excellent academic undergraduate research”, as well as “looking to have more events within the local community including a Teach Out where an academic will speak about their research on a human rights issue in order to continue to spread awareness and interest in international human rights violations.”

The team that produces the Journal annually also run a bi-weekly blog that aims to increase accessibility for publishing to as many students as possible. The more informal blog accepts submission from postgraduates and undergraduates from around the world with submissions coming from as far away as India last year. It also accepts work in the form of poems and photography in addition to the traditional essay format. Submissions of all varieties are encouraged and are the main source of content for the blog, meaning that students who consider themselves to have interesting ideas on the topic of human rights shouldn’t hesitate to submit to the blog (as well as the ‘University of Leeds Human Rights Journal’).

The journal is currently looking to add 12 peer reviewers and online editors to maintain the high standards of publication in the journal from previous years to be headed by the editorial team consisting of our managing editors and editor-in-chief. Peer reviewers work in teams of 3 to critique submissions and refer the best articles and pieces to the editorial team who will then make the final decision on which articles are published. These positions are a great way for students to meet like-minded individuals, broaden knowledge about human rights and are a fun way to get involved in student life. The journal this year is also further developing a £100 prize for the best article through the year selected by a panel of postgraduates along with an academic.

Applications are open for these positions and can be found via the University of Leeds portal, or applications may be sent directly to smlhrj@leeds.ac.uk by 29th October, with a CV and covering letter on why you would most be suited to the roles on offer at the Journal.