International Human Rights

The Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics explores contemporary and historical international human rights challenges in three key areas– international institutions, rightlessness, and corporations and the global economy.

Analysis and Action.

The Duke Human Rights Center (DHRC) at the Kenan Institute for Ethics is a dynamic interdisciplinary community of scholars, students, advocates and practitioners exploring the challenges and opportunities of human rights discourse and practice. Through innovative experiential education, diverse scholarly collaborations and distinctive, community-based practitioner partnerships, we explore contemporary international human rights challenges across three distinct areas: international institutions, rightlessness, and corporations in the global economy. Engaging multiple disciplines and various perspectives, we both critically and constructively engage long-standing questions in the field as well as more recent, fiercely contested ones: what is the impact of human rights institutions on improving the daily lives of rights holders? What innovative, grassroots local-level work is taking place, and how might it be scaled up? What and who does the human rights regime and framework leave out, and why? What are the limits of a rights-based approach, and how might they be addressed in the future? At the Duke Human Rights Center, we address these questions with both scholarship and action.


Pathways of Change is a summer internship program for students interested in business and human rightswomen’s rights, and environmental justice. Students intern with organizations working for social change across these fields, and work together to explore the trade-offs between different approaches towards social change.

Visit the Pathways of Change Blog

Meet the 2019 Pathways of Change Fellows


 rights writers

The Global Human Rights Scholars Program works with undergraduates interested in human rights issues as part of the Institute’s “Rights Writers” team.  Participants use a shared blog platform to explore in-depth and thoughtful analysis across a range of diverse human rights issues, shaping discussions at Duke and beyond. 

Visit the Rights Writers Blog

Meet the 2018-2019 team



Students work in teams on policy projects for one- or two-partner NGOs. The goal of this class is to introduce students to the rapidly evolving field of Business and Human Rights, explore the multiple dimensions of human rights advocacy in theory and practice, and to develop students’ analytical and writing skills through work on memos and case studies.


This is an annual discussion series bringing together scholars and practitioners from Duke and beyond on a range of topics. This faculty/graduate student series provides a space to explore the intersection of human rights research and practice as well as cutting-edge developments and controversies in the human rights regime.

Moral Economy of Markets Series Jason Moore-slider

Read more about the first event in the Moral Economy of Markets Series here

Moral Economy of Markets Series Patricia Northover-slider

Read more about Patricia Northover’s talk here


Read more about Mark Driscoll’s talk here

Moral Economy of Markets Series Jamie Gonzalez [Recovered]-03

Read more about Jaime Gonzalez’ talk here

Moral Economy of Markets Series Antonio Orozco Ramos_-03

Read more about the talk here