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Focus Areas

Throughout its 15 years, the Human Rights Institute has tackled a wide range of issues and fields related to human rights, understood from an open pluridisciplinary point of view. This has not, however, prevented a logical amount of specialist work in certain research areas that are closely related to the postgraduate courses offered by the Institute. Demands and challenges posed from other public and social bodies from different geographic areas have also influenced its research.

Main focus areas


The team’s research has three consolidated priority research lines and one emerging research line.

Line 1: International protection and human rights
It focuses on aspects related to international protection, including the humanitarian one, in situations of crisis, conflict and post-conflict with special attention to vulnerable groups (displaced people, migrants, refugees, indigenous communities...) and to the work carried out by human rights defenders and humanitarian organisations.

Line 2: International migration and human rights
It studies human mobility in mixed flow contexts (including irregular migrants, refugees and asylum seekers) and the migratory and border regimes that attempt to control or manage these flows. It includes policies aimed at countries of origin, border outsourcing, the border regime itself and the control devices of irregular migrants and asylum seekers in the countries of destination.

Line 3: Human rights, cultural diversity and social cohesion
It analyses the new multicultural realities and the transformations and conflicts caused by the confluence of diverse identities in the public space. It focuses on the policies that allow the democratic management of this diversity in European societies as well as the recognition and protection policies of indigenous peoples.

Line 4 (emerging): Research methods in human rights
Study of the theoretical and methodological challenges posed by the complexity of human rights, and the multidisciplinary research strategies and didactics of interdisciplinarity.

The team also conducts research on human rights topics that do not strictly form part of the priority research areas. For example, work has been conducted on human rights protection in the Basque Country, emerging rights or the fight against discrimination and gender-based violence.