Roehampton launches Western Balkans and Human Rights Initiative

Fifteen representatives from Universities in Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Sweden, Germany, Ireland and the UK, gathered at the University for the first meeting of an EU Tempus funded project on developing human rights education in university curricula in the Western Balkans. This €1 million project will continue over the next three years and is led by Dr Michele Lamb and colleagues in the Department of Social Sciences.

During the weekend participants also attended an international workshop on Police Reform and Human Rights in the Western Balkans, organised by Crucible and the British International Studies Association (BISA) South East Europe Working Group. Academics and expert practitioners from Roehampton and across the region debated EU approaches to police reform, the role of democratic policing, and tensions between local and international interventions in the region.

Both events are part of a new Western Balkan research and knowledge exchange initiative being developed by the new Crucible Centre for Human Rights Research, Practice and Knowledge Exchange which will be housed within the Department of Social Science. Crucible will provide a home to the Department’s significant expertise in human rights research and practice for academics, practitioners and students. The new Western Balkans research theme complements existing expertise in the sociology of human rights, genocide and conflict, post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction, and hate crime and gender violence.