Current Research Projects

GHRN members are involved in a wide range of research projects.  If you are interested in a specific project please contact the PI/lead researcher.

The role of National Human Rights Institutions in embedding human rights principles within corporations: a comparative study

This project will explore the role of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in advocating and institutionalizing corporate “respect” for human rights within business enterprises by supporting and securing the development of systems of accountability, and diligence, reflecting legislative frameworks and prevailing social norms.

Kindly funded by the Carnegie Trust, this pilot study is designed to develop a framework for identifying and evaluating the conditions of NHRIs’ effectiveness in embedding human rights principles and obligations in the private sector, that can be applied and tested in a future large-scale comparative study of NHRIs across the globe.

The project intends to examine three representative NHRIs:  the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, and the National Human Rights Commission of India, in order to evaluate the tools and strategies deployed by each in working for the realization of business respect for human rights.

A key contribution of the project will be to offer some guidance to both businesses and NHRIs concerning how NHRIs can effectively support/engage/influence/interact/ with businesses in different contexts,  depending on the type of the NHRI’s mandate and modus operandi.


Project dates: 1 June 2020 – 31 May 2021

Project team: Dr Yingru Li (Principal Investigator), Prof John McKernan, Beata Faracik.

Realizing International Human Rights: Scotland on the Global Stage


'Realizing International Human Rights: Scotland on the Global Stage', aims to chart Scotland's successes in mapping and realizing rights for an international audience. Following a seminar series hosted by GHRN in Autumn 2015, a special issue of the journal International Human Rights Journal has been published (early online view). You can read more about the special issue on the website soon and hear more about the research in a forthcoming event in early 2018. 

Key contacts:


Dr Jo Ferrie (Glasgow University)

Dr Elaine Webster (Strathclyde University)

Prof Rebecca Wallace (Robert Gordons University)

Don't Waste Our Future! Building a European alliance of youngsters against food waste and for new models of sustainable development and consumption

Dr Alan Britton (Scotland/UK contact)

The overall objective of the project is to increase the critical understanding, the accountability and the leading role of young European citizens in relation to sustainable development at a local and global level. The specific objectives are:

• Increase awareness among young Europeans on the issue of food waste, on responsible consumption and the relationship with the global right to food, in order to make them responsible agents of the necessary change;

• Build a European alliance of students against food waste and develop new models of development and sustainable lifestyles;

• Raise awareness among local authorities and their networks on the issue of food waste and the role they can play in the formation of citizens and promoting concrete actions - in the framework of their respective competencies - in the fight against food waste and, generally, in the construction of sustainable human development starting from their territories.

You can find out more by downloading Don't Waste Our Future - full details

Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Commonwealth

The distinctively free online book Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Commonwealth: Struggles for Decriminalisation and Change (London: School of Advanced Study, 2013) was co-edited by Dr. Matthew Waites of Glasgow Human Rights Network, with Dr. Corinne Lennox of Institute of Commonwealth Studies. Since publication Dr. Matthew Waites has been engaged in an ongoing project focused on impact and knowledge exchange, with extensive dissemination especially to LGBTI and human rights NGOs worldwide via social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  Chapters from the book have been downloaded more than 18,500 times. On  18 July 2014 GHRN partnered Equality Network, Kaleidoscope Trust and Pride Glasgow when hosting the LGBTI Human Rights in the Commonwealth conference, from which GHRN has published videos. Dr. Waites also contributed to the LGBTI People of the Commonwealth exhibition in 2014, and the event The Present Situation of LGBTI People in Uganda, and has engaged in a programme of public engagement; forthcoming events include LGBTI Human Rights Activism and Film, for which GHRN will partner the Canadian-based transnational project Envisioning Global LGBT Human Rights.   Publications by Dr Waites have appeared in online periodicals such as The Conversation and Discover Society.


You can find out about the research our PhD students are involved in by visiting our PhD Research Projects section.