Human Rights Law Program

Established in 2022, the Human Rights Law Program (HRLP) serves as a hub for human rights activities at UNC School of Law. The HRLP promotes the advancement of human rights by providing educational opportunities, fostering cutting-edge scholarship, and offering pro bono support to civil society organizations and other entities pursuing human rights work.

Initiatives and Student Opportunities

  • SOGIESC Human Rights Initiative. SOGIESC is the acronym used in international human rights work for sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. Under this initiative, students work with Professor Holning Lau on pro bono projects related to SOGIESC human rights. The SOCIESC Human Rights Initiative’s past and planned projects include research for NGO partners, the development of human rights reports in collaboration with NGO partners, and written submissions to United Nations human rights mechanisms.
  • Human Rights Collaboratives. Under this initiative, the HRLP connects scholars and students from across the UNC-Chapel Hill campus and across North Carolina who are interested in expanding scholarly and educational opportunities in the realm of human rights. Collaboratives under development include working groups to promote dialogue and incubation of strategic partnerships on various international human rights topics.
  • Human Rights Courses. The Law School offers two courses that focus on international human rights: International Law of Human Rights and the Human Rights Policy Lab, which is a non-litigation experiential course. The Human Rights Policy Lab, taught by Professor Deborah Weissman, bridges theory and practice and provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working on active human rights issues and projects. The HRLP disseminates information about these courses and publicizes the work of the Policy Lab, which has local, national, and international implications, and is often produced in collaboration with national and international human rights entities.
  • Human Rights Events.  The HRLP sponsors occasional speakers and other events related to human rights at the local, national, and international level. Most recently, it hosted an April 2024 Symposium and Exhibit: “This Art Belongs to the Artists.


Willie Person Mangum Distinguished Professor of Law
(919) 962-8514 |

Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law
(919) 962-5108 |