States’ Practice of Human Rights Justification: a study in civil society engagement and human rights through the lens of gender and intersectionality (HRJust)

HRJust, A Horizon EU Funded Project, Examines How States Use Human Rights Justifications To Explain And Defend Their Actions And Decisions.


Human Rights Justifications (HRJ) are when States use human rights to justify decisions. Human rights regimes operate on the presumptions that only individual persons can be in possession of human rights. The regulatory gaps occurring when the States use HRJ for their actions are two-fold, one in the regulation of the States’ use of HRJ and one in the individual human rights protection when States use HRJ. This activity is not regulated by any international, regional or national regime. In other words, significant and important gaps in human rights regulations has now been identified, which this project seeks to address. We will develop a theory of HRJ and a process for Systematic Ongoing Civil Society Engagement (SODCSE) as a tool for a gender and intersectional inclusive Civil Society engagement. Through SODCSE, we will identify gaps in human rights regulations and protection, serving as underpinning data for our recommendations to EU in support of a multinational human rights system and promotion of transnational democratic governance. SODCSE will also help us identify geopolitical elements that influence States’ use of HRJ. This will be done through 5 countries: Sweden, Finland, Taiwan, India and Ukraine, through three actions: human rights dialogue, inclusive democratic participations, and protection of human rights defenders, and operationalised through three themes: Covid, Migration and Climate.



The European Commission's HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-01 (Reshaping democracies) call aims to fund research and innovation activities in the field of democracy. Funded projects will contribute to support the European Union’s role in leading the transformation and defence of multilateralism by identifying and analysing policy avenues for a more robust, democratic and effective global governance. It should also develop policy recommendations, institutional frames, toolboxes, narratives and methodologies for supporting action towards transnational democracy.


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