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Since 2011 CGHR has been collaborating with Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, on subjects related to the right to life. In 2013/4 CGHR produced a research report on Unlawful Killings in Africa, that detailed the incidence of violations of the right to life in Africa and that served as the basis for the Special Rapporteur's engagement with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

Together, the Special Rapporteur and CGHR have begun a broader project that will survey violence reduction programming in Africa, ahead of a large-scale research collaboration in coming years exploring how the methodology developed by a “public health” approach to violence reduction might inform efforts to protect the right to life. 

CGHR has recruited a team of student researchers to undertake a mapping and review of violence reduction programmes and research being undertaken across the continent. The object of this research is to evaluate the overlap between the emerging field of violence reduction and the human rights frame of the right to life. In addition to a general continental survey, the initial mapping exercise will therefore also particularly highlight work conducted with respect to certain contexts where the right to life is particularly threatened, or the incidence of violence is very high.  Such contexts include:

  • Violence in the context of law enforcement
  • Violence in prisons and other detention
  • Violence in armed conflict 
  • High levels of urban violence


The CGHR Research Team

CGHR has convened an interdisciplinary team of researchers from across the University--comprising both undergraduate and graduate students--that will conduct a broad review of violence-reduction programming in Africa. Following the successful model used in the past, the CGHR Research Team will produce a “Research Pack” to present to the Special Rapporteur. This substantive collection of information will provide a fundamental reference point during the further elaboration of the project. The Research Team comprises:

Radha Bhatt (History)   George Moore      (History)
Angharrad Buxton  (POLIS) Tobias Müller (POLIS)
Taryn Cornell (African Studies)         Declan O'Briain (Development Studies)
Kim Harrisberg (African Studies) Amanda Padoan (Gender Studies)
Holly Kallmeyer (POLIS) Alex Peppiatt (MML)
Danielle Meredith (Geography)