Intersectionality and Human Rights (SLS Small Projects and Events Fund)

  • Atrey, Shreya (Principal Investigator)
  • Dunne, Peter R (Co-Principal Investigator)

Project Details


The term ‘intersectionality’ was coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989 and represents an interdisciplinary field of studies which explores how structures of disadvantage associated with race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, class etc are co-constituted in relation to one another.

On 14 November 2018, at the University of Bristol Law School, the Centre for Law at Work along with the Human Rights Implementation Centre co-sponsored a workshop which examined the relationship between intersectionality and human rights. The purpose of the workshop – which was supported by the SLS Small Projects and Events Fund – was to understand how the diversity in human identity and disadvantage affects the articulation, realisation, violation and enforcement of human rights, and in particular, the areas of education, housing, asylum, reproduction and sexual health.

Intersectionality has both a theoretical, as well as, a doctrinal role to play in human rights law. This role, however, remains largely unexplored and under-theorised. There is little research connecting, on the one hand, established discourses in intersectionality studies and, on the other hand, discourses in human rights law. The proposed workshop aimed to unearth the role of intersectionality theory in human rights with a view to systematically reflecting upon the diverse ways in which human rights are experienced. The organizers facilitated a conversation on both the future of intersectionality, as well as the future of human rights.

The workshop was organised around four panels, with speakers – who included Centre for Law at Work member, Professor Joanne Conaghan – reflecting on the connection between intersectionality and specific human rights, followed by 30 minutes of discussion. Panels were interactive and left maximum time for all participants to join the conversation.

Ultimately, the organizers hoped that this event was a springboard for wider research on the relationship between intersectionality and human rights. Arising out of the Workshop, we will publish an edited collection, and we hope to encourage greater reflection upon this emerging, important area of law.
Effective start/end date14/11/1814/11/18

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Law at Work
  • Human Rights Implementation Centre


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