NCHR Occasional Paper Series

The NCHR Occasional Paper Series is an open publication channel reflecting the work carried out by the Centre as a whole on a range of human rights topics. It is published on an irregular basis, with contributions from NCHR’s researchers, guests, master students, and the various international programmes and thematic working groups.

The objective of the Series is to provide an insight into the work carried out at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, and disseminate it both internally and externally. It provides a way for NCHR’s staff and students to publish relevant information in a freely accessible format.

Its scope includes activity reports, thematic reports, conference/seminar papers, master theses, reflective essays or reports on completed projects. The papers are published by submission or invitation.  

The papers are published in the name of the author, and their views do not necessarily reflect those of the NCHR.

Editor: Stener Ekern

ISSN 2464-3297


Published Dec. 15, 2020 12:58 PM

This paper: Human Rights Defenders in Colombia, is written by María Paola Quintero Gómez. She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LL.B.) from Universidad Eafit, Medellín, Colombia and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Public International Law with a specialisation in International Criminal and Humanitarian Law from the University of Oslo, Norway. 

In the introduction the author writes:  To defend human rights is a right itself. To fully enjoy this right, a safe and enabling environment for human rights defenders (HRDs) must be created. To achieve this, Colombia has been implementing a protection programme for HRDs since 1997, making the Colombian State a pioneer in the region.

This is not only the first programme one in the Americas but is also the largest programme with the biggest budget. It has evolved over the years, incorporating protection and preventive measures for both individuals and collectives. However, despite the state’s efforts and regulations, Colombia remains the most dangerous country in the world for HRDs. In 2019, 35% of defenders killed worldwide were in Colombia. The situation appears to be worsening in 2020 because, by 24 January, 23 HRDs had been killed.

Published Nov. 2, 2020 11:19 AM

This paper: COVID-19: Human rights trade-offs, challenges and policy responseis written by Bård A. Andreassen, Peris S. Jones and Gentian Zyberi, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo and Yannick Bernardo Joaquim, Agostinho Neto University of Luanda

In the introduction the authors write: The COVID-19 virus pandemic stands out as one of the most devastating global humanitarian and economic crises in living memory, leading to human misery in virtually every country in the world. In the history of pandemics, it is about to become one of the worst pandemics since the Spanish Flu between 1918 and 1919. It has overwhelmed health systems, threatened national economies, social security systems, as well as education and food production (E/C.12/2020/1). As of 5 September 2020, the death toll from COVID-19 was around 870,000 people and around 26.5 million people had been affected. 

The short and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on human rights are huge. There is still a lack of knowledge and uncertainty about how it is affecting countries, and differences among them, as this depends on how authorities and populations react to the pandemic and continue to react in the coming months. Read the whole paper

Published Oct. 2, 2019 11:00 AM

This paper: Business, Human Rights and Peace: An Exploratory Study of the Role of Corporate Human Rights Practices and Corporate Accountability in the Promotion of Negative and Positive Peace, is written by Elena Assenza. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the John Cabot University of Rome, Italy and a M.Sc. in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Oslo, Norway (Faculty of Law, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights).

She has been a visiting student at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS), USA and at the Universidade Paulista of Saõ Paulo, Brazil.

During her undergraduate and graduate studies, she has interned for the Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri in Rome and collaborated with the Business for Peace Foundation of Oslo in the preparation of the 2018 Business for Peace Oslo Summit.

Her research interests include business and human rights, public international law and human rights law.

She is currently living in Brussels while undertaking a traineeship at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union for the Directorate-General Communication and Information.

She aims to pursue a Ph.D. in International Law and Human Rights.

Published Mar. 22, 2019 10:51 AM

This paper,  Blurring the Line between Countering Terrorism and Countering Dissent: The Case of Saudi Arabia, is written by Dr Norman Cigar, a Research Fellow at the Marine Corps University, Quantico, VA, from which he retired recently as Director of Regional Studies and the Minerva Research Chair.  

In the Introduction, Dr. Cigar writes: In recent days, the focus on human rights with respect to Saudi Arabia, understandably, has centered on the disappearance and brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.  In many ways, to be sure, the Khashoggi case speaks to the whole human rights issue in Saudi Arabia and has represented a poignant “teaching moment.”  While the Khashoggi case deserves an extensive and detailed study of its own, given its importance and its repercussions, there are also additional aspects of the human rights environment in Saudi Arabia that serve as the background against which such individual incidents can best be analyzed and understood.