Research by Topic

Button Topic Trafficking


Button Topic Enforcement


Button Topic Economic


Button Topic Transitional


Button Topic Regional





Regional Human Rights Systems

A distinguished panel of human rights lawyers, scholars, diplomats, and judges involved with the Inter-American Human Rights System convened in private, closed-door meetings for discussions around challenges facing the System. Details of the event can be found here.

Human Trafficking

Catholic Relief Services and The Center for Civil and Human Rights co-convened a gathering of university researchers, CRS global field officers, civil society actors and government partners. The goal of the meeting was to discuss how best to integrate academic research with on-the-ground experience in order to ameliorate the root causes of human trafficking. Details of this event may be found here.

Dr. Angela Reed RSM presented an overview of her research into human trafficking in the Philippines, and outlined the innovative new approach she recommends for dealing with the global problem in light of her findings. Details of this event may be found here.

Over the course of three days and across varied media and forums, CCHR and its partners – The Kellogg Institute for International Studies; The Department of Film, Television and Theatre; The Center for Social Concerns, Higgins Labor Studies Program; and the College of Arts and letters – explored depictions of human trafficking and child labor through performance and dialogue. Details of this event may be found here.

CCHR hosted a training session, an initiative of the Indiana Attorney General’s office, aimed at helping individuals and businesses identify signs of human trafficking. Details of this event may be found here.

Alexandra Levy, Notre Dame Law School, delivered a talk on the realities of who human trafficking victims are - and what it means when we’re confronted with a narrative that doesn’t conform to our expectations. Details of this event may be found here.

Martina E. Vandenberg, founder and president of the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center, critiqued the State Department Trafficking in Person (TIP) Report and the Department of Justice Attorney General’s Annual Report to Congress, asking whether the Unites States deserves the top markings we give ourselves every year for fighting trafficking. Details of this event may be found here.

CCHR convened a prestigious group of human trafficking activists to consult on its research agenda. Details of this event may be found here.

CCHR hosted (along with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies) the visit of Kevin Bales to the University of Notre Dame.  Details of this event may be found here.

With CCHR support,  two courses on human trafficking have been developed at the University of Notre Dame. For undergraduates, there is the Center for Social Concerns seminar: Human Trafficking: Causes, Responses and Current Debates (offered Fall 2016). In Spring 2016,  Notre Dame Law School students in the J.D. and LL.M. programs had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and investigate specific country practices in the NDLS research seminar: Legal Remedies for Human Trafficking. Papers from the seminar are available here.

Transitional Justice

At the request of the Catholic Relief Services office in Juba, South Sudan, the Center conducted a research project to provide expert analysis on a number of comparative legal questions relevant to that country‘s constitutional development process. More information here.

The Center joined with The International Center for Transitional Justice and Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos, Peru, to launch a new English translation of the final report of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. View the project here.

The Center for Civil and Human Rights commissioned an English-language translation of the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation Report, immediately making both the substance and the form of the report widely available.

Global Economic Rights

The Klau Center supports the work of associate professor Diane Desierto. Her research focuses on the overlapping areas of public international law and dispute settlement; international economic law and development and its structural, normative, and interdisciplinary intersections with international human rights and humanitarian law; comparative constitutional and other public law; maritime security, and the evolving regional law of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  She is also active as Lead/Collaborating Counsel in various human rights and public interest-related economic disputes in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, including in matters successfully litigated before the UN Human Rights Committee, the International Criminal Court, the Philippine Supreme Court, the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. More on Prof. Desierto can be found here.

Enforcement of Civil Rights

Jennifer Mason McAward’s teaching and research focus on civil rights, constitutional law, and habeas corpus. Her scholarship considers how government institutions and actors promote individual constitutional rights. She has researched the power of Congress to enforce the Thirteenth Amendment and has studied the United States Commission on Civil Rights, focusing on the role of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. in advancing civil rights reforms. Her current research focuses on how judicial and executive actors can incentivize police and prosecutors to respect the pre-trial due process rights of criminal defendants.