Reading Human Rights


Classroom SeriesReading Human Rights is a research resource network for human rights. 

It is common awareness that legal systems around the world continue to grow and extend the reach of human rights through various means. The normative field of human rights itself has acquired great strength while influencing multiple settings and diverse global agendas.

The Classroom Series  research resource initiative aims to map this vast interdisciplinary field of study. Through the lectures and articles different sub-themes and concepts in human rights. are covered.  The research teams are dedicated to studying the developments in international human rights law.  The research bank provides for a summary of research questions for future study. 

                               Deepa Kansra & Mallika Ramachandran                                                                                                Editors

Reading Human Rights

What's New

What to find here

 Recently added



1. Introduction to Human             Rights

2. Human Rights Interface

3. Emerging Rights

4. Specific Rights

5. International Human

    Rights Law




'Fair Use' of E-resources for Academic Purposes:

Specific Reference to India

Jupi Gogoi

Space Law and Human Rights: An Introduction- 

Rabindra Kr. Pathak

Technology, Human Rights

and the Law -

Nupur Chowdhury

Business and Human Rights:

An Introduction - 

Anandita Yadav

Introduction to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights- 

Mallika Ramachandran &

Deepa Kansra





1. New Global Treaties in               International Law

2. Rights in Nature 

3. Study of Optional Protocols      to Human Rights Treaties

4. Energy Studies & Human          Rights


Introduction to Optional Protocol- ICESCR  


Earth Consciousness and Evolving Frameworks




1. COVID-19 & Human Rights

2. Economic, Social & Cultural     Rights

3. Human Rights & Domestic        Law

4. International Human

    Rights Law



Interim Measures under OP- ICESCR: Standards and Practice- 

Mallika Ramachandran

Migrants, Rights and the Pandemic

Rabindra Kr. Pathak 

Time to Invest in the Human Right to Science-

Deepa Kansra

Impact of COVID-19 on Women: UN Urges for Stronger Public Services-

Ram Dulari Patel





A summary of research questions from the Lecture Series

Introduction to Civil &

Political Rights

Introduction to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Human Rights and

Vulnerable Groups

Essence of

Fundamental Duties

Three Generations of

Human Rights

Introduction to Human Right to Development 


Coming soon

Human Rights and IPR Interface

Rights of Elderly Persons under International Human Rights Law

Natural Resources and Ownership: Changing Dynamics 


'Fair Use' of E-resources for Academic Purposes: Specific Reference to India

Dr. Jupi Gogoi 


The COVID-19 era has moved our physical work space to a virtual space. With this shift towards online education, the importance of understanding copyright law vis-à-vis academics has assumed importance like never before. This has pushed us to re-examine the do’s and don’ts under the copyright law.


This short lecture  includes a discussion on ownership rights of copyright holders, what constitutes infringement of copyright, and what are exceptions of these rights. The lecture  highlights the important conditions in which using of copyrighted content will be allowed for academic purposes. For the lecture, leading case law and statutory law applicable in India are relied upon.


Space Law and Human Rights: An Introduction

Dr. Rabindra Kr. Pathak


The lecture slides cover the Interface between Space Law and Human Rights.

While looking at key provisions of Outer Space Law, some important jurisprudential questions governing the interface are raised, including the following;  

1. There is a need to rethink words such as ‘jurisdiction’ and ‘territory’ anew in order to appreciate the application of international human rights law to ‘outer space’.

2. There is a need to identify the legal frameworks and ethical standards governing outer space activities.


Interim Measures under OP-ICESCR:

Standards and Practice


Dr. Mallika Ramachandran


The paper sheds light on the mechanism of Interim Measures under the Optional Protocol to the ICESCR. Interim measures are viewed as  important for the system of international human rights law because they ‘recognize the unique status of individuals as potential targets of state or state-sponsored retaliation or repression...and thereby bring about some sense of ‘equality’ between states and individuals. While looking at pertinent case law, the standards and interpretations made by the Committee under ICESCR are discussed. 


Technology, Human Rights and the Law 

Nupur Chowdhury 


The lecture slides cover the Interface between Law, Human Rights and Technology.


In the definitions covered, technology is referred to as the application of scientific knowledge – to produce goods and services for human use.  Law is referred to as the rules of the State for the regulation of public conduct. Human Rights are referred to as the rights that cater to the dignity of human beings and which are a claim of both individuals and groups.


While making use of some of the more recent developments as illustrations, classifications or sub-agendas have been highlighted, including (a) a look at technologies that expand/help secure human rights, and that undermine human rights (dignity), (b) the differential impact technology can have on individuals and groups, and (c) the impact of technology on State’s capacity to regulate and monitor human rights.

The slides pose several questions for further research and study, while also highlighting the non-availability of a structured international or domestic legal framework to regulate concerns and possibilities arising from the interface. More specific questions raised include;

  1. How should we regulate a specific technology – which can both expand and undermine two different human rights?

  2. Should technologies which evidently undermine human dignity – be allowed – given that they may have beneficial impacts – such as allowing harvesting of organs/treatment of rare diseases, etc. ?

  3. When TNC’s limit the ability of the State to regulate public conduct – what can be the response of the State?

  4. Is there any institutional mechanism – which reviews the impact of all technologies on human rights ? – Is it even on the agenda – it can be noted that most reactions are to specific technologies?


Migrant, Rights and the Pandemic 

Rabindra Kr. Pathak 


What we have seen in recent times in the wake of corona pandemic raises many uncomfortable questions and concerns. The widening rift between depravity and prosperity is one such dimension of the new emerging global society that needs reflection and a critical appraisal, more so from the perspective of rights.

There are certain provisions under the Constitution that are protective of the rights of the migrant workers. Article 39(e) states that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength. Article 43 mandates that the State shall endeavour to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other way, to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life. Article 43-Aprovides that the State shall take steps, by suitable legislation or in any other way, to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments or other organisations engaged in any industry....


Business and Human Rights: An Introduction

Anandita Yadav 


The lecture slides include a discussion on the theme of Business and Human Rights, particularly the developments under the UN Business- Human Rights Agenda.

Key highlights of the lecture include (a ) identification of challenges faced in the making of a viable framework defining the interface between business and human rights, (b) highlighting the steps taken towards ensuring responsibility and accountability for harms caused to human rights by business practices. Also highlighted are the developments under the international human rights framework, including the 2011 Guiding Principles, Ruggie’s Framework and the more recent deliberations on a binding human rights treaty on business and human rights.

The following questions are posed for discussion for further research ;

The controversial position taken by the Guiding Principles is that corporations lack binding legal obligation in relation to fundamental human rights to respect them but the responsibility to respect flows from social expectations. How far is this justified in light of the human rights framework?


Have the 2011 Principles hampered the process of emergence and recognition of binding norms and taken a regressive step?


Can we really demand that companies abide by social expectations of 2011 principles? How do we determine them in a complex world with competing ideologies?


What can be possible ‘common languages’ between human rights and businesses which speaks both for identifying human rights abuses and at the same time also does not deter the businesses from playing an active role in securing them.


What key provisions and responsibilities are being incorporated within draft treaty proposals for a binding treaty on business and human rights?


Introduction to the ICESCR Optional Protocol [OP-ICESCR]

Mallika Ramachandran &

Deepa Kansra


 The ICESCR Optional Protocol brought the ICESCR [International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights] at par with the ICCPR [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] in terms of introduction of like enforcement mechanisms including an individual complaints procedure. The ICESCR previously envisaged the mechanism of periodic reports by member states to monitor implementation; no further remedies (such as inter-state communications provided for in the ICCPR) were envisaged. The OP-ICESCR mechanisms were adopted to ensure that remedies are provided in cases of violations of economic, social and cultural rights. The OP-ICESCR adds an adjudicatory and inquiry procedure for CESCR to enforce and implement the ICESCR.


At this juncture, the successful enforcement of ESC rights is being viewed in light of the works of the CESCR [ICESCR Committee] as seen through its work; General Comments, Views under the communications mechanism, and Concluding Observations. The Committee has adopted practical standards on assessing the responsibility of states under ICESCR while adding clarity to topics including the AAAQ Framework, Deliberate Retrogressive Measures by States, Order of Interim Measures, Extra-Territorial Obligations and Application of ICESCR, Role of Third Party Interventions...



Earth Consciousness &

Evolving Frameworks, 2020

[Special: International Day for Biological Diversity &

World Environment Day]

Kirat Sodhi &

Deepa Kansra


Earth consciousness involves an understanding of our relationship with earth. It involves the study of earth forms, their life processes and inherent needs. Earth consciousness has created a field of frameworks & knowledge systems permeating into the day to day lives of humans including their political-economic-cultural spaces. The expression earth consciousness can be interpreted in many ways to include human awareness of nature & its processes, or the bond with mother earth & and all its forms .

The expansion in the legal & other normative frameworks has brought the focus on key concepts in relation to the human- nature relationship.

The Post 2020 global framework, in particular, involves the adoption of new perspectives and initiatives based on the experiences of the past.  Deliberations at the national, regional and global level are on-going. Stakeholders from diverse fields have come forward to contribute to the theme of Post 2020 Framework. The emerging 2020 framework can be seen as a multi-stakeholder framework based on a trans-disciplinary perspective of biodiversity and our evolving relationship with nature.  


Impact of COVID 19 on Women:

UN urges for Stronger Public Service

Ram Dulari Patel 


...The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the CEDAW Committee), which specifically deals with human rights of women has expressed deep concern about exacerbated inequalities and heightened risks of gender-based violence and discrimination faced by women due to the current COVID-19 crisis. It has called for member states to uphold the rights of women and girls.​

The Committee in its more recent Statements expressed concern about the absence of a gender perspective on global and national policies and initiatives despite clear evidence that state actions and policies affect women and men in a different ways and has a gender-differentiated impact. It has urged all state parties to ensure data is sufficiently aggregated to inform policy making....


The views & opinions of the contributors are personal and meant only for academic purposes. 

Copyright for the articles and lectures vests with the authors.

Copyright for the website vests with the editors.