11 April 2024

Advancing Human Rights in Geneva with the Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Initiative

Interview with Cristina Shah, Co-President of the Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Initiative ahead of their “Freedom of Speech” congress on 25 April.

Tell us about the Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Initiative.

The Human Rights, Conflict & Peace (HRCP) Initiative is a student initiative at the Geneva Graduate Institute that aims to increase awareness of human rights, conflict and peace-related issues from across the globe. It was founded in 2014, to supplement existing courses at the Institute, particularly in the context of conflict or post-conflict environments. We aim to create discussion spaces and educational opportunities where those interested can further their knowledge and understanding.

Our specific objectives are the promotion of debates on human rights in armed conflicts and post-conflict environments, and the creation of a network which encompasses students, scholars, practitioners and organisations interested in human rights, conflict and peace related matters.

How does HRCP advance human rights in Geneva?

Our events, which include panel discussions, film screenings, and other similar events, facilitate discussion on this topic area. Our initiative focuses on a horizontal approach, in which any student can suggest new themes for discussion. Some of our past events include panel discussions with experts addressing Statelessness, children’s rights in Palestine and the Myanmar crisis; tours to the United Nations and attendance to human rights related sessions coffee talks on humanitarian careers with alumni that work at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Geneva Call.

The Initiative is organising a congress on “Freedom of Speech” on 25 April. Tell us more.

The HRCP Congress is a two-day event dedicated to exploring and addressing critical issues related to "Freedom of Expression" in our current complex geopolitical environment. The congress aims to analyse the challenges faced by diverse actors, such as journalists, activists, and international organisations, in times of war, polarisation and digital advances. The first day will feature an insightful keynote speech and panel on freedom of expression, diving into the themes of the protection of journalists’ human rights in conflict, protecting freedom of expression in the digital realm, followed by a film screening. On the second day, participants will take part in a workshop on advocating for civil and political rights using digital means, in which participants will be able to construct their own mini-advocacy campaign and discover how these can be tailored to be effective, as well as any challenges associated with such campaigning.


To follow the Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Initiative and their events more closely, visit them on Instagram, and for more information, contact

UN Tour with the HRCP
HRCP Humanitarian Networking Event