Human Rights

Protecting human rights remains the central theme of the contemporary world’s most important challenges. From racial discrimination protests in the US to COVID-19 pandemic sparked debates on affordable healthcare, and from concerns about mass atrocities undermining human dignity to growing debates on climate change and sustainable development –human rights have always occupied the central stage. While the fundamentals of human rights remain unchanged, the emerging challenges are nudging for reinvention of the future of transnational human rights norms.

In the last 70 years, since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations (UN) has become the foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries. The Declaration has established the framework for international justice with agreement affirming the rights of individual citizens, including the right to freedom from discrimination, the right to education, and many more to promote economic and social progress. To keep up with emerging challenges, UN has added issues such as refugees, climate change, and big data to the human rights framework.

With digitization and globalization, we live in a world of greater connectivity but paradoxically we also live in times of greater fragmentation within the international community and multilateral institutions. Rising inequality and poverty, increasing incidences of hate crimes against minority groups, threats of climate change, and oppression of women all point to inefficient and insufficient action to drive compliance to human rights. It is time, more than ever, that we need human rights to navigate through these unprecedented times and determine consolidated efforts to hold governments and citizens accountable.

At FSI, we seek to find deeper understanding and consensus on human rights related issues and how we can act as a global community to address these issues collectively and advance towards more justice, greater dignity, respect for human equality – and better solutions for the world.


  • What is an ideal government system? Is democracy the best form of governance?
  • How do we define the fundamentals of good governance?
  • What are the best practices on e-governance from around the world?
  • How can the international community support nations engaged in implementing decentralization reforms?
  • What are the major governance issues that fragile and conflict affected states face?
  • How can we leverage technology to curb corruption?

Special Groups Rights (Migrants/Refugees, LGBTIQ, Diff)

  • Universal human rights or is there merit in cultural relativism?
  • Why do some groups require special human rights?
  • In a world with divided societal norms and attitudes towards LGBTIQ people, how do we ensure safety and security of this group?
  • Can ensuring migrant workers’ labor protection curb human trafficking?


  • Can ensuring migrant workers’ labor protection curb human trafficking?
  • How can we hold governments accountable for war crime?
  • What are best practices in demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration of child soldiers?
  • Addressing gender pay gap “Equal pay for equal work”—how do we define equal work?
  • How can we bridge the digital gender gap? What are some of the best practices that can be implemented?
  • Addressing gender pay gap “Equal pay for equal work”—how do we define equal work?
  • Women carry out at least two and a half times more unpaid household care work than men.
  • How can we ensure that unpaid work is included in GDP?
  • What policy reforms should the governments implement to promote sharing of domestic and care work between men and women?
  • How can we create more jobs in the care economy?
  • Why is gender equality a concern for men?
  • Do we have standardized mechanisms to ensure gender mainstreaming in businesses to help them advance gender equality?
  • What are the problems faced by a child working as bonded labour?
  • How can we promote the welfare of women and children?

Human Rights