Essay competition – Call for papers

The Swedish Foundation for Human Rights invites submissions to its first essay competition for Bachelor and Master students.

The regional human rights system in Africa is gaining importance rapidly. The different organs and mechanisms – such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights – are gaining legitimacy and power to impact state actions and concrete developments on the ground. These mechanisms have the potential to impact the development of human rights, peace and security on the continent. Human rights are central to ”promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” (Sustainable Development Goal number 16).

The theme of the essay competition is:
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights significance for ensuring peace and security in Africa.
Suggested delimitations could be (but are not restricted to) – women’s rights, human rights defenders, economic, social and cultural rights.

The writer of the winning submission will be awarded travel (approximately 5 days, including upkeep and travel insurance) to Banjul, the Gambia, in November 2019 to participate in events at the fall session of the African Commission. The winner will be accompanying representatives of the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights to the session. The winner will also present her/his essay during a seminar of the Swedish Network for Transitional Justice, in the fall 2019. The second and third place will receive one ticket each to the Swedish Forum for Human Rights (Mänskliga Rättighetsdagarna) in Linköping, 14-16 November 2019.

Eligibility: The submitter of an essay must be enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s program as a fulltime student in a university or other higher learning institution in Sweden or Finland.

Format: Times New Roman, font size 12, spacing: 1,5, margins 2,5 cm. The length of the essay should be 3 000 – 4 000 words. The essay should be written in English.

Please send your submission to by the 10th of August 2019. Title your e-mail ”Essay Submission”. For further information please contact Fredrik Svensson, Program Manager & International Law Advisor at the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights,