Cover photo by George Goss.
Dear Readers, Welcome to Volume VIII of the Leeds Human Rights Journal!
When the editorial team decided on the theme of protest in December 2019 noöne could have predicted that protest would be very much the defining feature of 2020. Last year had its own strikes of course with the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, the gilets jaune and the september 2019 climate strikes. However, the protests of Black Lives Matter in 2020 have been all encompassing because the coronavirus pandemic has pushed many protests from the streets to social media in a way that hasn’t been as apparent with other movements.
Being involved with the Human Rights Journal for the past two years has been a rewarding experience. To be involved with other like-minded students to discuss, publicise and learn more about human rights has been tremendously interesting and enjoyable. The editorial team in particular has been a cornucopia of drive, creativity, and dedication to human rights.
Working with Managing Editors Sara Green and Josh House, we have extended our reach through the schools and on social media. Sara and Josh have introduced training sessions for our peer reviewers to improve the quality of peer review process and to add to the experience that peer reviewers will take away for academia and work. Our Online Editor, Azhar Vickland, has been terrific in soliciting blog submissions from around the world and keeping our social media engaging. Our online writers have demonstrated our increased reach as a journal as they have included undergraduates, alumni and students of other universities. The blog has also been a great way to reach students throughout the year and this year we have strengthened this with a collaboration with Leeds Student Radio’s topical human rights podcast Put The World to Rights.
The Journal this year has had numerous roadblocks with academic protests and a global pandemic yet with the hard work of our supporters we continue to publish. The peer reviewers are a critical component of the HRJ and their skills have been invaluable. We would particularly like to thank alumna and editor emeritus Rosa Morahan for her continued generosity to the Journal with the HRJ Prize for Best Academic Submission, and Tess Hornby-Smith for her continued advice and assistance. I would also like to thank Nina Whitley-Jones for her superb graphic design and work in putting the finished journal together.
The depth and breadth of submissions this year has been a genuine joy to edit so we hope you enjoy this volume and thank you for your continued support in reading the UK’s first undergraduate human rights journal.
Kane M. Emerson