Flagship Events at the Bonavero Institute


L-R Kate O'Regan, Helena Kennedy, Allida Black, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tracy Roosevelt, Helen Mountfield

Photo Courtesy of John Cairns

At the start of Michaelmas Term, the Bonavero Institute celebrated the importance of human rights in a series of events, with Mansfield College, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with a particular focus on the role of women.

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton joined former Mansfield Principal, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC in conversation in the Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium about the role that women have played in protecting and promoting human rights.  Secretary Clinton then received an Honorary Fellowship of Mansfield College from the Principal Helen Mountfield QC.


Eleanor Roosevelt

© John Cairns

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, and herself a champion of human rights. Eleanor Roosevelt played a key role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948. The bronze statue is a second casting of the original, by artist Penelope Jencks, which stands in Manhattan’s Riverside Park. We are extremely grateful to the Roosevelt family and to the benefactors of Mansfield College and of the Bonavero Institute who made it possible to bring Eleanor Roosevelt to Mansfield College.

Allida Black, Research Professor of History at the George Washington University and editor emeritus of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, was central to that process.   As the leading authority on Eleanor Roosevelt, she opened the Mansfield College lecture series with a talk on 'Eleanor Roosevelt and the Battle to Define Human Rights'', or as she put it, "the unpacking of an icon."



DPhil candidate, Penny Ehrhardt considers what inspired Eleanor Roosevelt and her commitment to human rights in an article, Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady and her role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Confronting Illiberalism Conference

Opening the Bonavero Institute's conference on 'Confronting Illiberalism: the Role of the Media, Civil Societies and Universities', Secretary Clinton called on scholars, practitioners and activists to continue the work begun by Eleanor Roosevelt and the other architects of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.


Panel Discussion - Media Strategies to Promote Quality, Independent and Fact-based Journalism

Chaired by Timothy Garton Ash, with panellists Soma Basu (independent journalist and founder of reporteratlarge.org), Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (Director, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism), Nic Dawes (Head of Media, Human Rights Watch, New York, USA) and Ezgi Başaran (journalist, Turkey).



Panel Discussion - Civil Society Strategies to Protect & Promote Human Rights in Illiberal Contexts

Chaired by Chris Stone, with panellists Osai Ojigho (Amnesty International, Nigeria), Adam Bodnar (Ombud, Poland) and Annelen Micus (Head of Programmes, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights).





Panel Discussion - Universities and Illiberalism 

Chaired by Harold Hongju Koh, with panellists Michael Ignatieff (President and Rector, Central European University, Hungary), John Sexton (formerly President, New York University, USA), Louise Richardson (Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford) and Pratap Bhanu Mehta (Ashoka University, India).



Panel Discussion Write-ups

DPhil Candidates, Anneloes Hoff and Lisa Hsin, summarise the main arguments in the Media Strategies and Civil Society Strategies panels.