Human Rights at the University of Dayton

The University of Dayton, through our academic programs and other campus-wide initiatives, has been a center of programming, education, and dialogue about human rights since 1998. Read below to learn more about our engagement in a variety of venues.

The Archbishop Oscar Romero Human Rights Award & Symposium

The number of distinguished human rights advocates who have come to the university to accept the Archbishop Oscar Romero Human Rights Award attests to the international acclaim of the university’s human rights initiatives. Established to honor an individual or organization whose work has contributed substantially to the promotion of the dignity of the human person and the alleviation of the suffering of the human family, the Award has been bestowed 6 times since 1999. The Archbishop Romero Human Rights Symposium, conducted on the occasion of the Award ceremony, is a public dialogue among distinguished human rights scholars and advocates.


Local, National & International Conferences

Human Rights Studies faculty at UD collaborate in conferences, programs and other events that give positive impact at a local, national and international level:

  • Local: Abolition Ohio. The University of Dayton's Human Rights Studies program took a leadership role in the creation of a regional anti-trafficking coalition.
  • National: United States Institute for Peace. This 2001 national conference, entitled No Peace without Justice, explored the synergies of human rights studies and peace/conflict resolution studies.
  • National: Center for Victims of Torture. In 2008 the HRS program, in collaboration with the Center for Victim’s of Torture, organized the event American Voices for American Values: the Campaign to End Torture.
  • International: The Inter-American Institute for Human Rights. In 1999 the newly created HRS program, in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights convened an international conference (Human Rights in the Americans on the Eve of the 21st Century) to explore NGO strategies for emerging human rights issues following conflicts in Central and South America in previous decades.
  • International: Catholic Relief Services. In 2012 the HRS program entered into a multi-year partnership with Catholic Relief Services under the auspices of the Scholars in Global Solidarity initiative.


Publications & Initiatives

Much of our research and many of our conferences have produced both academic publications and sustained community initiatives:

  • The 2001 conference on the rights of the child produced an edited book, Children’s Human Rights: Progress and Challenges for Children Worldwide, Mark Ensalaco and Linda Majka eds.
  • The 2002 conference on peace and justice, conducted in partnership with the United States Institute for Peace, assembled researchers, educators and practitioners from human rights studies and peace and conflict resolution studies to develop interdisciplinary research strategies.
  • The 2009 conference on human trafficking assembled elected officials, representatives of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and area social service and victims’assistance organizations to develop a regional strategy to confront human trafficking in Ohio.