Children participating in the We Love Reading programme, a refugee community initiative inspiring hope

A grant of £2.1M has been awarded to the University of Birmingham to develop an international network that will commission research on humanitarian protection law and policy.

Funded by UKRI, the Rights for Time network is an interdisciplinary project involving researchers working in the UK, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Rwanda, and Palestine.

The ambition of the network is to study how time is attached to humanitarian protection policy and law, and demonstrate the long-term, intergenerational, and cumulative impacts of violence and trauma in developing countries.

Principal Investigator Dr Heather Flowe from the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham comments, “Humanitarian protection tends to be driven by the immediacy of crisis. However, protection that responds to only the most immediate abuse or threat fails to understand the nature of injury, and this limits sustainable solutions. We want to facilitate the development of new policy, practice, and legal thinking that can address the different ‘times’ of violence. This will allow local, national and international policy makers to respond more effectively to the long shadows of conflict and make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.”

“What the Network Plus model allows us to do is to commission interdisciplinary research and build on the successes of grassroots initiatives that address the traumas and harms that people all around the world are suffering. We will be welcoming and creating opportunities for new academic and NGO partners to join the network and carry out projects that align with our themes.”

​The Rights for Time network is a collaboration between: academic researchers; policy makers; local community groups and activists; Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs); and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). The network is working for the benefit of particularly vulnerable groups (such as refugees, women, children, and other marginalised communities) by combining academic and creative research with the in-country expertise of those who are directly subject to the long-term effects of prolonged conflict and violence.

The network will support peer-peer, case-based research, drawing together six in-country partners. It includes academic experts from across a breadth of disciplines including the arts and humanities, psychology, medical anthropology, refugee studies, gender studies, human rights, transitional justice, humanitarian law, and protection policy.

The project investigators are: Professor Rana Dajani (Taghyeer Organisation and We Love Reading), Dr Tamirace Fakhoury (Centre for Lebanese Studies, Lebanese American University), Dr Heather Flowe (School of Psychology, University of Birmingham), Dr Zoe Norridge (KCL, English and Comparative Literature), Dr Nora Parr (School of English, University of Birmingham), Professor Jenny Phillimore (School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham), Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge (School of English, University of Birmingham), Dr Ben Warwick (School of Law, University of Birmingham), and the founding partners of the network are: African Initiative for Making Progress Organization (Rwanda), the Ajal Foundation for Education (Palestine), the Kigali Photo Center (Rwanda), the Palestine Trauma Centre (Palestine), the Palestine Cinema Club (Palestine), the Wangu Kanja Foundation (Kenya), and We Love Reading (Jordan).

To find out more about the Network, visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/rightsfortime