WCL/University of Peshawar Collaborative Exchange and Capacity Building Program

Though situated in an extremely conservative region of Pakistan, the University of Peshawar (UP) has developed groundbreaking institutions which are the first of their kind in Pakistan and which are models for other universities seeking to promote and protect human rights, gender and rule of law.  UP has the first and only Human Rights Studies Centre and Gender Studies Department at any university in Pakistan.  In addition, it has a strong campus radio station, whose signal reaches far beyond Peshawar into the tribal areas of Pakistan and even over the border into Afghanistan. 


In 2006, the American University Washington College of Law Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (WCL) began a multi-year collaboration with the University of Peshawar (UP) to build capacity with the UP faculty regarding its human rights and gender studies programs.  The ongoing project, which includes visits from UP faculty to WCL , seeks to enhance the UP Human Rights Studies Centre and provide support to its Gender Studies Department, the only such departments for gender studies and human rights in Pakistan. 

In 2008, WCL received an additional grant to support a year-long program of capacity building, academic exchange and program development to enhance human rights and gender programming on UP Campus Radio and the newly established Campus Television Station. Established by the University of Peshawar Journalism Department, Campus Radio at the University of Peshawar has been an important tool in creating an awareness of human rights, public health, and educational issues within the Northwest Frontier Province and into Afghanistan.  This new project will encourage the use of media (both radio and television) to expand programming in the arena of human rights, gender and rule of law by building support for the University of Peshawar Campus Radio and Television stations.   

In January 2008, Profs. Anoosh Khan, of the UP Gender Studies Department, and Muhammad Nadeem Azam, Director, UP Center for Human Rights Studies, began their PhD studies at American University in Washington, D.C. Both have delivered public lectures at the law school which are available for viewing at the following links.


American University Washington College of Law (WCL) was founded over one hundred years ago by two pioneering women - Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma Gillett – and has continued its deep commitment to issues of gender equality and human rights.  As part of this commitment, WCL established the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in 1990 to work with students, faculty and the international legal community to provide training and cutting-edge legal analysis to practitioners, academics, and students in the field of human rights and humanitarian law.