UN human rights advocate honored by University
19 July 2022
A United Nations human rights and women’s rights advocate has received an honorary degree from the University of Reading.
Jane Connors is an Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and the inaugural UN Victims’ Rights Advocate on sexual exploitation and abuse. She received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in a ceremony on Tuesday 19 July.
Born in Australia, Ms Connors became a legal academic after completing her studies at the Australian National University. She spent 14 years at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies where she established herself as a leading voice on women’s rights and human rights.
From 1996 to 2015 she held various positions at the United Nations, including at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In her role as UN Victims’ Rights Advocate, Ms Connors has created a coordinated and strategic response to victim assistance, working with victims in conflict and post-conflict societies to understand their needs, build networks of support and ensure local laws are followed.
Despite her extensive work commitments, Ms Connors has served as Chairperson of the global network Keeping Children Safe, Board and Advisory members for key human rights organisations and projects, and as Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics Centre for Women, Peace and Security.
Professor Rosa Freedman, Professor of Law, Conflict and Global Development at the University of Reading, said: “Jane Connors has devoted her career to human rights and women’s rights, as a lawyer, an academic and a senior international civil servant.
“Throughout her career, Jane has remained dedicated to teaching and mentoring, providing her expertise and advice to human rights defenders around the world.
“We are privileged and proud to have had Jane partner with the University of Reading on research projects, speak at our events, and generously give guest lectures to our students.”