London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Karen Louise Bennett

Karen Bennett is a Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute. Karen leads activities of the HRSJ Institute strand in support of human rights defenders at risk, with a regional focus on Central Asia. Karen previously was Adjunct Professor at Webster University in St. Louis teaching human rights, international relations and critical thinking courses within the Philosophy Department and contributed to developing the BA Degree in Human Rights for the department. Karen has worked in the field of human rights since 1990. Her background is in refugee resettlement assistance; fieldwork and foreign policy advocacy as it pertains to refugee protection;human rights monitoring, technical assistance and human rights field research (including 6 years working in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina with the UN and OSCE);  human rights staff management and training; and teaching human rights/international relations university courses. Karen formerly worked for the U.S. State Department; the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; the UN Development Programme; the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe; international and U.S. NGOs, regional political organisations, universities and research institutions. Karen's academic background is in International Relations with a BA in International Communications from Webster University in Leiden, Netherlands and an MA in International Relations and International Development from the American University School of International Service, Washington DC, USA.         

Contact Information

Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7133 5011
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7133 5101

Publications and excerpts of prior projects and presentations:

Co-editor of six editions of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) Directory of Major Institutions for Psychological Research and Training for The International Journal of Psychology, Global Resource CD ROM, Psychology Press LTD, Hove UK, 2004 - 2009

Designed Phase 1 UNDP-UNOHCHR programme “Municipal Assessment Programme” for assessing human rights compliance and setting benchmarks throughout all municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in cooperation with the BiH State Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees. The programme was continued over 9 years with continued support by UNDP.

Book review for the Journal of International Social Work, Sage Publications (July 2007), on Carlos Martin Beristain, Humanitarian Aid Work: A Critical Approach, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Lykes, M.B. & Mersky, M., 2006

Guest Speaker at Copenhagen University Law School on “Human Rights Field Work – A Perspective of Successes and Failures in Bosnia,” Copenhagen, September 2002

Guest speaker to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nordic Offices on ‘political, human rights and development issues in the Balkans,’ Copenhagen, September 2002

Field research and publication for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:  “Municipal Assessment Programme: Municipality Tuzla – Human Rights Assessment of a Bosnian City” June 2002 and “Municipal Assessment Program: Municipality Vlasenica - Factors Influencing Conditions for Safe and Dignified Return,” August 2001

Presented conference paper on identifying and working with victims suffering post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and secondary stress effects on human rights workers, Neum Bosnia, September 1999

Presented conference paper to Rome University Political Science Graduate School on Implementation of Dayton Peace Accords in BaH: Utopia or Reality, Rome Italy, September 1998

Masters Degree Thesis: Training Human Rights/Refugee Protection Officers to Assist Victims of Violence/Vulnerable Groups, December 1996


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