Christophe Golay

Christophe Golay

Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Areas of expertise

International Human Rights Law  /  Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  /  Extraterritoriality  /  Right to Food  /  Food Sustainability  /  Right of Peasants  /  Non-Discrimination  /  UN Human Rights Mechanisms  /  Access to Justice  /  Human Rights and Development

Christophe Golay is Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Geneva Academy.

He is also an external member of the Council of the Interdisciplinary Institute for Ethics and Human Rights at the University of Fribourg. In 2013 he was Visiting Fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

His expertise and publications relate to economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), the right to food, access to justice for victims of human rights violations, human rights and development, the rights of peasants, the legal framework of humanitarian action, and the work of UN special procedures and treaty bodies.

Dr Golay is supervising the legal dimension of two research projects on the right to food in Bolivia, Cambodia, Ghana and Kenya, jointly funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Since 2009 Dr Golay has been providing legal advice to a number of stakeholders in relation to the negotiation, adoption and implementation of the UN declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. From 2001 to 2008 he was Legal Adviser to the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and undertook missions with the UN in Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cuba, Niger, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, India and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In that capacity, he participated in the definition of the right to food in international law and published two books, including his PhD dissertation, on the right to food and access to justice.

Dr Golay holds a PhD in International Relations (with a specialization in International Law) and a double Master’s in International Law and International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

Research Projects

Wheat field Project

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and the Protection of the Right to Seeds in Europe

The project will notably identify the main opportunities and obstacles to protect the right to seeds in Europe. It will also discuss how to promote changes in European laws, policies and trade agreements to ensure that they do not infringe, but facilitate the realization of peasants’ right to seeds.

Read more >
Senegal, Ziguinchor area, Bignona Department, Kataba 1 municipality, Kouram village. A woman works in a vegetable garden as part of an economic security programme. Project

Towards Food Sustainability: Reshaping the Coexistence of Different Food Systems in South America and Africa

This six-year project aims to provide evidence-based knowledge for the formulation and promotion of innovative strategies and policy options that improve food sustainability.

Read more >
Somalia, Bakool region, Hudur village. Woman selling products at market. Project

Land Commercialization, Gendered Agrarian Transformation and the Right to Food (DEMETER)

This project examines the relationship between the right to food and gender equality in ensuring food security in the context of land commercialization in two case-study countries, Cambodia and Ghana.

Read more >
Madagascar, Miarinarivo district. Women transplanting rice. Project

The Rights of Peasants

After having provided academic support to the negotiation of the UN Declaration for ten years, this research project focuses on the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

Read more >
Rwanda, on the outskirts of Kigali, Wa-Jali. Jeanne Françoise, a young girl reunited two years ago with her grandmother by the ICRC, stands in a banana orchard near her house. Project

Development and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

This project aims to raise awareness about the complementarity of human rights and development by analyzing the relationship between economic, social and cultural rights and global development goals, namely the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.

Read more >

Publications

Cover page of the manual

#ESCR AND #SDGs: Practical Manual on the Role of UN Human Rights Mechanisms in Monitoring the SDGs that Seek to Realize Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

July 2020

Christophe Golay

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover page of the briefing

The Right to Seeds in Europe

April 2019

Adriana Bessa, Christophe Golay

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover of the book Large-Scale Land Acquisitions. Focus on South-East Asia

Large-Scale Land Acquisitions - Focus on South-East Asia

October 2015

Christophe Golay, Christophe Gironde, Peter Messerli

Brill Nijhoff

View More >

Cover of the book Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in International Law. Contemporary Issues and Challenges

Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in International Law. Contemporary Issues and Challenges

March 2014

Christophe Golay, Eibe Riedel

Oxford University Press

View More >

Masters

We are a leading education institution in international humanitarian law, human rights and transitional justice.

Read more

Research

Our research examines issues that are under-explored, need clarification, or are unconventional, experimental or challenging.

Read more

Executive Education

We provide training and short courses for professionals who want to deepen their expertise in a specific issue.

Read more

Events

Our events provide a critical and scholarly forum for experts and practitioners to debate topical humanitarian, human rights and transitional justice issues.

Read more

UNMISS Peacekeepers News

New Working Paper Examines the Role of Peacekeeping Operations in Ensuring Respect for IHL

5 October 2021

The UN Security Council and Common Article 1: Understanding the Role of Peacekeeping Operations in Ensuring Respect for IHL examines the applicability of article 1 common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 – on the obligation to respect and ensure respect for IHL – to the UN, with a specific focus on peacekeeping operations.

Read more >

Computer screen with html code News

New Working Paper Discusses the Relevance of Smart Mix Measure in AI Governance and Regulation

1 October 2021

Our new Working Paper discusses how current initiatives on the regulation of artificial intelligence technologies should incorporate the protection and respect for human rights.

Read more >

 Taliban fighters on a truck in Kabul, August 17 2021 IHL Talks

Afghanistan

28 October 2021, 15:00-16:00

This online IHL talk aims at shining light on some of the many legal, political and protection-related challenges stemming from the situation in Afghanistan.

Read more >