In the spring of 1984, an idea is born to establish a research institute in human rights and humanitarian law affiliated in Lund, Sweden.
Leif Holmström and Göran Melander receive 360,000 Swedish kronor from the Wallenberg Foundation in May of 1984.
On October 26, 1984, the constitutive meeting of the Institute takes place with Raoul Wallenberg's brother-in-law, Judge Gunnar Lagergren, as the first chairman.
The library is established on 26 October, 1984. Today it is one of the premiere libraries for human rights and international humanitarian law in Europe.
The Institute begins offering courses for law students in the 1980s. In cooperation with the Law Faculty, the Institute encourages and supports research by PhD candidates.
Together with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Institute begins its international programmes in 1990.
PREMIERE IN NAMIBIA
The very first human rights dissemination activity takes place in Windhoek, Namibia with 50 participants in February of 1991.
The Institute opens its first office outside of Sweden in Beijing in 2001. Then it expands to Nairobi, Jakarta, Istanbul, Amman, Phnom Penh and Stockholm, Harare. Today we have a presence in Jakarta, Nairobi, Phnom Penh, Stockholm and Harare.
The Institute is an experienced research and academic institution with 60 staff members and offices, programmes, and convening power covering 40 countries.