Sur Journal was created in 2004 as a vehicle to deepen and strengthen bonds between academics and activists from the Global South dedicated to human rights. At the beginning the journal aimed to magnify the voices and the participation of these actors within international organizations and universities.

Since then, more than 350 articles have been published from 50 countries. 75% of the authors are from the Global South. The articles have discussed issues as diverse as health and access to treatment, transitional justice, regional mechanisms and the right to information, to name just a few.

Increasingly, Sur Journal has become a practical tool for its readers’ work, informing individuals and organizations working to defend human rights by offering valuable research, meaningful reflections and relevant case studies that combine both academic rigor and practical interest.

In 2014, celebrating its 10th anniversary, the journal published its 20th commemorative edition – which brings together more than 50 leading scholars and activists from 18 countries – to reflect on the new direction of the international human rights movement.

For Conectas, the 20th edition of Sur Journal served not only as an opportunity to rethink the pillars of the movement of which we are a part, but also allowed us to reconsider the role of Sur Journal in the years to come.

Sur Journal would not have been possible without the initial support and the material contributions of the United Nations Foundation and the Ford Foundation. We would also like to thank Fundação Carlos Chagas for its generous support until the 19th issue of the Journal. Currently, Sur Journal is generously supported by the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Oak Foundation, Sigrid Rausing Trust, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).


The objective of the Sur International Journal on Human Rights, published by Conectas, is to influence the global human rights agenda by producing, fostering and disseminating innovative research and ideas, primarily from the Global South, on human rights practice.

Sur is an open access journal, and has an online and print readership of over 20,000 people in more than 100 countries.

First published in 2004 in order to deepen and strengthen ties between academics and activists from the Global South and to increase their participation in the global debate, Sur Journal has continuously evolved.

Editorial Policy

The Sur Journal, first, serves as a channel for sharing primarily Global South perspectives on the world’s human rights agenda. The Journal will serve as a space where the role of the Global South in shaping human rights discourse – including its institutions, priorities and impact – will be debated. Preference is given to voices on the ground or those directly involved with the issue. The Journal aims to feature contributions that discuss what Global South countries and human rights practitioners have done or can do to influence human rights practice worldwide.

Second, the Journal recognizes that its readership is hybrid – it is composed of activists, academics and policy-makers and those in between those groups – generally referred to as “human rights practitioners.”

Third, the Journal strikes a fine balance between in-depth analysis and content that is based on practice. Such approach reflects the Journal’s hybrid audience: its readers and authors operate in different, yet overlapping circles, and thus they benefit from practice-focused pieces, which are also critical and theoretically sound. The Journal’s format and selection process, including limited length, reader-friendly website design, accessible language, quality-focused blind review, seek to strike this balance. In addition to the open call for papers, the Journal’s editorial team researches and invites thought leaders and people of interest to write for the Journal. These contributions are subject to the same stringent evaluation process as those received via the open call. Each issue of the Journal features a guest editor – a leading human rights practitioner – who enables the Journal’s team to connect with the individuals directly involved with the specific theme that the edition is seeking to address.

Finally, Sur Journal is not only an online and offline publication but also a space for sharing innovative ideas on human rights practice with a unique network of human rights practitioners. Born as a collective of leading human rights professors – many of them active and valuable members of our Editorial and Advisory Boards – the Journal combines this background with the wide network of human rights practitioners that its host institution, Conectas Human Rights, and its partners offer. In practical terms, each issue of the Journal features a guest editor – a leading human rights practitioner – which enables the Journal’s team to reach out to those involved directly with the human rights practices it seeks to address. Furthermore, each Journal’s issue is followed by a series of in-person debates, in more than one region in the world, which seeks to give voice to the Journal’s authors and interviewees.

Selection process and authors’ copyrights and rights of publication

Once submitted, the contributions will be subject to a review process. Each contribution is reviewed by a member of the Editorial Team and, if it meets the Journal’s quality standards, by an external blind review. Due to the large number of contributions received for each issue, the Editorial Board is unable to inform authors why a contribution has been rejected.

In relation to authors’ copyrights and rights of publication, Sur Journal uses Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 to publish its texts. This preserves the rights of the authors, while allowing readers to share its content. Sur Journal is a open access publication.

Any submission that contains citations without appropriate references (plagiarism) will be disregarded immediately.

The Sur Journal does not charge authors a submission, processing or publication fee.


Contributions should be sent to artigo.sur@conectas.org in electronic format (Microsoft Word file) and using the following standards:

• Length: Each contribution should be between 7,000 – 20,000 characters (including spaces).

• Language: Contributions can be submitted in any of the working languages of the Journal (Portuguese, Spanish, and English). In addition, in order to be as accessible as possible to the widest audience, the Sur Journal has an editorial policy that favours clear and concise language, free of jargon.

• Font: “Garamond”, size 12 and 1.5cm line spacing should be used for the main body of the text.

• Footnotes: Footnotes should only be used where necessary. Footnotes should be concise and follow the Chicago format for full note citation. The format “(AUTHOR, year)” will no longer be used. “Garamond”, size 10 with single line spacing.

The contributions should include:
– A brief biography of the author (maximum 50 words);
– A summary/abstract (maximum 150 words);
– Keywords for bibliographic classification;
– The date when the article was written.

It is not necessary to include a bibliography at the end of the text. Footnotes will include the full citation.

For Latin phrases – inter alia, jus cogens etc. – use italics.

To refer to articles of an international instrument or legislation, do not use the abbreviation “art.” but the word “Article”.

For access to the Journal’s previous issues, click here.

For any clarification, please contact Maryuri Mora Grisales, Executive Editor of Sur Journal, by e-mail: contato.sur@conectas.org