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Winner of Inaugural Subedi Essay Prize Announced

Professor Surya Subedi is Professor of International Law at the University of Leeds and a former staff member at the University of Hull. He holds the prestigious title of Honorary Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford in recognition of a distinguished career in his field and contribution to society. He is also a visiting faculty member on the international human rights law programme at Oxford.  A native of Nepal and a long-term resident of Britain, Professor Subedi has had a very distinguished career in human rights law, including several major commissions from the United Nations in places such as Cambodia.

Professor Subedi has generously sponsored a major new prize at the Wilberforce Institute at the University of Hull, the Professor Surya Subedi Global Essay Prize on Modern Slavery or the Protection of Human Dignity. In this blog, Professor Trevor Burnard announces the first award winner.

Trevor Burnard
Professor Trevor Burnard, Director, Wilberforce Institute

This essay prize is for an original essay in English on the abolition of modern forms of slavery or the protection of human dignity anywhere in the world. The value of the award, presented annually in March, is £500 with the essay to be published on the website of the Wilberforce Institute. Professor Subedi, in sponsoring this prize, notes that his time at Hull was `transformative for me in so many ways’ and is where he `developed a passion for further research that would extend the frontiers of knowledge in international law in general and international human rights law in particular’. His passion for such research has led to the publication of 12 books and more than 60 articles in these fields.

The winner of the inaugural Subedi Prize is Yogi Bratajaya of the University of Oxford. Mr Bratajaya wrote a penetrating analysis of the linkage between carbon markets as a useful tool for countries and corporations to meet their climate targets and the lack of comprehensive human rights safeguards, resulting in human rights violations in the implementation of climate mitigation projects. He calls for human rights standards to be integrated into the design and implementation of existing and future carbon market mechanisms.

The essay assesses the impact on vulnerable groups and especially on indigenous peoples who have depended on their lands for thousands of years. The author concludes the article with some actionable policy recommendations.

Professor Surya P. Subedi


Mr Bratajaya won the prize against a strong field of competitors. His award was announced at a major conference on modern slavery in late March 2023 at the Wilberforce Institute, with statements both from the prize-winner and from Professor Subedi. It was an excellent start to this annual award. Read the essay here

The second award of the Subedi Prize will be awarded in March 2024. The closing date for submissions is 31 December 2023 for an original essay of around 3-5000 words on the themes noted above. The Wilberforce Institute welcomes applications from any graduate in law, social sciences, or humanities from anywhere in the world.

Please direct enquiries to the chair of the prize-giving committee, Dr Alicia Heys at The Wilberforce Institute is enormously grateful to Professor Subedi for his initiative in promoting this innovative prize.

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