Aims and Objectives

The Asia Pacific is the largest and most diverse region in the world. Stretching from the Pacific to the Middle East, and including three of the world’s most populous countries, the region is home to more than half of the world’s population and offers unparalleled cultural richness. However, the region also faces a number of severe human rights challenges, including massive poverty, discrimination against vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, armed conflict and violence, forced internal displacement of people, exploitation of children, people-trafficking, environmental and cultural destruction and corruption. Recognising the pressing demand to build knowledge and expertise to increase awareness of and respect for human rights and democratic principles in a manner that is carefully attuned to regional issues and perspectives, both across the region and within local and national communities, the five-university consortium introduced the Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) (MHRD) in July 2010.

The MHRD is the only program of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. The aim of the MHRD is to develop the capacity of people working in the field of human rights and democratisation in the Asia Pacific so that they may be better equipped to advocate for, promote awareness of, and encourage respect for, human rights and democratic principles. The MHRD is tailored to address the particular objectives and perspectives of people working in a number of human rights and democratisation professions:, governmental, non-governmental and international organisations, education, the police or military, business and other fields where human rights perspectives are critical.

Uniquely, the MHRD offers students the opportunity to study both at the internationally renowned University of Sydney and at partner universities in the Asia Pacific with particular expertise in human rights and democratisation.

The MHRD is partially funded by the University of Sydney and the European Commission through the European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights (EIDHR).