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 is introducing this new degree in July 2010.
The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific Regional Program) – MHRD (Asia Pacific) – is the only program of its kind in the Asia Pacific. The aim of the program is to develop the capacity of people working in the field of human rights and democratisation in the Asia Pacific region so that they may be better equipped to advocate for, promote awareness of and encourage respect for human rights and democratic principles, both across the region and within their local communities. The program is tailored to address the particular objectives and perspectives of people working in the field of human rights and democratisation at a number of levels, that is, in governmental, non-governmental and international organisations, as well as in education, the police or military, business or other fields where human rights perspectives are critical.
Uniquely, this degree offers students the opportunity to study both at the internationally renowned University of Sydney and one of four partner universities in the Asia Pacific with particular expertise in human rights and democratisation, through a scholarship scheme co-funded by the University of Sydney and a EUR1.498 grant from the European Commission's EIDHR scheme.