Fostering a new era of human rights activism in Australia through greater understanding and knowledge of human rights law and policy is the aim of a new Masters degree at the University of New South Wales.
The Master of Human Rights Law and Policy will be offered by the Faculty of Law for the first time in 2009. It aims to train and support future leaders in this expanding international field.
The one-year full-time program is the only postgraduate human rights law degree in NSW open to both lawyers and non-lawyers. Applications for semester one close at the end of November.
Program coordinator Gillian Moon says the degree will prepare human rights professionals for the challenges facing the region.
"In recent decades, there has been a great expansion in thinking about and applying human rights concepts and standards, including in Australia and our region. This degree will have an important impact on this growing field of expertise."
The program has attracted the support of a number of high profile experts. East Timor President and Nobel Peace Laureate, Dr Jose Ramos-Horta, a former Visiting Fellow and founder of UNSW's Diplomacy Training Program, says the degree is a must for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the field of human rights.
"The opportunities and challenges for those with a sense of mission in life are many, as long as one is equipped with the proper training.
"The new UNSW Masters in Human Rights Law and Policy is a must for anyone in politics, international business and foreign relations, for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in the NGO sector, United Nations, or in regional bodies such as ASEAN and the European Union," Dr Ramos-Horta says.
The Australian Human Rights Commission's Graeme Innes says the degree will help focus Australia's human rights commitment. "This course will provide people qualified to lead the trend towards a stronger human rights culture in Australia."
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