Disclosure: Human Rights Careers may be compensated by course providers.

6 Human Rights Law Schools in Asia

Asian states have ratified a variety of international human rights conventions. Nevertheless, human rights abuses and violations are common. People and refugees are facing arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearance. Beside learning about human rights from world-class lecturers, studying with a regional focus comes with many unique perks and invaluable experiences. Here are 6 human rights law schools in Asia for you to consider:

University of Hong Kong – Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong

Master of Laws (LL.M) in Human Rights Programme

The University of Hong Kong established its Master of Laws in Human Rights Programme in 1999 in order to focus on international human rights issues, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. As an interdisciplinary programme, students are required to draw upon other disciplines such as history, politics, philosophy and sociology to ensure human rights law is understood in context. By the end of the programme, students will have learned to understand the international human rights legal framework, reflect on human rights challenges from global, regional and domestic perspectives and apply their knowledge to advocate for real change. Teachers include renowned experts in the field from around the world including eminent scholars, judges, United Nations (UN) human rights mandate holders, and heads of non-governmental organisations.

Soochow University – Taipei, Taiwan

Master Degree in Human Rights Program

As the only human rights master degree offered in Taiwan, the Master Degree in Human Rights Program aims to deepen the education and research of international human rights and train students to apply their knowledge to the real world. Students are required to complete 24 credits of coursework focusing on “human rights philosophy topics”, “special topics and research on history of human rights thinking” and “special topics on international human rights law”, alongside a thesis and internship in the field of human rights. To complement the human rights education, Soochow University hosts several seminars and human rights weeks every year to exchange information with international scholars.

Mahidol University – Phutthamonthon, Thailand

Asia Pacific Master of Arts in Human Rights and Democratisation (APMA)

The Asia Pacific Master of Arts in Human Rights and Democratisation (APMA) is a 12-month interdisciplinary graduate program jointly offered by the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies of Mahidol University (Thailand), Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines, Kathmandu School of Law (Nepal), University of Colombo (Sri Lanka), and Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia). The program is designed for students who seek a deeper understanding of regional and global human rights issues and the promotion of democracy, peace and development in the Asia Pacific.

By the end of the program, students will have excellent knowledge of theory and practice of the promotion and protection of human rights and democratization, the ability to undertake independent scholarly research on human rights and democratization issues in the Asia Pacific and apply their knowledge of human rights in real situations.

Students will study at Mahidol University for their first and second semesters and will later proceed to study at their chosen partner university (Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, Kathmandu School of Law in Nepal, University of Colombo in Sri Lanka, or Universitas Gadjah Madah in Indonesia) where they take their remaining classes.

Paññasastra University of Cambodia – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Master’s Programmes in International Human Rights Law, Faculty of Law and Public Affairs

The Master’s Programmes in International Human Rights Law is offered by the Faculty of Law and Public Affairs at Paññasastra University of Cambodia (PUC-FLPA). Offered in English, it is an international level programme that draws on the academic and practitioner strengths of the Faculty as well as the extensive number of human rights experts associated with Paññasastra University of Cambodia (PUC). Since 2014, the Master’s Programmes
in International Human Rights Law is offered with support from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI), an independent academic institution affiliated with Lund University in Sweden.

By the end of the program, students will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of international and regional human rights, with a focus on the Asia Pacific region, hold high level competency in research, writing, critical thinking and analysis, advocacy, legal reasoning and problem-solving and utilize their knowledge and competency to help promote and protect human rights.

University of Jember – Jember, Indonesia

Master Program in Human Rights (MA/LLM)

The Master Program in Human Rights (MA/LLM) is a program offered by the University of Jember’s Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Migration and aims to promote the research of human rights. To advance the advocacy and research of human rights, the Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Migration conducts annual conferences, inviting world-renowned professors, practitioners and policymakers and publish scholarly articles in the Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights.

Hitotsubashi University – Tokyo, Japan

Democracy and Human Rights Program, Institute for Global Governance Research

The Institute for Global Governance Research of Hitotsubashi University offers its graduate democracy and human rights program, which aims to promote a deeper understanding of the current state of the liberal international order through research on the global situation of democratic and human rights norms and institutions. The program trains students to craft policy proposals that contribute to the maintenance of the liberal international order and research and defend liberal values.

About the author

Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) provides information about online courses, jobs, paid internships, masters degrees, scholarships and other opportunities in the human rights sector and related areas.