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Why Study Human Rights?

Human Rights is a broad field of study covering issues related to the “basic freedoms and rights to which every person is entitled.” Many topics fall under the realm of human rights and there are many different career paths that studying human rights can lead to. Human Rights can be a rewarding and challenging field of study, leading to a fulfilling career. Here are just some of the many reasons why one might choose to study human rights.

  • Make a difference in the world

If you’re looking for a career and field of study that will lead to creating change and positive impact, human rights may be a good fit for you. Human rights is all about advocating for people’s rights and their freedoms. Human rights professionals work in social service organizations, international organizations, government agencies, law firms, and even businesses. They also work in countries all over the world, fighting for positive change towards the protection of rights for vulnerable groups and better accountability for governments. Those wishing to make an impact in the world should consider studying human rights.

  • Studying human rights can lead to a variety of careers

The human rights field is vast in terms of career options. Students in this field can choose to specialize in  a number of different areas, including law, business, health, education, and even science. These jobs also require several different skills. Some careers are in social services, while others are focused on research and analysis. Adding your own strengths and skills can open up exciting and fulfilling job opportunities for you in a variety of areas and locations.

  • Focus on a particular issue you’re passionate about

In many cases, it is hard to choose a field of study in a specific human rights area, especially at the undergraduate level. Through a human rights course of study, you can focus your research and work on issues you are most passionate about, gaining skills and knowledge through the broader lens of human rights. While you may not be able to gain a degree in a specific issue or topic area you’re interested in, you can get a human rights degree and gain more general knowledge and skills that you can apply to the topics you’re most passionate about.

  • Find a career that offers variety and excitement

For many human rights professionals, each day on the job is never the same. Human rights careers can span issue areas, locations, local to international, grassroots organizations to government agencies. Which changing world events, human rights issues also shift and change; and even issues that you may be advocating for throughout your career will shift in their nature and progress. Your human rights classes will also provide excitement, varying in topic and giving you opportunities for field trips, meetings with experts, research projects, study abroad programs, internships, legal clinics, and more.

  • Help people and work towards peace

Beyond making a difference in the world, human rights work will allow you to make a difference in individual people’s lives, as well as work towards peace. For those interested in investing in their local communities and bettering the people around them, human rights studies may be a good place for them to start. Much human rights work is at the local level and can allow those interested in helping those around them and creating peace in their home communities and nations to do just that.

Learn more about human rights masters available around the world.

About the author

Allison Reefer

Allison Reefer is a young professional living in Pittsburgh, PA. She works with a refugee resettlement agency to help refugees and immigrants in the city, and she volunteers with a local shelter for human trafficking victims. She obtained her Master in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in Writing from Geneva College, focusing most of her academic work on human trafficking and migration in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In her free time, she loves to write, read, sing and play bass guitar, practice Russian, and explore her city.