Equipping E.MA students with practical skills for human rights work

The European Master's Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (E.MA) managed by EIUC takes pride in its longstanding tradition of acquainting the students not only with newest developments in the academic world, but also equipping them with a larger set of skills and practical notions, necessary for the operational requirements of daily work in international organisations, field operations, governmental and non-governmental bodies, as well as academia.

In addition to plenary sessions in the morning, October marks the beginning of advanced cluster classes designed to foster specialised knowledge of specific human rights issues. Students will have the opportunity to choose between four topics, according to their interest and preference:

  • Human Rights Defenders
  • Diversity Management
  • Gender Relations and Human Rights
  • Developments and Human Rights

Clusters seek to find a fine balance between providing an in-depth theoretical analysis of an issue, a multi-perspective approach in addressing it, alongside with actual skill-building and personal insights of leading experts in the field.

    • The Human Rights Defenders cluster, jointly organised with the E.MAlumni Association, will offer the study of practical tasks of human rights defenders and the way they must be protected by States and other international actors. It will examine the ways in which EU guidelines formulated on this issue aims to support the work of human rights defenders in the light of its Human Rights external relations policy, and provide practical suggestions for enhancing EU action in this area. Workshops will range from monitoring and reporting procedures (Ms. Vasiliki Chatzikamari - OSCE Mission to Kosovo/ E.MAlumna) to strategic litigations and its role in protecting human rights. (Ms. Milica Matijević- Institute of Comparative Law Belgrade/ E.MAlumna).

    • The Diversity Management cluster is attracting a lot of attention among the students with its attempt to clarify contemporary issues of multi-level governance, regime transition, transitional justice, and the inclusion of minorities in the process. The week will cover not only practical implications of the 'minority problem' (as presented by Prof. Dr. Petra Roter, E.MA Director for University of Ljubljana), but also workshops on diversity management by legal means and in a post-conflict context (Dr. Roberta Medda- EURAC and Dr. Denisa Sarajlic Maglic- Government of the Bosnian Federation respectively).

    • The third cluster, namely Gender Relations and Human Rights will employ a broad approach integrating the human rights issues with political and social problems and concepts, as well as their interplay with democracy and democratisation, as recognised and deeply emphasized within all EU policies. Workshops will be led by Prof. Teresa Pizarro Beleza from New University of Lisbon and Dr. Marjolein van den Brink from Utrecht University and will concern the principles of UN Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women, legal strategies to eliminate gender inequalities, bioethics and LGBTI rights.

  • Finally, the Development and Human Rights cluster, co-ordinated by Prof. Koen De Feyter from the University of Antwerp, focuses closely on the relationship of human rights and development, and aspires to explore the challenge behind the operationalization of human rights in development. Special attention will be given to poverty eradication in the context of sustainable development as the primary and overarching objective of EU development cooperation, identified as such in the European Consensus on Development. All aspects of human rights-based approach to development, including the hot topic of transnational human rights obligations and development will be addressed in the workshops.
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