News

The Development and Impact of AUA’s Human Rights and Social Justice Program 


Launched in 2021, the Master of Arts in Human Rights and Social Justice (MAHRSJ) program continues to support emerging leaders and future human rights advocates in a field that demands innovative and creative responses to complex challenges in contemporary societies. The program graduated its first cohort in the Spring of 2022. Throughout their studies, the graduates obtained the required skills for effective work in peace and justice across a variety of organizational settings, providing a combination of applied real-world skills and training in research. Due to their excellent intellectual foundation, the Program graduates will be highly competitive while pursuing their career paths in a variety of positions in social services, law, human rights law, advocacy, humanitarian services, as well as international development.

 

Siranush Sahakyan

Program Chair, M.A. in Human Rights and Social Justice 

The newly admitted students of the M.A. in Human Rights and Social Justice program will get actively involved in both theory and skills development from leading human rights professionals, activists, and scholars. Students will develop transferable skills such as project planning and evaluation, problem-solving, research methodology in the field of human rights, as well as professional writing and oral presentation. With the research-based approach in the spotlight, the Program will continue to effectively promote clinical, legal, and social justice education in the current and forthcoming academic years. This approach provides the future human rights professionals with a combination of critical skills, such as advocacy, negotiation, commitment to certain values, and equity. 

Through the collaboration with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund, Sweden, we will continue implementing joint projects and initiatives to foster the students’ development both personally and professionally. Additionally, the program has extended its network by establishing successful collaborations with leading human rights institutions, organizations, and state bodies, including the Human Rights Research Center in Armenia, the RA Ministry of Justice, and more.

 

Lyubov Oganova

M.A. in Human Rights and Social Justice ‘23
AUA Academic Scholarship

I applied to the Human Rights and Social Justice program at AUA because of the 2020 Artsakh War. I believe that we need more professionals in the human rights sector and I want to contribute by helping people restore their rights. Throughout my time at AUA, my area of interests expanded. I started to care more about government actions and explore the European Convention on Human Rights cases. 

HRSJ faculty members were another motivation for my interest in this Program. I was actively following their work and dreaming of being able to do half of what they do for Armenia. Their dedication and hard work does not go unnoticed. I am planning to carry out human rights activities in the future and want to open a non-governmental organization or a foundation that will protect the human rights of soldiers and veterans. It is a big issue in Armenia that often leads to mental health problems. I have ambitious plans for this project and I look forward to implementing them.