Kathmandu School of Law (KSL) has been a part of an international collaboration to develop a new Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratization (Asia Pacific) –The Course commenced since 2010 consisting a foundational semester at the University of Sydney and a second semester at the partner Universities i.e. Kathmandu School of Law, Nepal, GadjahMada University, Indonesia and University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Mahidol University, Thailand and Ateneo Law University, Philippines. Since 2016-17 cohort, the foundational semester has been shifted from Sydney University to Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies (IHRP), Mahidol University, Thailand. Since then, the University of Sydney has remained an associated partner. The Master of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific) (MHRD –replaced by the name APMA). The APMA partnership has been running for nine years and has graduated over 245 students, out of whom, KSL has hosted 63 students from 23 countries as of now.
The programme aims to develop the capacity of people working in the Asia Pacific region to effectively advocate for, promote awareness of and encourage respect for human rights and democratic principles, both across the region and within their local communities. The APMA (MHRD) is an interdisciplinary intensive one-year postgraduate degree that reflects the inseparable links between human rights, democracy, peace and development in the region. Designed for midcareer professionals and highly motivated undergraduates, the degree offers students a unique opportunity to engage firsthand with regional and international human rights issues, and to interact with internationally renowned human rights academics, practitioners and experts. Complemented by funding from the European Commission, this degree provides students with exposure to leading international human rights academics and practitioners.
APMA Program Structure:
The APMA program is taught across two campuses. All students will study first semester at the IHRP, Mahidol University (Thailand). Second semester students will study at one of the four partner universities in Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, or Nepal.
First Semester-Mahidol University
The first semester at Mahidol University consists of four courses and runs from August till November. The first semester curriculum consists of a foundational program, made up of four core units of study. These units are compulsory for all students and include the following:
1) HPRD 551 Human Rights Norms and Mechanisms Part 1
2) HPRD 541 Human Right and Democratization Research
3) HPRD 542 Dynamics of Human Rights Violations
4) HPRD 543 Democratization: Theory and Practice
Second Semester – Regional University
There is an intensive course at IHRP in January, before students travel to the partner University for the Second Semester which runs from February to July.
1) HPRD 544 Human Rights and Democratization Intensive
2) HPRD 553 Applied Research in Human Rights and Democratisation
Second Semester- Regional Partner University
At the partner university students study two courses and undertake a research project. Scholarships students will be assigned to a partner for their second semester according to the best fit with their study preferences. Fee-paying students can select any of the partners for their second semester.
1) HPRD 552 Human Rights Norms and Mechanism Part 2
2) HPRD 546 Critical and Emerging Issues in the Asia Pacific 2
3) HPRD 698 Thesis (Dissertation or Applied Research Dissertation)
Compulsory Courses at KSL
During the second semester, students will complete two semester long courses at KSL. The course will be undertaken by full time faculties and a number of visiting faculties and resource persons having national and international experiences and expertise on thematic areas of human rights and democratisation.
Human Rights Norms and Mechanisms II (HPRD 552) will expose students to some of the most Human Right issues in the region. In particular, it will cover issues of development, human rights and the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples, cultural difference and the challenges of promoting human rights in societies where the rule of law, freedom of the press and civil society may not be strongly developed. Students will engage with new and emerging issues and the contestation of human rights that is taking place in their own region. The unit will also allow for students to explore the different meaning of human rights principles or the differing priorities within the body of human rights norms in this region and how this might require different types of approaches to those developed in the global north.
Each student is required to submit an original thesis on an approved topic. The thesis length is between 14,000-18,000 words.
The dissertation is an important part of the APMA program. Research is mostly done using primary sources or by using a fresh approach to an existing debate in human rights and democratization. The thesis aims to develop the student's research and academic writing skills while producing an original piece of research.
KSL has identified a number of supervisors with an area of specialization pertaining to human rights and democratization. The list of supervisors and their research interests can be found. Students can contact the supervisors as per their research interests and the area of specialization. Students should write on the topic approved by FGS following all the necessary guidelines.
Internships are placed at various non-governmental organizations as per student's research interest, and this provides an opportunity to immediately put into practice the knowledge acquired throughout the academic year with an aim to acquiring and improving practical work experience, establishing a dialogue between the students and the host organization, and fostering access to the job market. Students should undergo hrs internship placement in the inter-governmental, governmental or non-governmental organization working on human rights issues in Nepal.
KSL has identified the areas of research and internship opportunities in consultation with different national and international organizations.
Students will be placed on the following organizations based on their research interest and working area:
a) Center for Legal Research & Resource Development (www.celrrd.org)
b) Kathmandu School of Law (www.ksl.edu.np)
c) Pro-public (www.propublic.org)
d) Informal Sector Service Center (www.insec.org)
e) Center for Victims of Torture (www.cvict.org.np)
f) Child Workers in Nepal (www.cwin.org.np)
g) Terre des Homes-Nepal (www.tdhnepal.org)
h) South Asia Partnership-Nepal (www.sapnepal.org.np)
i) National Human Rights Commission (www.nhrcnepal.org)
j) National Women’s Commission (www.nwc.gov.np)
k) Amnesty International Nepal (www.amnestynepal.org )
l) INHURED International (www.popwatch.org.np)
m) ICRC Nepal (www.icrc.org)
n) Center for Constitutional Dialogue (CCD) (www.ccd.org.np)