Russia with support from the UN OHCHR launch the pilot phase of a Human Rights Master’s Programme

The Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO), the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) and the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (PFUR) with support from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reaffirmed their commitment to launch the pilot phase of a Human Rights Master’s Programme for the 2009/10 academic year. The purpose of the programme is to train highly qualified human rights professionals.

The ceremonial signing of the Cooperation Agreement between MGIMO, PFUR, RSUH and OHCHR took place on 15 July 2009 between the Rector of PFUR, Mr. Filippov; the Rector of RSUH, Mr. Pivovar; the Pro-Rector of MGIMO, Mr. Podberezkin; and the Senior Human Rights Adviser to the UNCT in the Russian Federation, Mr. Dirk Hebecker.

This agreement establishes an inter-university consortium of member universities aimed at creating the first Master's Programme in Russia with a specialization in Human Rights. The Master’s Programme will be developed and implemented by the inter-university consortium which will coordinate, promote and reinforce joint efforts of the three leading Russian universities with assistance from the Office of the UN High Commissioner.

The content and structure of the Programme are based on international standards in the area of human rights education. It will model itself after successful experiences and the expertise of the European Master's program in human rights. This programme is led by the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and organized through joint efforts of leading European universities.

The Programme will be launched at the beginning of the 2009/10 academic year as a specialization in human rights within the existing Master’s Programmes of the participating universities. The consortium will allow Russian students to undertake mandatory courses offered by their university of enrollment and the opportunity to choose optional components from the member universities.