Human Rights

In the era of globalisation, one of the most important concepts in international affairs is human rights. The study of human rights, explores human rights law, practice and activism, which are among the most widely accepted approaches to addressing harms suffered by humans worldwide. The major in Human rights is interdisciplinary, including philosophy, history, politics, criminology and indigenous studies. It includes examination of the modern history of human rights law and practice and of some of the ongoing debates about human rights claims, such as: What are human rights? Are human rights culturally relative? How can human rights be justified? You will examine how these issues relate to pressing contemporary issues, for instance, global poverty, unequal access to medicine, refugees, terrorism, warfare, inequality, humanitarian intervention, climate change, and more.

Teaching Program

The Human Rights major or minor is an excellent complement to studies in law, criminology, journalism, international studies, politics, international relations, philosophy, history, development studies and sustainability.

s a student of human rights, you will acquire strong analytic abilities and communication skills, and will have expertise in areas that are of relevance to many employers. As the domestic and global prevalence of human rights claims escalates, expertise in human rights is of value to employers in the non-government organisation (NGO) sector, a wide variety of professions and in the federal and state public service and their statutory authorities.


Undergraduate studies

Our teaching approach creates pathways for students to progress from an undergraduate interest in human rights, to Honours and then graduate research.

Graduate Research

Read more about the Arts Graduate Research Program.


Our human rights research aims to answer fundamental questions such as:

  • Can violations of human rights justify interfering in the domestic affairs of the violating nation?
  • What are the rights of asylum seekers; does the world have a responsibility for misplaced peoples?
  • Is torture ever justified?
  • Do children have the same human rights as adults?


Our human rights staff possess outstanding national and international profiles. View all staff.

Contact us