Monash promoting human rights in Vietnam ​

Congratulations to Monash University's Castan Centre for Human Rights Law for securing an Australia Awards grant to support a human rights law program at the Vietnam National University (VNU). The cooperative project between the Castan Centre and VNU’s School of Law includes ​curriculum upgrading, skills development, co-teaching and mentoring.

Under the program, the Castan Centre will assist VNU to update and deliver the syllabus of two specific subjects to reflect current human rights issues internationally, regionally and locally. It will also build connections in the human rights sector between Monash and VNU. The two subjects are International Law on the Human Rights of Vulnerable Groups and International Mechanisms for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights.

“By delivering this program with colleagues from the Faculty of Arts, we are highlighting Monash’s strong capacity to deliver large international bilateral projects by collaborating across faculties. The Centre is a passionate advocate for human rights and maintains its commitment to help improve human rights across the world. The initiative will further strengthen the Castan Centre's capability to offer its expertise in human rights and open up more opportunities with Vietnam National University as a whole", said Professor Sarah Joseph, Director of the Castan Centre.  

Led by Associate Professor Julie Debeljak, the Centre has assembled an adept team with significant experience in designing and delivering human rights law content to students for whom English is a second language. To maximize the engagement from participants, the Monash team will adopt two approaches. First, it will introduce a “global to local” theme of applying international human rights law to the Vietnamese context and secondly it will deploy a “flipped classroom” teaching model focusing on participatory approaches such as simulations, role-plays and team exercises.

The project will see the Centre’s academics helping to modernise VNU School of Law’s masters-level degree in human rights, while assisting its lecturers to get up to speed with the latest legal developments, as well as the interactive teaching techniques that are increasingly being adopted in Australian tertiary institutions. “It’s very important that students apply human rights theory to relevant case studies. In this case, the students will analyse human rights issues from Australia, Vietnam, and other relevant countries in class”, said Castan Centre Deputy Director, Associate Professor Julie Debeljak.

An extra highlight of the project will be a trip to Australia by two of VNU's academics - Associate Professor Giao Vu and Dr La Khanh Tung, who will meet with human rights thought leaders in academia, government and civil society. The trip will take place from 12-20 May 2018. 

The Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) played a key role in identifying the opportunity and assisting the Law Faculty to prepare the successful tender document.  Professor Abid Khan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Global Engagement) noted "the Global Engagement office is committed to identify and bring business to the faculties and departments to put Monash at the forefront of the international arena".

For enquiries regarding the cooperative project between Monash and VNU, or about the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, please contact Marius Smith at