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Wpg Free Press: U of M offers first human rights program

September 10, 2019 — 

As the Winnipeg Free Press reports:

Winnipeg’s role as a civil liberties hub has expanded, with the launch of Canada’s first interdisciplinary master of human rights program.

“The field of human rights has become so legal, technical and really dominated by lawyers that introducing other perspectives — social sciences, education and social work — offers a broad perspective and is unique,” said University of Manitoba Prof. Kjell Anderson, the program’s first director.

The program is run out of the U of M law school’s Robson Hall and includes the faculties of graduate studies, law, arts, education and social work — with the first batch of 21 students from five countries, including Canada.

“Because of the relative scarcity of human rights programs in Canada, especially at the graduate level, many Canadians study overseas,” Anderson said Monday. “That’s what I did. There were a lot of Canadians in the places I studied, including the Netherlands and Ireland.”

Now he’s running one in Winnipeg — which, in academic circles, has been compared to Geneva, Switzerland, as a hub for human rights activities.

“What’s particular to Winnipeg at this moment is the constellation of institutions like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, our program, the bachelor of human rights program at the University of Winnipeg, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the Centre for Human Rights Research and other institutions like the Manitoba Human Rights Commission,” Anderson said.

“There’s no other city in Canada that has that kind of grouping of institutions.”

And no other school has a master’s degree like the U of M’s, he said.

Read the full Free Press story here.

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