Welcome to Human Rights

In the era of globalisation, one of the most important concepts in international affairs is the idea of a human right.

Human Rights is an interdisciplinary major area of study, which examines the history and the nature of human rights.

Read more about the Human Rights major…

We examine basic conceptual issues such as:

  • What are human rights?
  • Are human rights culturally relative?
  • Is it possible for human rights to conflict with other requirements of justice?
  • How do human rights relate to institutions like the United Nations?

hands holding plates in a queueWe also look at how these theoretical issues relate to pressing practical problems.

For instance, how does an understanding of human rights theory help us to address: global poverty, unequal access to medicine, free trade, terrorism, warfare, humanitarian intervention, torture, surveillance, and more?

Career and study benefits of Human Rights

Human Rights is an excellent complement to studies in law, criminology, journalism, international studies, philosophy, development studies, and sustainability. Students of Human Rights will acquire strong analytic abilities and communication skills, and will have expertise in areas that are of relevance to employers in the public service, a wide variety of professions, and in the NGO sector.

Structuring a major or minor in Human Rights

To obtain a major in Human Rights, students must complete eight units in total, and to obtain a minor, four units in total.

For full details about planning a major or minor, and for lists of units that can be studied, please see


For all inquiries relating to Human Rights, email arts-human-rights@monash.edu