Children’s Rights (2023)

LocationGeneva, Lake Geneva region, Switzerland
CategorySocial Sciences
This programme offers specialised theoretical and practical knowledge on children’s rights, with a particular emphasis on its international and interdisciplinary dimensions. It aims to deepen understanding of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and related implementation practices.

Professional who works with children’s rights issues: lawyer, psychologist, sociologist, judge, law enforcement officer, social worker, teacher, government official, staff from governmental and non governmental organisations, academic and journalist

Acquired detailed knowledge of children’s rights in the fields of law, sociology, psychology, culture and economics, including differences in gender and culture

Be able to adopt a critical approach to understanding the origins, nature, limits and implementation of children’s rights from an international and interdisciplinary perspective

Increase their skills in collaborative and independent learning via the resolution of intellectually challenging tasks in order to improve problem-solving and critical-thinking skills

Learn relevant theoretical, methodological and analytical techniques and develop skills in order to identify and contribute to resolving issues and problems relating to the realisation of children’s rights

Improve their presentation and advocacy skills via the production of seminar presentations, discussion papers, essays and project work dealing with particular issues in children’s rights

Geneva played an international historical role in the advancement of the field of children's rights from the Children Right Declaration (Geneva Declaration) in 1924 to the drafting process of the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989. Today, Geneva is the main children’s rights international hub with the widest network of child rights specialists and advocates. It hosts the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee), along with the major international non-governmental organizations and the United Nations Office harboring the headquarters of main UN agencies operating toward the dissemination and implementation of children’s rights worldwide. Within this context, the UNIGE interdisciplinary Centre for Children's Rights Studies offers the Master of Advanced Studies in Children’s Rights (MCR). A programme established by D.h.c. Jean Zermatten, former member and chairperson of the CRC Committee.

Being embedded within such a distinctive setting, and benefit of the strong ties of the UNIGE with the many international governmental and nongovernmental Geneva-based organizations, the MCR Programme exposes students to international expertise with unique networking opportunities. Lectures are given by international experts in the field of children’s rights from the academic world, intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental institutions. The participation of these prominent academics and highly skilled field experts with various types of expertise and from different countries ensures multidisciplinary and cultural perspectives on children’s rights.

The programme takes place over a two-year period and requires participants to attend seven-week long modules (three modules will be delivered online and four will be residential) combined with completion of exercises and examinations based on the required readings. Students are also expected to write a paper, to complete a group project, to participate in an external seminar or conference and to write a master thesis dissertation. A team of professors and academic staff members will guide them through the process.

It is worth highlighting that for those not able to complete the MCR programme, the following two options are on offer:

Prof. Karl Hanson, Prof. Daniel Stoecklin, Dr. Roberta Ruggiero and Elena Patrizi, Centre for Children’s Rights Studies, University of Geneva

Prof. Abdeljalil Akkari, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, Alan Kikuchi-White, SOS Children’s Villages International, Elena Patrizi, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Geneva’s Centre for Children’s Rights Studies, Prof. Maya Hertig Randall, Faculty of Law, UNIGE, Paola Riva Gapany, International institute for the Rights of the Child (IDE), Dr. Yvan Droz, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies IHEID

The registration fee is CHF 150.-

The total tuition fee for the two-years Master of Advanced Studies in Children’s Rights (MAS) is CHF 15000.- (approximately 13.730,5 EUR / 15.208,7 USD).

This sum is for the MAS and does not include travel or living expenses.

The tuition fee for a single module student (certificate of attendance) is CHF 2000.- 

The tuition fee for two modules with two exams and final paper (12 ECTS Credits) granting a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Children’s Rights (CAS) is CHF 5000.-

Unfortunately, the MCR programme cannot provide fellowships, We strongly recommend to look for financial assistance to authorities, institutes or NGOs in your own country, as these offer the highest chances to obtain positive results (for example national grant authorities, local governmental ornon-governmental child rights agencies, international organisations or private foundations that consider individual requests for fellowships.

As the director of an NGO that focuses on the rights of children, I have found the course extremely relevant and helpful for my work. It has challenged my own perceptions of children and childhood and has grounded me with a good working knowledge of the CRC. The interdisciplinary approach of the program has broadened my perspective immensely. (James Jolley)

The MCR was an excellent opportunity to broaden my own understanding of children’s rights, especially within an international context, while simultaneously creating friendships with other like-minded professionals from all over the world. The privilege of being in an academic setting amongst professionals with expertise in their individual fields created a stimulating environment to reflect upon and learn about pertinent issues in children’s rights. I looked forward to each module and consider myself privileged to study at this stage of my career. I would recommend the MCR programme to anyone who is wanting to solidify their knowledge base, challenge themselves and meet an interesting group of people. (Kelley Bunkers)

It is an extremely useful programme for professionals interested in children’s and human rights. The theoretical knowledge gained is sure to enhance the practical work of the participants. (Deepak Paj Sapkota)

This is a high quality part-time course that represents a unique opportunity to learn with and from internationally-recognised professionals concerned with children’s agency. Children around the globe deserve to have adults who are not just concerned about their rights but who have the in-depth knowledge necessary to help them to realise these rights. (Evelyn Winkler)

The MCR professors, staff and classmates have added a new dimension to my thinking about how we can positively impact the lives of children throughout the world. The synergy of the brainpower in our classroom is electrifying. (Sherry Sacino)

The MCR provides a great richness in its diversity. Participants and lecturers from all sorts of backgrounds and disciplines are involved in working towards one unifying goal - to understand and raise our children in a spirit of respect for their human rights. (Alice Durgnat Levi)

The programme combines competence, professionalism, conviviality and the pleasure to learn and has provided me with technical knowledge, rigorous thinking on sensitive issues and an open mindedness that are all extremely precious in the exercise of my profession as an advocate. It’s practical and theoretical content, that have been enriched with personal exchanges amongst students and with lecturers, allow me to approach with pertinence and acuteness a broad range of issues regarding children. (Andrée Millet)

After participating in the MCR Programme, I decided to embark on a PhD research project on children’s participation. Thanks to the MCR, I got access to a strong and reliable network of academics and key NGO staff members who have all been really helpful for developing my research. (Carine Le Borgne)

The programme offers the possibility to multiply and advocate children’s rights in a very holistic and global human rights context. (...) Joining the programme is a must for professionals who work with and for children. (Sandra Stössel)

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