New BA in Human Rights and Global Justice Launching at Trent in Fall 2024

By Trent University Modified on July 10, 2024
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New degree program features paid co-op opportunities, international field study, and hands-on career experience for students.

 BA in Human Rights and Global Justice Launching at Trent in Fall 2024

Trent University’s newest degree program, a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights & Global Justice — launching fall 2024 — will provide students with opportunities to explore human rights as a matter of universal significance while benefiting from paid co-op placements and field study opportunities in Ghana or Bolivia.

With a comprehensive yet focused curriculum, the new B.A. program exemplifies Trent’s commitment to interdisciplinary education and provides students with numerous valuable experiential learning opportunities in the growing field of global human rights. The program’s focus on hands-on learning will allow students to graduate ready to tackle the complex issues of our interconnected world.

Exploring global and transnational issues

“The distinguishing feature of the new Human Rights & Global Justice degree is our truly global focus, where we explore issues that are not just between countries, but global and transnational at their core,” says Dr. Chris Beyers, chair of Global Justice and Development (formerly International Development Studies) at Trent. “While other programs tend to have a focus on human rights through a Canadian lens, we address human rights as a universal concern, exploring movements and phenomena that span borders, and affect us all in a fundamental way.”

In the program, students will explore topical issues like forced migration, genocide, violence against women and girls, Indigenous rights, LGBTQ+ rights, economic inequality, and climate change through diverse historical, cultural, and academic viewpoints. They will also build a solid foundation of knowledge and develop the expertise to critically assess and actively contribute to the ongoing fight for global justice.

Paid co-op and career experience

Practical training in human rights work is core to the program. Students pursuing the paid co-op stream will gain 12 months of work experience, developing and enhancing their technical skills while exploring career options and networking with a variety of individuals and organizations. Students will address real-world social, legal, and political issues, experience diverse perspectives, and understand what it is to make a lasting contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights. Local, national and international placements within the paid co-op stream could include legal and community service organizations, Amnesty International, the Assembly of First Nations, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and CARE Canada, to name just a few.

The program also features . Field study courses include a deep dive into migration that combines in-class instruction on migration issues in Ghana or Bolivia, and a field trip to the chosen country to study migrant housing, employment, integration, and settlement.

Human Rights & Global Justice will also be available as part of the Trent/Swansea Dual Law Degree program, where students combine their human rights degree from Trent with a law degree from Swansea University in Wales, graduating with two degrees in just six years.

Prioritizing diverse perspectives and real-world applications

In the new B.A. degree, students will study human rights through multiple lenses, including feminist, anti-racist, Indigenous, sexually diverse and class-based perspectives, while amplifying and upholding marginalized voices through collaborative classroom discussions.

“An important factor of this program is that it employs human rights teachings that encourage discussions on equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization while prioritizing the voices of marginalized and racialized communities in the classroom,” says Dr. Kathryn Norlock, Kenneth Mark Drain chair of Ethics at Trent. “It goes beyond national and international perspectives, addressing complex global challenges through experiential learning opportunities.”

Learn more about Trent’s new BA in Human Rights and Global Justice

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