The 2nd Level Master’s Program in International Protection of Human Rights “Maria Rita Saulle” of Department of Political Sciences - Sapienza University of Rome is directed by Prof. Raffaele Cadin. In 2020, the Master celebrates its 19th anniversary which is an important milestone for specialized course on study on human rights that has always successfully combined tradition and innovation induced by the need to face the challenges of contemporaneity. The Master’s course was established in 2001 by Prof. Maria Rita Saulle who directed it with passion and dedication until his appointment in November 2005 as a judge of the Italian Constitutional Court. The direction then passed for almost fifteen years to Prof. Sergio Marchisio (November 2005/November 2019) who guided the Master with great authority and energy strengthening the theoretical/methodological system of the Master’s Course and its international vocation.
Since the beginning of the third millennium, the Master has trained, several generations of students to respect the dignity and freedom of every human being, looking from an international perspective. It therefore always represented a point of reference and excellence in this area at national and international level. This is proven, on the one hand, by hundreds of students, both Italian and foreign, who have had positive feedback in the scientific, cultural and professional fields of their career after having successfully completed the Master’s Course. On the other hand, by the important training and research paths on fundamental rights offered by the Department of Political Sciences which also provides the Training Course on Refugees and Migrants, the High Level Training Course on The Role of Women in Peace Processes and Conflict Mediation for the Protection of Human Rights and the PhD program in Public, Comparative and International Law, curriculum International Order and Human Rights.
It was precisely this history that becomes tradition and this vocation to look forward with rigor and curiosity, a prerequisite for innovation, that allowed the Master’s Course to overcome the hard test of COVID-19 and the lockdown period that from March 2020 prevented the continuation of lessons in presence, soon after their beginning for the academic year 2019/2020. Indeed, within two weeks the calendar of the lessons has been reorganized and the Course has then been regularly provided by videoconference on the Google Meet platform (exactly on March 19, 2020). This has given an important signal of resilience, much appreciated by the students of the Master, at the most dramatic moment for our community. The programme of the lectures has been then enriched with the webinar cycle on International Human Rights Law in the Time of the Pandemic, organized together with the PhD program in Public, Comparative and International Law, curriculum International Order and Human Rights, demonstrating the potential of working in synergy with the other human rights training and research initiatives of the Department of Political Sciences of Sapienza University of Rome.
Another characteristic of the master’s Course, functional to its vocation not only formative, but also professionalizing, is the very close relationship that over the years has been created with the different entities of heterogeneous legal nature dealing with the protection and promotion of fundamental rights in the global society. In fact, the Master has the patronage of the United Nations Regional Information Centre in Brussels (UNRIC) and the collaboration of important national and international bodies operating at various levels in the field of human rights which directly contributes to the program and they also provide internships to the students. These entities include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Labour Organisation, Amnesty International - Italy, INTERSOS, ECPAT, OXFAM Italy, the Italian Red Cross, The Unione Forense per la Tutela dei Diritti Umani, the Institute for international legal studies of the Council of National Research, the Institute of Biomedical Technologies of the Council of National Research, the San Remo Institute of Humanitarian Law, the Antigone association, the Consiglio italiano dei rifugiati, Archivio disarmo and Caritas Roma.
Finally, we are pleased to conclude this brief presentation with the ever-present words of Prof. Sergio Marchisio who described the Master’s degree as “a training course offered by the Department of Political Science of the University of Rome, which is based on two fundamental elements: on the one hand, the multidisciplinary character of the protection of human rights, which involves, for its own purposes, people belonging to different scientific and cultural areas; on the other hand, the promotion of the culture of human dignity, as the fundamental value of society. The aim of the Master is to train professional figures to work at various levels in the field of the promotion and protection of humanrights”. S. Marchisio - Maria Rita Saulle's contribution to the cause of human rights (PDF)