University of Padova School of Economic and Political Sciences


The University Human Rights Centre, established in 1982, intends to contribute to the actualisation of that which is explained in Article 1.2 of the Statute of the University of Padova, which reads:

The University of Padova, in conformity with the principles of the Constitution of the Italian Republic and of its own traditions which date back to 1222 and are summarized in the motto Universa Universis Patavina Libertas, affirms its pluralistic character and independence from any intolerance and discrimination of ideological, religious, political, or economic nature. It seeks to promote the realisation of a culture founded on universal values such as human rights, peace, preservation of the environment, and international solidarity.

The original mission of the Human Rights Centre was:

  • to raise the inter-disciplinary "knowledge" on human rights (of the persons and of the peoples)
  • to pervasively share the theoretical and applicative contents of this "knowledge"
  • to educate in order to make the "knowledge" operate productively in the social and political environment

The Centre is the first structural response of the Italian University System to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to the recommendations of important international institutions such as the United Nations, UNESCO, and the Council of Europe.

The Centre hosts the UNESCO Chair “Human rights, democracy and peace” of the University of Padova, the European Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “Intercultural dialogue, human rights and multi-level governance” and also manages the Regional Archive “Pace Diritti Umani - Peace Human Rights” established by the Region of Veneto in 1988.

Objectives of the Centre

The main objectives of the Centre are:

  • to promote interdisciplinary research and publications in the fields of human rights and the rights of peoples, peace and human security, democracy and good governance, benefiting also from the collaboration with international institutions, such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the European Union;
  • to promote information, education and training activities on universally recognised human rights in light of their interdependence and indivisibility;
  • to foster the human rights mainstreaming within the national university and school systems;
  • to contribute to the internationalisation of the University, in particular by participating in the European and international networks of university human rights centres, UNESCO Chairs and Jean Monnet Chairs;
  • to provide support to the UNESCO Chair “Human Rights, Democracy and Peace” established (1999) by means of a memorandum between the university and UNESCO;
  • to participate in the activities promoted by the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation also as founding a university of the European Master Degree Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation of the above-mentioned European Centre;
  • to cooperate with ombudspersons and other regional and national human rights institutions, in particular with the Region of Veneto, as set forth in the relevant regional legislation for the promotion of the culture of human rights and peace, and with civil society organisations.

Structure and organization

Steering Council

With the Decree of 26 April 2016, the Rector has appointed the new Steering Council of the University Centre, which is composed by the following Professors: Gabriella Salviulo (Macroarea 1), Roberto De Vogli (Macroarea 2), Marcello Ghilardi (Macroarea 3), Arrigo Opocher (Macroarea 3), Carlotta Sorba (Macroarea 3), Antonio Papisca (UNESCO Chair “Human rights, democracy and peace”) and by Dr. Benedetta Bixio (Administrative manager).


With ensuing Decree of 20 June 2016, the Rector, in agreement with the Steering Council, has confirmed Professor Marco Mascia as the Director of the University Human Rights Centre.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
  • Italian

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This school also offers:


MA Degree Programme in Human Rights and Multi-level Governance

Campus Full time 2 years October 2019 Italy Padua

The MA programme in Human Rights and Multi-level Governance is a contribution to developing a universal culture of human rights such as highlighted by Unesco and the United Nations. Accordingly, it has a strong policy- and action-oriented approach. [+]

Course description

The MA programme in Human Rights and Multi-level Governance is a contribution to developing a universal culture of human rights such as highlighted by Unesco and the United Nations. Accordingly, it has a strong policy- and action-oriented approach. This master's degree is in full continuity with previous post-graduate programmes in human rights, taught in Italian, that the University of Padua has been delivering since 1988.

The MA aims at developing ad-hoc knowledge and skills to promote and fulfil human rights within the broader context of legal and political processes and multi-level policies. Human rights law, multi-level governance framework, and the concepts of “human development” and “human security” are the paradigm of reference throughout the course.... [-]


Join us, become a Human Rights expert!


University of Padua

Address Via Martiri della Libertà, 2
35137 Padua, Veneto, Italy
Phone +39 049 827 5111