Thirty-three students from 21 countries graduated with a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Transnational Crime and Justice at the United Nations Campus in Turin, Italy on 7 July 2023.
Offered by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Institute (UNICRI) and the University for Peace (UPEACE), the master’s degree is UNICRI’s flagship programme. This is the seventeenth cohort since the programme was introduced in 2006.
The unique programme prepares graduates to advocate for criminal justice and accountability, which are key to achieving peace, security, human rights, and development. It also equips students with knowledge and tools to support international justice and contribute to promoting the rule of law and protecting human rights. With their newly earned qualification, the graduates can join the global fight against transnational crimes.
This is in line with UNICRI’s support of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with particular focus on Goal 16, which comprises the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and the building of effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.
Speaking at the ceremony, Leif Villadsen, Deputy Director of UNICRI, encouraged the graduates to make the best of the skills and knowledge they have acquired to promote justice and human rights, and to advocate for a world free from violence and inequality.
“I am confident that the passion, aspirations, and strength that each of you possesses will be a force for positive change in the world. I hope that with the knowledge, support, and network you have gained, you will have the courage and ability to overcome every obstacle you shall face during your career,” he said.
Students who spoke at the graduation ceremony said in addition to the skills and knowledge acquired over the past year, the programme had given them hope, and inspired them to make a difference, while providing them with a sense of community among other advocates for positive change.
“So, even though we spent the past year thinking about incredibly bleak things…I have to say: on the other side of it all, being around people that truly want to make a positive impact and contribute to something bigger than themselves has actually made me feel hopeful about the world for the first time in a very long time,” Anuja Jaiswal, one of the graduates, said.
This was supported by another graduate, Damian Cohen, who said “The point is, we, and by we I mean people generally, tend to focus on what divides us. In turn, we become self-amputees. Instead, we collectively need to focus more on common ground, on what unites us. If the COVID-19 months taught us anything, it is that we need community. But we also need to act as a global community.”
Anuja concluded by saying “There is a lot we can’t control in life, and I can’t make any promises about the future. However, we can control the things we devote our energy and time to. Whatever happens next, I hope our choices are driven by wanting to help the people most would ignore.”
Giuseppina Maddaluno, Head of the Training and Advanced Education Unit at UNICRI said enrollment for the Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Transnational Crime and Justice is underway and encouraged students from various countries to apply for the programme.