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About Us


… promoting the understanding, respect and enjoyment of human rights through education, training and capacity building of key actors and stakeholders


The UPEACE Human Rights Centre (UPEACE-HRC) is the specialized unit of the University for Peace (UPEACE) focusing on advanced training and capacity-building of stakeholders on a variety of human rights issues. The Centre works in close association with the Department of International Law at UPEACE but focuses more on training of working practitioners and policy makers rather than graduate students.

UPEACE-HRC was established within the contours of the broader mission and mandate of UPEACE, a United Nations mandated international treaty organization that was established with its own Charter in an International Agreement adopted by the UN General Assembly in Res. 35/55 of 5 December, 1980. The mission of UPEACE as per its mandate is to:

“provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexsitence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.“

His Excellency Mr. Antonio Guterres, in his capacity as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, is the Honorary President of UPEACE. UPEACE has a unique place in the world because of its status as both an international treaty body with a UN mandate, and a university dedicated to serving humanity through research and education in promoting peace, human rights and sustainable development. For more information about UPEACE visit the university website.

Core Team

Dr. Mihir Kanade (India)

Is Director of the Human Rights Centre of the University for Peace (established by the UN General Assembly) since 2009. He is the Academic Director of UPEACE (2017-present) and the Head of its Department of International Law (2014-present). He is also an adjunct faculty at Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio (Spain), Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal), Long Island University (LIU Global Centre in Costa Rica), and Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia). Dr. Kanade serves as the academic co-coordinator of the LLM programme in Transnational Crime and Justice offered at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Turin, Italy. He also serves on the International Advisory Board of the International Bar Association on the topic of Business and Human Rights. Dr. Kanade currently serves as an independent expert of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development. Dr. Kanade co-leads an e-learning project in partnership with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNU-IIGH for training UN staff and diplomats of permanent missions of States on operationalizing the Right to Development in Implementation of the SDGs. He also chairs the drafting group of international experts appointed by the OHCHR for preparing a legally binding instrument on the right to development. His principal area of academic research and study is the interface between globalization, governance, public international law and human rights, covering several themes including trade, business and investment, sustainable development, forced displacement of people, indigenous peoples’ rights, public health, amongst others. He conducts several trainings for staff of intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as professionals, in the field of international law and human rights. Prior to academia, Dr. Kanade practiced for several years as a lawyer at the Bombay High Court (Nagpur and Bombay benches) and at the Supreme Court of India. He holds a LL.B from Nagpur University (India) and a Master degree and Doctorate from UPEACE.

Dr. Juan Carlos Sainz-Borgo (Venezuela)

Is the Faculty Chair of the UPEACE Human Rights Centre and the Dean of UPEACE. He is also an Associate Professor of International Law at the Universidad Central de  Venezuela in Caracas since 1998 and Professor of Humanitarian International Law at the Universidad Sergio Arboleda in Bogota since 2009.  He was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Washington College of Law at the American University in 2008-2009. He served as Jurist to the  Regional Delegation of Venezuela and the Caribbean of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).   Juan Carlos Sainz-Borgo has  a Law Degree, Master in International Law and Doctorate from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas and a Master Degree from  Oxford University, UK.

Pratyush Sharma (India)

Is a Doctoral student at the University for Peace and a Research Fellow at the UPEACE Human Rights Centre. Pratyush has a background in interdisciplinary social sciences. He has a MA degree in Diplomacy, Law and Business from O.P Jindal Global University, India and has worked in a policy think tank in New Delhi in the field of foreign policy and development cooperation. He has been a ‘Managing Global Governance’ Fellow at German Development Institute in Bonn. He is the associate editor of Development Cooperation Review. His ongoing project is in the area of development finance and South-South Cooperation.

Ana Cristina Vasquez (Costa Rica)

Is a Research Associate at the UPEACE Human Rights Centre. She has a Master degree in International Law and Human Rights from UPEACE and is currently pursuing her Doctorate from Tongji University. She is also an anthropologist by education and has extensive experience in civil society movements for promotion of human rights and human security in Costa Rica.

Advisory Board

Dr. Frans Viljoen

Director, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Amb. Gudmundur Eiriksson

Ambassador of Iceland to India and Former Head of Department of International Law and Human Rights, UPEACE.

Ms. Felisa Tibbitts

Founder and Senior Advisor, Human Rights Education Associates.

Judge Margarette McCauley

Commissioner, Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and Former Judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Dr. Juan Amaya Castro

Associate Professor, Universidad de Los Andes.

Ms. Gudrun Gudmundsdotir

Director, Icelandic Human Rights Centre.

Dr. Obiijiofor Aginam

Senior Research Fellow and Former Deputy Director, United Nations University International Institute for Global Health.

Amb. David Puyana

Permanent Representative of UPEACE to the United Nations in Geneva.

Amb. Olger Gonzales

Ambassador of Costa Rica to the Organization of American States, and Former Senior Lawyer, Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Ms. Adilia Caravaca

Women’s Rights Activist and Former International President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.