Today marks the 71st anniversary of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and, tomorrow, the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

On this special occasion, the Institute is pleased to announce that registration for its 18th annual Genocide and Human Rights University Program (GHRUP) hosted in partnership with the University of Toronto opens on January 2, 2020!

The theme for this year’s United Nations day of commemoration is
Youth Standing Up for Human Rights:

“Under our generic call to action “Stand Up for Human rights,” we aim to celebrate the potential of youth as constructive agents of change, amplify their voices, and engage a broad range of global audiences in the promotion and protection of rights”.

The Institute couldn’t agree more! We truly believe that youth can change the world. In fact, the mission of the GHRUP is to engage the next generation of young scholars to do just that!

The Zoryan Institute is proud to do its part to champion this cause, by bringing together students from all over the world to Canada to participate in this structured forum designed to explore universal questions relating to Human Rights and Genocide. As GHRUP Course Director, Professor Joyce Apsel, states:

“This educational initiative [the Genocide and Human Rights University Program] is a model creating a dynamic classroom laboratory for learning and dialogue about history and reconciliation and forming a community and network of committed, informed citizens and scholars worldwide.”

This annual, 69-hour, graduate-level course is taught by 13 leading experts in their fields and incorporates genocide theory, history, sociology, political science, anthropology, psychology and international law. This program seeks to develop an academic support system for those who work toward the prevention of genocide through the comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of such cases of genocide as the Holocaust, the Cambodian Genocide, and the Rwandan Genocide among others.


To date over 400 students, from over 40 countries have participated in the GHRUP. If you or someone you know is interested in applying for the 2020 program, please visit or send an email to We look forward to seeing you in Toronto in August 2020!

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): a milestone document proclaiming the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

 In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly established 9 December as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. The 9th of December is the anniversary of the adoption of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”). This year marks the 71st anniversary of the Convention. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the Genocide Convention and its role in combating and preventing the crime of genocide, as defined in the Convention, and to commemorate and honour its victims.