LLM in IHL and Human Rights: What our Students Say

5 February 2024

Anastasiya Dziubanava is enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. In this interview, she tells about her background, the programme and what it will bring to her career.

About Me

My name is Anastasiya Dziubanava and I am 23 years old.

I was born in Belarus and received a bachelor's degree in international law at the Belarusian State University. In the middle of my studies, I became a volunteer at the Belarusian Human Rights NGO, where I later began working as a lawyer and then as a coordinator of international advocacy. In 2022, I was forced to leave Belarus and continued to protect human rights in my home country while in exile.

Since I was interested in international humanitarian law (IHL) along with international human rights law (IHRL), I tried to keep up with the study of this area after graduation. Together with other fellow students, we engaged in the dissemination of knowledge and transfer of skills that we gained by participating in competitions on IHL, IHRL and public international law in general.

Why did you choose the LLM at the Geneva Academy?

I chose the LLM at the Geneva Academy because this programme perfectly matched my request for a master's programme that provides an in-depth study of IHL and IHRL along with an immersion in other areas of public international law related to the protection of a person, life and dignity, including international criminal law and international refugee law. The idea that I would be able to study what I was interested in, together with the best professors and students, inspired me even more.

What are you particularly enjoying about this programme?

I like that this programme actually allows you to significantly expand your theoretical knowledge (the level of deepening exceeded all my expectations!), and train in the application of law, solving complex legal problems and looking for answers to controversial questions. I am especially pleased that we are learning from real-world cases because this not only increases my professional competencies but also significantly broadens my horizons.
I especially enjoy this programme because the study takes place in a supportive and friendly atmosphere in the absence of any coercion. There is no fear of making a mistake or asking a strange question because the created environment feels free from condemnation from both professors and students.

Would you Recommend it?

I can definitely recommend this programme to anyone who is interested in public international law and especially in IHL and HRL, and wants to take a step forward in their knowledge and skills.

What are you planning to do next?

I dream of working as an IHL lawyer within a specialized NGO. And if earlier this door seemed closed to me, now I understand that thanks to studying at the Geneva Academy, I will be able to put the knowledge I have gained into practice, helping people all over the world.

At the same time, I plan to continue working for my country in the field of human rights in one way or another, remaining inside the Belarusian civil society.

Why did you choose to be photographed at the Palais des Nations?

I chose a photo taken in front of the Palais des Nations during my first visit to Geneva. At that time, the world I had been working with for so long finally materialized and appeared before my eyes. Geneva for me is about international law, which you can see and touch.

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