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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 vocation 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.