Abiy Obssa

Ethiopia | Batch 2020-2021

Thoughts on the programme: The M.A. Human Rights programme at FAU is an interdisciplinary and diverse programme. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say we have students from every continent, with different professional background. The diversity and the interdisciplinary approach really broadens our understanding of human rights from a wider perspective. Although we started our first semester exclusively online due to the Corona Virus pandemic, the professors and the friendly staff members provided the necessary materials and equipment we needed for the programme. They organized it very well despite the difficult condition.

The professors are highly experienced and are experts on the field. The lectures and seminars are very interactive. Looking at human rights, not just from a legal point of view but also learning the political and philosophical aspects, exceeded my expectation. I am looking forward to getting to know human rights more deeply and practically during the rest of the semester.

Professional background: I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Addis Ababa University (2015). While studying, UNICEF selected me to attend a workshop on HIV/AIDS prevention in Kampala, Uganda, in 2013 and 2014. After graduating, I volunteered in a religious NGO as a music therapist for orphan children living with HIV/AIDS (2015-2016).

My interest in human rights began when I joined the student movement against Ethiopia’s former authoritarian regime while pursuing my undergraduate studies.  After facing persecution, I had to flee and seek refuge in Germany in 2016.  Since my arrival, I have worked with a number of NGO’s in Germany that provided support for refugees and asylum seekers. Some of them are Caritas, Diakonie and Matteo. While working with these NGOs, my interest in pursuing a professional career in human rights increased. For the future, I wish to further advocate for refugees’ rights and be a human rights activist in Ethiopia and Africa.