Chapter 1 - The basics The Chapter aims to introduce the course and starts addressing (and providing some preliminary answers) some basic questions: What are human rights? Who is involved in their protection? Why are human rights a global priority? How can effectively be protected?
Chapter 2 - The UN and human rights The focus is on the evolution of the UN commitment in human rights protection based on three pillars: positivisation, monitoring and mainstreaming.
Chapter 3 - The UN human rights machinery The analysis deals with the UN mechanisms for the protection of human rights at the global level. Special attention will be given to the role of the Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review.
Chapter 4 - The European system for the promotion and protection of human rights The Chapter starts looking into the promotion and protection of human rights at regional (continental or sub-continental) levels. In particular, the European system will be presented highlighting the respective roles of the European Union, the Council of Europe, and the OSCE and their capacity to interplay and possibly complement each other.
Chapter 5 - Regional systems for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa, Asia and the Americas The other regional systems investigated in this chapter are those operating in the framework of regional organisations in the Americas (the Organisation of American States), in Africa (the African Union), in the Arab world (the League of Arab States), as well as in South-East Asia (the ASEAN).
Chapter 6 - Human rights in conflict and post-conflict contexts The focus shifts to the national level, in particular to situations of armed conflict and to post-conflict scenarios. Issues related to the standards and procedures of International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law are also tackled.
Chapter 7 - Human rights promotion and protection at the National and sub-national level This Chapter addresses a number of issues related to the role of National Human Rights Institutions and other actors involved in human rights policies nationwide and at the local/community levels, such as local governments and municipalities.
Chapter 8 - The driving forces of human rights promotion: the role of civil society The Chapter focuses on civil society organisations and networks. The analysis looks into the multifaceted strategies carried out by non-state actors, especially in relation to the international instances of human rights protection.
Chapter 9 - Conclusions: perspectives on global human rights A summary and discussion of the multi-level dimensions of human rights protection dealt with in the previous chapters. This final segment provides some closing critical reflections on the questions set forth in Chapter 1.
Mid –term homework At the end of chapter 4, the instructions for homework will be released: homework must be submitted by the end of chapter 6 (2 weeks). Homework consists of writing a communication or a petition addressed to one of the monitoring bodies studied in the first four chapters. The aim is to familiarise students with the tools of human rights protection mechanisms. The texts will be evaluated using a peer review methodology.
Final homework At the end of chapter 8, the instructions for homework will be released: homework must be submitted in 2 weeks. Students will be asked to write, using a simplified form, a project addressing a human rights related issue that is challenging their town, territory, home country and likely to be taken up by governmental or non-governmental agencies.
Within each chapter, the MOOC offers tailored case-studies, interviews with field experts, officers and academics.