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Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Challenging Poverty, Vulnerability and Social Exclusion

Human rights are critical for achieving the UN’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Across the globe many people’s rights are violated everyday, creating injustice and instability that threatens our collective future.   

Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Challenging Poverty, Vulnerability and Social Exclusion is an 11-week course that focuses on human rights and their link to the sustainable development context, particularly in terms of the advances, or lack thereof, in achieving women’s rights across the globe. The course brings together two different perspectives on rights – the legal and the social– to explore what implementing a rights-based agenda entails. The course examines how rights are understood and lived around the world, and what are the barriers that prevent rights from becoming a reality.  

Human Rights, Human Wrongs begins by discussing the evolution of the international human rights frameworks. It discusses how human rights, and their denial affects the lives of excluded groups, and the ability of countries to deal with the challenges of sustainable development. The course brings a particular focus to the global politics around the human rights discourse, with a discussion on the nuances of promoting ‘inclusive’ approaches and their possible effects on shifting the responsibility of alleviating poverty to the excluded groups themselves. It highlights the intersections of issues related to human rights, such as how gender interplays with ethnicity and the rights of indigenous peoples, as well as how human rights influences responses to conflict and disaster. The course not only describes pathways to a more inclusive and just society (SDGs 5, 10 and 16), but also raises questions on the role  that human rights can play in achieving all of the SDGs. The course is designed to engage students in debating and discussing difficult, complex issues at the intersection of politics, human rights, gender relations, social relations and economics and power. 

Your experiences, views, and voices matter.  Please join us as we collectively explore this journey in asking questions, exploring perspectives and building solutions that will create a more sustainable world - a world that leaves no one behind. 

Course Structure & Requirements

The course is structured around a series of pre-recorded lectures, readings, quizzes, and discussion forums. These course components can be completed at a time that is convenient for the students, and most quizzes and timed activities are given a two-week window for completion. The material for each week is made available each Monday, and once the material has been opened, it remains open for the duration of the course. There are no written assignments for this course. 

In addition to the recorded lectures, readings, and quizzes, the instructors and select visiting experts will hold several real-time discussions on Google Hangouts so that students can ask questions and engage directly with the instructors and leading practitioners working in this field. The exact dates of these discussions will be announced early in the course. 

The estimated time commitment to complete all course components is 4-6 hours per week, though this depends heavily on the student and his/her objectives in taking the course. 

Students who successfully complete the course will receive a digital certificate of completion, signed by the course organizers. In order to successfully complete the course, students must score an average of 70% or higher on the quizzes and final exam, all of which are multiple choice. Students who score 85% or higher will receive certificates of completion with distinction. While this course is not credit granting, we encourage students to work with their own institutions to explore the option of granting credit for online coursework.

Syllabus

Module 1: Why Does the World Need Human Rights?

1.1 What are Human Rights and why do we need them?

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

1.2 From economic growth to people-centered development

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

1.3 The 'Rise of Rights' in Development

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

1.4 How are Human Rights created?

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

1.5 Rights are nice but are they enough?

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

 

Module 2: How Do International Legal Frameworks and Institutions Interact with the Development Agenda?

2.1 Underlying concepts of International Law

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

2.2 United Nations Vision and Institutions

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

2.3 International Law and the Codification of Standards

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

2.4 Regional Systems for Human Rights  

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

2.5  Social Inclusion: a Litmus Test for the efficacy of Human Rights?

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

 

Module 3: International Human Rights Frameworks and Marginal Groups

3.1 If Rights are for all, why special rights for some?

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

3.2 Convention on the Rights of the Child

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

3.3 Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

3.4 International Human Rights Treaties

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

3.5 Limitations of Existing Standards

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

 

Module 4: What are the Basic Underlying Frameworks for Social Inclusion?

4.1  Subject in Law vs. Object in Law

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

4.2  Equality of Opportunity

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

4.3  Affirmative Action and Special Measures

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

4.4  Autonomy as a Means of Protection

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

4.5  The Role of Law in Combatting Inequality

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

  

Module 5: Contested Rights and the Co-option of the Rights Discourse

5.1  The Hierarchy of Rights

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University 

5.2  Collective vs. Individual Rights

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

5.3  The Co-option of Rights

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

5.4   Intellectual Property Rights

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

 

Module 6: Sites of Gendered Poverty and Inequality

6.1 Ideas of Poverty and Wellbeing

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

6.2 Roots of Gender Inequality

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

6.3 Households as Sites of Inequality  

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

6.4 The Gendered Experience of Poverty

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

6.5 Attacking Gender Inequality within Development       

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

 

Module 7: Gendered Rights and Violence

7.1 Advancements in Women’s Rights

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

7.2 Conceptualizations: Sexual and Reproductive Rights  

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

7.3 Conceptualizations of Violence and Legal Frameworks

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University 

7.4 The gender agenda in the UN human rights framework

Dr. Elvira Dominguez Redondo, Associate Professor, School of Law, Middlesex University

7.5 Root Causes and Lived Realities: VAWG  

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

7.6 Social Communication for Social Change: Puntos De Encuentro 

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

 

Module 8: The Nature of Social Exclusion: Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

8.1 Who are Minorities and Indigenous Peoples?

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

8.2 What are the key issues facing Minorities and Indigenous Peoples?

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

8.3 Global Snapshots of social exclusion by Continent

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

8.4 Tools to Overcome Structural Inequalities

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

8.5 Social Policies to combat social exclusion

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

 

Module 9: Who Will Advocate for the Vulnerable at Their Most Vulnerable?

9.1 Vulnerability and ‘natural’ disasters  

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

9.2 Gendered experiences of disaster

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

9.3 Social Protection: Problematizing Conditional Cash Transfers  

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University  

9.4 Culture v Rights: The case of Female Genital Mutilation

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

Suzanne Evert, Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University

9.5 Equalizing the Encounter: Free Prior Informed Consent

Cathal Doyle, Research Fellow, Middlesex University

 

Module 10: From Exclusion to Inclusion: Responding to crisis and conflict 

10.1 Humanitarian Response to Crisis

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

10.2 ‘Do no harm: The rise of ‘New Humanitarianism

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University   

10.3 International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

10.4 Democratization and political participation: The Situation Room

Elisabeth Prügl, Professor, International Relations, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies    

10.5 Responding to Crisis: Mediating for Peace  

Sanam Anderlini, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Civil Society Action Network  

 

Module 11: New Directions: Rights and the SDGs

11.1  Sustainable Development and Rights

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

11.2  A Vision of Rights for the Future

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

11.3  Pathways to Sustainable Development and Human Rights

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University

11.4  Human Rights and the Economy  

Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Associate Professor, Development Studies, Middlesex University

11.5  The SDGs and Beyond

Joshua Castellino, Professor and Dean, School of Law, Middlesex University 

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Cost Free Online Course
Pace Finished
Subject Human Rights
Institution SDSN.Edu
Provider Independent
Language English
Calendar 13 weeks long
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