10 Entirely FREE Human Rights Courses


Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice
This course is free and is taught by Universiteit Leiden, in the Netherlands. It investigates terrorism as being one of the defining factors of our age, but delves into the ideas of peace, security and stability. What do these mean? What is the nature of the threat? The course will be taught in three parts. The first part will focus on the essence of terrorism, the second part will provide an overview of the state of the art in terrorism studies. It will talk about how it has grown exponentially since 9/11 and what academia thinks of it and what people are doing about it. Finally, part three will look into the implications and possibilities for policy making. The course will include 30 hours of videos, quizzes and projects, has available subtitles in English, Spanish, Serbian and French. The course enrollment period ends on July 30.

Human Rights: The Right to Freedom of Expression
Amnesty International partnered with edX, one of the largest MOOC plattforms, to provide a course that will expand knowledge of Freedom of Expression as a human right, increase the ability to critically analyze information related to Freedom of Expression, and sharpen skills and confidence to take action to defend Freedom of Expression. This course is an introductory level course and recommends that students spend three to five hours a week on reading materials, watching videos and completing assignments. The course is accompanied by a discussion forum which is archived now. Amnesty International provides great material and case studies from China to the United States. Completing this course can be a great asset for students who are interested in working in the human rights field.

Workers’ Rights in a Global Economy
This iversity course which started on 3 March 2016 is dealing with Worker’s Rights and their interelatedness to poverty reduction, equality and human rights. While the course is archived now, you can still enjoy its content and audit it for free. After finishing the course participants will have a solid understanding of the history of Worker’s Rights, the institutional framework guiding the International Labour Organization and about the nature of the right to Freedom of Association. The course is structured in 7 chapters with a multiple choice exam at the end. It features renowned facilitators and contributors from the ILO, OCED and various global universities including Berlin School of Economics and Law, Penn State University (USA) and the Global Labour University (Germany). Like all courses presented in this list auditing this online course is entirely for free, while a paid certification is available for 49 Euros.

Global Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
This is another free course, taught by Lund University, which focuses on questions related to sexuality and reproduction and their interrelatedness to human rights.  The course will tackle the main themes relating to SRHR and global policies currently in place. It will also discuss STIs, HIV/AIDS, violence and coercion in sexual and reproductive contexts, as well as human rights and sexual identity. Completion of this course will result in a certificate and the course is taught in English. It will begin April 27 and end June 14. This course is not available at the moment but might be rerun in the future.

International Women’s Health & Human Rights
Altough this course already went live on 21 January it is not too late to join in and enjoy the content. The free online course provides students with fundamental knowledge about women’s health and human rights, elaborates on sexual and reproductive rights while taking economic, social, political factors into consideration. One of the goals of the course is to create a global community of engaged students interested in Women’s Health and its interrelatednes to human rights.

International Human Rights
This course about international human rights is brought to you by the Université Catholique de Louvain, but is taught in English. It will discuss the constant dialogue in international and domestic courts about human rights, as well as the cultural and legal boundaries within this frame. Focusing mainly on the law aspect of international human rights, you will learn how to follow the development on human rights and will be able to take part in the discussion. This course is self-paced.

Introduction to Human Rights

This free open online course is available on udemy and facilitated by lawyer and human rights professor José Zalaquett. The course provides students with a brief introduction about international human rights and highlights a few more specific issues such as the rights of the child, women’s rights, Migration and Human Rights, Environment and Human Rights etc. The course contains of 33 lectures and 6 hours of videos. The course is entirely held in English and is also available on IOS and Android.

International Law in Action: A Guide to the International Courts and Tribunals in The Hague
This course hosted by Coursera and facilitated by the University of Leiden starts on 1 August 2016. It offers students the opportunity to acquire a better understanding of the functions and features of the courts and tribunals present in The Hague. Students will gain insights about the mandate and functionality of the International Criminal Court (ICJ) and its potential to contribute to global justice. The course, which focuses primarily on aspects of International Law, has a full duration of 5 weeks with one final exam at the end for those who want to obtain a paid certificate.

Essentials of Nonprofit Strategy
While this course is not a human rights course per se it can empower future leaders to achieve successes with their projects and ideas. The course, which starts on 15 March claims to, help students to “develop successful strategies to achieve” organizational goals “and make strides towards meaningful impact.” The course is facilitated by Paul Brest (Stanford Law School), who is the former President of Hewlett Foundation. To receive a Statement of Accomplishment, you will need to complete 4 out of the 6 weekly assignments. This course is not available at the moment but might be rerun in the future.

Storytelling for Change
Another course that can be highly useful to human rights defenders is “Storytelling for Change” hosted by +Acumen and starting on June 21. The participants of this course will learn “how to tell stories and use a specific set of storytelling skills” so that they “connect with the hearts and minds” of their audience. The registration period for this course ended but the course might be rerun in the future.

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Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) aims to help human rights students, recent graduates and young professionals to pursue a career in the highly competitive field of human rights.

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