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Top 5 courses for human rights activists

Human rights activists take action to defend human rights. Everyone can become a human rights activist and the ways to get involved are plenty. In this article, we collected a series of high-quality online courses for human rights activists offered by leading universities, non-governmental organizations, and United Nations Institutions.

Amnesty International: Human Rights Defenders (Global)

Amnesty International is a non-governmental human rights organization with offices around the world. With several million supporters Amnesty International is arguably the most influential civil society human rights organization in the world. In this “Human Rights Defenders”-course you will hear directly from activists inside and outside the human rights movement how to take action to defend human rights. The course includes an action-toolkit enabling learners to shape their own unique pathway to action. The self-paced course, which takes approximately four weeks to complete, is multilingual and available in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.

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Curtin University: Human Rights Activism, Advocacy, Change (Australia)

Curtin University is Western Australia’s largest and most culturally diverse university, with more than 56,000 students from over 130 countries. In this course, you will learn about the role and impact of social movements, advocacy groups and activism in bringing about social change. The entire course takes approximately 120 hours to complete and is classified as an advanced course. This course is part of Curtin University’s MicroMasters in Human Rights, a new credential that counts towards 33% of a master’s degree. The MicroMasters consists of three flexible Massive Open Online Courses ideal for young professionals or students who want to deepen their understanding and knowledge in the field of human rights.

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Wits University: Activism and Citizen Journalism (South Africa)

University of the Witwatersrand is an internationally ranked and research-focused University in Johannesburg, South Africa. At the forefront of a changing society, Wits is a social leader, dedicated to advancing the public good. In this Activism course, you will gain practical skills to use media to promote a social cause that matters to you. You will explore media as a powerful tool to promote social justice and apply ethical and safe media practices to your work. The self-paced course takes approximately four weeks to complete.

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Columbia University: Fighting for Equality (United States)

In this course offered by Columbia University, you will learn how women throughout history until today stood up to fight for gender equality, political participation, and economic fairness. You will explore the rise of the feminist movement from the early 1960s until today and how women have challenged discrimination and prejudice that violated their rights. This intermediate-level course takes approximately 10 weeks to complete. You can start instantly and take it at your own pace.

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University of Michigan: Storytelling for Social Change (United States)

In this course, you will learn how to deliver messages that affect people. You will learn how to craft a story that evokes empathy and creates impact. You will watch video interviews with storytelling experts, view performances and write your own story for social change. This course, which is offered by the University of Michigan, takes approximately five weeks to complete.

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All courses are available to audit for free. You can opt-in for a paid verified certificate issued by the course providers for an extra fee.

About the author

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.