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Foundational Courses for Future Human Rights Leaders

Becoming a human rights leader takes determination, resilience, and a passion for justice. But it does not stop there.  We have compiled a list of courses that will equip you with essential skills. All courses featured below are available to audit or trial for free. You can opt-in for a paid verified certificate for individual courses or choose Coursera Plus, Coursera’s annual subscription, and obtain certifications in several courses listed below. All courses are taught by top universities from around the world.

Learn to mobilize and engage supporters

It is crucial for human rights organizations to mobilize their supporters whenever they are needed. Learn about the principles of effective engagement, how to transform communities and create positive change in society. Explore the pitfalls and successful strategies to engage your followers in a good cause.

Learn to influence and persuade power holders

Lobbying and influencing powerholders to change policies, laws and budgets is an essential strategy of human rights advocacy. Learn how to navigate difficult negotiations, find common ground through mediation, and develop a solution through conflict resolution strategies.

Learn to inspire and lead a team

Human rights leadership is about guiding and empowering others, setting direction, and inspiring people to work towards a common goal for a better future. Leaders are found at all levels of any organization, not only the top ones. Learn to inspire and build capacity in your team and how to develop and foster your social influence.

Learn to be more inclusive and leverage diversity

Diversity and inclusion are more than just assets. They are essential qualities that help human rights groups to thrive. Learn more about leveraging the power of diversity in the workplace and your community and how to act more inclusively when engaging with diverse groups and teams.

Learn to manage international organizations and NGOs

Running an organization successfully requires effective leadership and good governance. Learn more about the roles and responsibilities of international organizations, the functions of the board and the strategies to generate social impact.

Learn to communicate in challenging situations

Human rights staff often work under high pressure in difficult circumstances. Decisive action and effective communication are key to navigate the challenge. Learn to communicate effectively during a crisis, support people during emergencies and motivate others to take action for an important cause.

Learn to govern and foster democratic principles

Good governance and human rights are mutually reinforcing. Learn about the management of public resources, how to curb corruption, tackle inequalities and reduce poverty. Explore how you can promote inclusive societies and how to build accountable and effective institutions.

Learn to advocate for vulnerable groups and populations

Human rights protect the most vulnerable groups in society. Everyone can become vulnerable, but some groups are more likely to have their rights violated. Learn about the hardships refugees are facing on their perilous journeys, the rights every child should enjoy and how to confront gender based violence.

A majority of the courses in this list are part of the Coursera Plus annual subscription.

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.