Required Clinic Component: International Human Rights Clinic (3-5 spring clinical credits). This clinic and course are bundled; your enrollment in the clinic will automatically enroll you in this course.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: No.
Add/Drop Deadline: January 12, 2018.
LLM Students: LLM students may apply to the clinic by submitting an application.
Advocates around the world widely employ human rights norms and discourse in their struggles for social justice. This course explores what it means to be a human rights advocate, whether one is engaged in debates over U.S. policy at home and abroad, the role of rights in armed conflict, or any number of other topics. Through case studies and simulations, this seminar examines the various dimensions and limitations of human rights advocacy, including strategic, ethical, and tactical challenges.
Students grapple with tough questions that confront every human rights practitioner, including: How can human rights be harnessed to successfully influence and change behavior? What are appropriate responses to critiques of the human rights movement? What does responsible, effective human rights advocacy look like? How does one engage without perpetuating power differentials along geopolitical, class, race, gender, and other lines? How does an advocate forge partnerships with individuals and communities directly affected by abuse?
The course is designed to encourage students to critically evaluate the human rights movement while learning core advocacy and problem-solving skills to responsibly advance social justice. Case studies explore fundamental choices advocates face. Students workshop and reflect on their participation in supervised clinical projects, which provide rich material for discussions about skills such as fact-finding, media outreach, negotiations, advocacy, constituency-building, and litigation.