Term: Spring 2023 - Law (01/02/2023 - 05/12/2023)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
|9:00am - 5:00pm
Human Rights-Based Social Justice
Over the past two decades, nonprofit organizations and social justice activists around the world have adopted human rights frameworks, strategies and tools to advance their goals. At the international level, Oxfam and Action Aid, for example, have embraced human rights-based approaches to their social justice work. National and local non-profit organizations and activists from Vermont, Peru, South Africa and India have also discovered that human rights can provide a legitimate and coherent framework for analyzing public policy and organizing people to demand social justice. Drawing on case studies from the United States and globally, this course examines human rights-based approaches adopted by non-profit organizations to advocate on social justice issues affecting marginalized groups, including women, children, racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities and migrant workers. In particular, this course draws on cases from domestic, regional and international courts around the world to elucidate how human rights-based approaches and arguments have been used to advance social justice, albeit often meeting with varied success. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to: (1) understand and apply basic principles of international human rights law; (2) understand how human rights can be effectively translated, through advocacy and practice, in varied empirical contexts; (3) articulate key social justice arguments for and against adoption of the human rights frameworks, strategies and tools demonstrated in the course case studies; and (4) critically engage with different sources of human rights law––including international agreements (treaties and conventions), customary (international and domestic) law, judicial decisions, domestic constitutions, statutes, and policies––from a social justice perspective.