IHP Human Rights: Foundations, Challenges, and Advocacy


Coursework in social sciences, such as anthropology, history, economics, sociology, and/or political science. Humanities coursework (philosophy, religion, and/or ethics) is also recommended.

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The program takes a holistic, interdisciplinary view of academic topics, drawing not only on articles and faculty lectures, but also student observations, guest lectures, and homestay interviews to facilitate learning. Assignments could involve written essays, oral presentations, and/or more creative projects such as posters and photo stories.

Students enrolled in this program take all courses listed below for a total of 16 credits.

Syllabi are typically updated just before the start of the program. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Foundations and Frameworks of Human Rights - syllabus (PDF)
(HMRT 3000 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
The United Nations articulated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Using that historic moment as a point of departure, this course employs the UN framework as a preliminary lens to examine and understand how basic social and economic rights are contested globally. International safeguards for rights embodied in supranational organizations and national legal systems will be discussed. Current human rights conditions, threats, and protections will be examined in each country studied. The meaning of a human rights discourse in the political economy of development, as well as in defining the role of the security state, will be foregrounded at each field site.

Comparative Issues in Human Rights - syllabus (PDF)
(HMRT 3500 / 4 credits/ 60 hours)
Through selected readings, focused discussions, and case studies, this course critically considers an array of current human rights challenges. Among them are the conflicts between national sovereignty and human rights, such as international humanitarian interventions; how universal rights are imbricated with the nuances of culture, ethnicity, and religion; and how national governments affirm and protect human rights in written law, yet simultaneously compromise rights in the realm of politics, economics, media, and social well-being. Human rights questions involving labor conditions, migration, environmental crises, freedom of the media, and the accountability of multinational corporations are explored comparatively within and across program sites.

The Role of Civil Society: Grassroots Movements and Nongovernmental Organizations - syllabus (PDF)
(SDIS 3320 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
This course focuses on the practical aspects of advocacy and the protection of human rights by nongovernmental organizations and grassroots, popular movements. Through case studies, interviews, and visits to local organizers of advocacy groups, students learn how popular movements are launched and developed, as well as strategies to navigate legal, political, and public arenas. The course contrasts the role, agendas, and the effectiveness of grassroots organizations with those of governmental, private sector, and supranational stakeholders. Students will meet with local activists and officials who advocate for various human rights agendas to learn about successful and unsuccessful campaigns and to evaluate the use of inquiries, documentation, public outreach, legal action, and other approaches to protecting rights.

Fieldwork Ethics and Comparative Research Methods - syllabus (PDF)
(ANTH 3500 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
This course provides students with the theoretical, conceptual, and practical knowledge for gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information from a range of primary sources. It offers insights for assessing students’ own cultural assumptions and for understanding other cultures. Students are familiarized with the SIT Human Subjects Review Policy. The course is the foundation for a cumulative study project involving research in three countries and culminating in a paper and presentation at the end of the semester.

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Credits: 16

Duration: Fall or Spring, 15 weeks

Program Sites:
New York, NY, USA; Kathmandu, Nepal; Amman, Jordan; Santiago, Chile Read more...

Prerequisites: Coursework in social sciences (anthropology, history, economics, sociology, and/or political science). Learn More...

Human Rights: Foundations, Challenges, and Advocacy Itinerary

Fall or Spring Itinerary

Student Evaluations

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations


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