IHP Human Rights: Foundations, Challenges, and Advocacy

Investigate the historical and social contexts of diverse human rights movements, including the roles of culture, political economy, and international law across four national contexts.

This program examines the rhetoric and reality of human rights using an issues-based approach. Peacebuilding, truth and reconciliation, civil liberties, humanitarian intervention, environmental justice, gender equity, and labor rights are just a few of the inroads the program takes to pose a broader inquiry on the nature of human rights and its variance across borders.

This program interrogates the current relevance of broad historic documents such as the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its related international covenants. Equally, the program engages the nuances of understanding concrete human experiences with rights, such as the particularities of post-conflict societies; cultural relativism and disparate interpretations of rights; post-colonialism and the application of universal rights; and questions of ethics, global economics, and international politics.

The program spends time in four different locations — New York, Nepal, Jordan, and Chile. This comparative study of human rights offers a broad perspective on issues encompassing challenges to civil and political rights as well as economic, social, and cultural rights. Students gain in-depth experience, learning from lawyers, academics, activists, government officials, and directly affected communities on the front lines of human rights practice throughout the world.

Key questions include:

  • How are human rights universal?
  • What are the root causes that incite struggles for human rights in different locations?
  • What impacts do international institutions such as the UN have on securing human rights?
  • What is the role of popular mobilization and activism? How can solidarity across borders be built on a human rights platform?

The Letters Home are written by students on this program, with help from the Trustees Fellow, at the end of each country program. Letters from the current academic year can be found at the Letters Home blog. We hope you enjoy reading about our students’ experiences!
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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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