International Human Rights Advocacy and Practice

Course Description: 

This course begins by considering ongoing debates about the ethics underpinning human rights advocacy. It then focuses on the methods employed by NGOs working to advance human rights and the challenges such NGOs face. These methods include: gathering evidence through investigations; reporting and communicating the findings; campaigning and lobbying; undertaking strategic litigation; and participating in standard-setting exercises. The course also looks at activities which underpin and are essential for effective advocacy, namely measuring its impact and fundraising. Relying on a diversity of sources, this course assesses the nature and value of international human rights advocacy and practice, while providing critical and practical insights into the work of an individual advocate or practitioner.
This course will offer students a sound academic and practical understanding of international human rights advocacy and practice.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Ability to think critically about human rights advocacy and practice;
  2. Ability to demonstrate a critical and practical understanding of the work undertaken by NGOs working in the field of human rights, particularly their methods, strategies, techniques and tools;
  3. Ability to produce materials which may be used in advocacy.

There will be no exam for this class. The final grade will be based on: (1) participation in class (10%); (2) a written advocacy statement to be delivered in class 4 (15%); (3) a written fundraising proposal (15%); and (4) a research paper focusing on a case-study of human rights advocacy (60%). Further guidance on each of the assignments will be given in class.