Optional (10 ECTS Credits) – Spring Term

Aims and Objectives

This module complements the understanding developed in ‘Securing Human Rights’ offered in the Autumn term and further examines strategies employed by inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, civil society groups and governmental agencies to secure human rights. It also reflects on and builds skills for human rights practice and exposes students to the practical work of various human rights actors, the contexts in which they operate, the techniques they use, and the challenges they face. It comprises weekly required readings, lectures, workshops and seminars; the emphasis throughout is on participation, while assignments are designed to support the acquisition of relevant skills. The module includes substantial contributions from practitioners, who will engage directly with the students to provide insights into the practices and contexts of effective human rights activism.

Module Outline

Section A – Securing Human Rights in Development looks at the intersection between human rights and various aspects of development. Students will be introduced to the use of human rights-based approaches to development, how international development agencies work on human rights issues, the responsibilities of businesses in human rights protection, and the practice of securing human rights through global campaigning on development and poverty related issues.

Section B – Securing Human Rights in Conflict examines the particular challenges of securing human rights in conflict or post-conflict situations. Students will examine the various issues facing human rights officers in field operations, the special protection mechanisms used to safeguard human rights defenders living in (or targets of) conflict, how to address the needs of refugees and IDPs, the particular issues faced by women in conflict and the difficulties of securing human rights in the transition to peace.


  • 3500-word 'policy paper' focusing on a topic in Human Rights and Development or Human Rights and Conflict = 50% of the total grade
  • Human rights media project = 20% of the total grade
  • Student-led seminar = 20% of the total grade
  • Seminar participation = 10% of the total grade

This module is taught by Dr Corinne Lennox.