Topic Name Description
Course Syllabus Page Course Syllabus
1.1: The Development of Human Rights: A Brief History Page The Origins of International Human Rights Law

This video gives an overview of the origins of international human rights law, including the Geneva Conventions and earlier liberal political documents, primarily in the Western world.

Page John Locke and Human Rights Theory

Read these two articles from the U.S. Department of State publication Human Rights in Brief. They review the historical development of human rights in the context of contemporary global politics.

Page Human Rights as an International Issue

This article provides an introduction to the conditions that gave rise to modern international human rights law in the aftermath of WWII.

Page Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948, shortly after World War II. The world had been shocked to discover the horrors of the Holocaust and Nazi abuses against Jewish people and other minority groups in Europe. In the years following the war, world leaders, activists, and legal experts established an International Bill of Rights.

As you read, consider the following questions: How do the rights listed here relate to the events of World War II? Which rights listed in the UDHR might still be controversial in some parts of the world? Have you encountered news stories that dealt with these rights? How are they still being debated today?

Page International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was written around the same time as the UDHR. Read this article and think about how these rights relate to the UDHR. Do they go beyond the UDHR? How do they relate to your understanding of civil and political rights where you live? Can you think of examples where these rights have been clearly upheld or violated in recent news?

Page Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Read the Optional Protocol. Why do you think these measures are considered optional and less binding than the Covenant itself? Why do you think fewer countries have signed onto this protocol?

Page International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Read the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. These rights are sometimes seen as less well-established than those in the UDHR and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Consider why that might be, and the challenges States might face in implementing these rights.

1.2: Universal vs. Relative Rights Page What are the Universal Human Rights?

Watch this video for a basic overview of human rights and the major debates about their history and application.

Page Cultural Relativism and the Attitude of Certain Asian Countries Towards the Universality of Human Rights

Read this entire text, but focus on the introduction and the section before the question and answer portion of this talk. Steiner provides a good introduction to the idea of cultural relativism as it relates to human rights. Think about this idea in the context of who wrote and passed the International Bill of Rights and signed each document. Whose understanding of rights are most protected?

Page Cosmopolitanism

Consider this article in connection with the one on cultural relativism above. How would you explain the dichotomy between cosmopolitan or universal understandings of human rights and relativist ideas? Think about these different understandings about the concept of rights in relation to the International Bill of Rights in 1.1. Are there some rights there you would consider to be universal, and others you think might be relative? What differentiates them? Who has the right to decide which is which?

Page Bandung 1955: Asian-African Conference and Human Rights

This brief article on the Bandung Conference challenges the perception that human rights are more highly valued in Western countries by discussing human rights' centrality at the conference. However, for participating countries, the achievement of human rights was intrinsically linked to the process of decolonization, and the attainment of full independence and national sovereignty for formerly colonized countries. Consider how this perspective compares to what you have previously encountered regarding human rights in non-Western contexts.

1.3: Individual vs. Collective Rights Page Collective Rights

This introduction to collective rights presents the argument that collective rights are about the future. The presenter in the video argues that collective rights are, in large part, about creating the kind of world we want future generations to live in. What implications does that idea have for the law?

Page Individual and Group Rights

Read this article for an introduction to the idea of individual versus group rights. What are the examples provided here? Do you think the group rights identified here do more to strengthen or weaken individual rights? Do you think the rights discussed here are universal or relative?

Page Individual versus Group Interest

This short article gives some more examples of group versus individual rights, including some that might be familiar to you based on political debates you have heard or read in the news. What other examples can you think of that fit this dichotomy? How do you think some of the arguments identified here should be resolved?

1.4: Civil and Political Rights vs. Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Page Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

Read this introduction to economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR). It covers the concept of ESCR, states' responsibilities, and some of the challenges of implementing these rights. Consider how these rights relate to the other dichotomies we have discussed so far. For example, do you think all of these rights are universal, or are some more relative? Do the various rights identified here apply more to individuals or groups?

Page Trade and Investment Agreements and Human Rights

In recent years, large corporations have become increasingly influential in politics and development. This document discusses how this trend has impacted human rights, in particular ESCR. What obligations does the author identify for corporations versus states? How do you think governments should deal with the challenges to human rights corporations pose? What responsibilities do you think corporations have in protecting human rights?

Page Health and Human Rights in the Era of Globalization

This article addresses the issue of health and human rights and views the issue through the lens of indigenous peoples. It also addresses some potential limitations of the human rights perspective to address people's need for health adequately. How does this view fit in with what you have learned so far?

Page Achieving Environmental Justice through Human Rights Law

Read this article about the intersection of human rights and environmental justice for a deeper dive into the right to health and indigenous peoples' rights.

These dichotomies are one way to understand human rights. As the resource makes clear, an overlap can exist between seemingly different categories of rights, disagreements over the importance of certain rights, and debates over the most effective and meaningful ways to protect and promote these rights. As you review this section, compare your initial ideas about human rights to what you know now. How do you view these dichotomies now that you have more information?

1.5: Justice and Human Rights Page The Evolving Legitimacy of Humanitarian Interventions

This article introduces the responsibility to protect and humanitarian intervention in international law and provides several case studies to illustrate the concepts. As you read this article, consider what criteria you think should be met to justify humanitarian intervention. Are there possible downsides or unintended consequences that could result from a humanitarian intervention? What are some examples?

Page Assessing the Responsibility to Protect

This op-ed considers the responsibility to protect in the context of political considerations. The author argues that the responsibility to protect is a moral position, while interventions are sometimes decided on political issues. How does he try to reconcile these competing decision-making frameworks?

Page Sovereignty and Intervention, 1993-2013: Responsibility to Protect in Review

In this video, Michael Ignatieff, a member of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, gives an overview of several humanitarian interventions in the past several decades, discussing successes and failures. He also lays out the case for interpreting sovereignty – not as a right for states to do whatever they wish within their borders, but as a responsibility they have to protect their citizens from atrocities. How do you think this argument changes the framework we use to determine whether intervention is legitimate?

Page Gareth Evans on Humanitarianism and the R2P Doctrine

This video reviews the concepts presented in this section and the conflicts between humanitarian interventions and other political considerations.

2.1: Grotius and Natural Right Page Hugo Grotius

As you read this introduction to Grotius and his work, think about how his ideas may have shaped the arguments you saw in the previous unit. Focus on the sections on Natural Law and the Doctrine of Just War.

2.2: Hume and Utility Page David Hume

Read this introduction to David Hume (1711–1776), the Scottish philosopher. Pay special attention to the section on Utilitarianism. Can you define utilitarianism in your own words? Think about how it might apply to questions of human rights.

Page An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

Read section III, Of Justice, where David Hume argues that justice arises from utility. How does he view justice in society? How can justice vary across situations? What remains consistent? Do you think these utility arguments apply to what you have learned so far about human rights? Why or why not?

2.3: Kantian Idealism Page Kant, Cosmopolitanism, and Contemporary Political Philosophy

This article connects Kant's arguments with both broader Western philosophy and more recent events surrounding global justice, such as the International Criminal Court. Consider how these events challenge or support the arguments Kant and other philosophers set forth.

2.4: The Legitimacy and Authority of International Law Page Schools of Legal Thought

Read this overview, which compares positivist legal theory and natural law. Consider which framework you would use to interpret some of your local laws, and what the results might be. How can each of these theories apply to international law? Who is the sovereign or ultimate authority in deciding and enforcing international law?

Page The International Court of Justice as an institution

Watch this introduction to the International Court of Justice, the primary judicial body of the United Nations. How do you think the ICJ can contribute to global justice and the protection of human rights? How do you think the nationality of the members of the ICJ matters in their approach to cases?

Page ICC Jurisdiction

This video gives an overview of the work of the International Criminal Court. As you watch, think about how the limits of the court's jurisdiction, especially the requirement that states consent to the court's jurisdiction, affect its ability to serve as an instrument of global justice.

Page Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Read this introduction to the Rome Statute. The Rome Statute is an international agreement that established the International Criminal Court, the kinds of crimes that could be brought to the court, and the process for trying a case in the ICC. The Rome Statute became law in 2002. Can you think of events in history that may have been good cases for the ICC if it had existed earlier? What about more recent events, since the founding of the court?

Page The ICC Can't Live with Africa, But It Can't Live without It Either

This article examines one of the biggest challenges to the ICC's legitimacy: its perception of bias. The court has been accused of taking sides in civil wars where both parties to the war could be credibly accused of crimes, and of ignoring crimes committed by non-African countries. Read this article and think about how politics shapes the cases the court chooses, not just the judicial ideals it is meant to uphold.

Page The Invisibility of Race at the ICC

This article engages with structural racism, as opposed to individual prejudice, in the workings of the court. Consider how this problem relates to the legitimacy of the court and the pursuit of global justice.

Page Africa and the ICC

This resource argues that African countries should continue to work with the ICC, despite some of the disparities in how the court has tried cases so far. Read this and consider the arguments in favor and against the court from the perspective of African countries.

2.5: The State of Nature among Sovereigns Page Sovereignty: Rights and Duties

Read this introduction to the principle of sovereignty in international relations. Do you agree with the author's argument that most states follow international law most of the time? Think about examples for and against this proposition. Why would states follow international law if to do so conflicts with their interests? What could happen if they do not?

Page International Relations/Classical Realism

Read this short introduction to classical realism. Pay close attention to what it says about the state system's anarchy and how this affects the ability of states to cooperate. Compare this reading with the previous article and think about the following questions: How do their arguments differ, and what does that imply about effective international law? Which argument do you find more convincing?

3.1: Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism Page Nationalism vs. Cosmopolitanism (Part 1)

Watch this video, which introduces the debate between nationalist and cosmopolitan views on justice, human rights, and the obligations people and states have to each other.

Page Comments on National Self-Determination

In this article, the authors make a case for civic and cosmopolitan nationalism. They try to reconcile the perceived conflict between nationalism and cosmopolitanism and present a new understanding of nationalism. Do you believe the author's arguments are successful?

Page Miller on Nationality and Global Equality

Read this article. Nils Holtug criticizes Miller's approach to global justice and offers a stance grounded in global egalitarianism. Nationality becomes a less defining factor in the pursuit of global justice.

Page A Response to Miller on Nationality and Global Equality

Read this article. David Miller says nationality is central to an individual's identity and supports giving nationalist sentiments priority over those that span larger justice principles.

Page Revisiting White Nationalism: Demographic Dystopia and White Identity Politics

Read this article which delves into the political philosphy of modern white nationalism in the United States. It provides insight into how white nationalism operates not only in America, but also can help inform your understanding of similar movements in Europe. This piece was published in 2005, years before the white nationalist movement began to gain mainstream media attention in the United States, but its insights are striking for understanding the current political atmosphere. Consider the author's arguments about what nationalism rooted in a racial identity means for the pursuit of justice.

3.2: Obligation and the Relevance of Global Distributive Justice Page The Demands of Global Justice

This article considers a fundamental question in global justice: what do richer countries owe poorer countries? More generally, what obligations do we have to each other across national boundaries?

Page Is Global Rectificatory Justice Feasible?

This article grapples with the question of why some countries are richer and some are poorer. Goran Collste finds we can usually attribute these differences to the history of colonization: the colonizing power structured the economies of its colonies to benefit themselves, not the residents. This legacy continues to affect economic development today. With this history in mind, Collste reexamines the question of the obligations wealthier nations have toward poorer nations.

3.3: Ethics and the Economic Aspects of Global Distributive Justice Page A Theory of Justice (John Rawls)

In this article, the author introduces one of the most influential modern works about justice and the criticisms that other scholars have raised. Pay attention to John Rawls's idea of the veil of ignorance, and consider questions raised in the previous section about inequality under those circumstances.

Page The Story of a Book that Changed the Way we Think about Development

This video addresses the issue of development through case studies of famine. While we usually think famine results from natural disasters, scholars Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze claim famine is a political event that results from policy decisions. They delve deeper and develop broader theories about development and justice.

4.1: Empowerment, Agency, and Distributive Justice Page Oppression and Power

This chapter defines oppression and power and describes how they interact in people's daily lives and lived experiences. As you read, consider how the ideas presented relate to the problem of building a more just world. How do the authors conceptualize different kinds of power? What strategies do they present to address power inequalities and oppression? Pay special attention to the case studies presented, and think about other examples from your own life, stories you have heard from others, or the news.

4.2: Child Brides Page Child Brides and Mail Order Brides

This chapter introduces the phenomenon of child marriage and mail order brides and explains how these practices threaten and undermine the human rights of the people involved. Pay attention to why child marriages are common in some places, and how we might begin to work more effectively to prevent them.

Page Eliminating Child Marriage in India

This article offers a case study of child marriage in India and a strategy that has helped end child marriage. Pay close attention to the challenge of enforcing laws against child marriage in areas where they are common and have roots in local traditions, and how to work around these issues.

4.3: Child Soldiers Page Child Soldiers

Read this chapter to learn about the phenomenon of child soldiers in wars around the world. Why are children are recruited as soldiers, and how does it impact their human rights?

Page The Big Dilemma of Small Soldiers

This article gives a more in-depth case study of the issues presented in the previous resource by investigating the use of child soldiers in Syria. How do the specific examples relate to the broader overview that the previous chapter presented? How is the United Nations addressing this problem in Syria? What challenges does it face?

Page Trauma, Violence, and Memory in African Child Soldier Memoirs

This article draws from memoirs of child soldiers who have served in conflicts in Africa. It provides a chance to read about the experience of child soldiers in their own words. How have their experiences shaped their lives? How did their time as child soldiers undermine their human rights?

4.4: Resource Scarcity and Competition Page The Human Right to Water and the Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations created the Sustainable Development Goals to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality, and protect the planet and natural environment by 2030. This video introduces how the U.N. is working to support the right to water access around the world. Pay attention to how access to clean water plays a role in a range of other human rights.

Page Inequalities in Access to Water in a Rural Community of the Brazilian Northeast

This article offers a broad overview of water scarcity and inequality, with a case study of one community. The authors explore the challenges of implementing policy that would provide water more equally, and how a lack of clean water impacts human rights.

Page Neo-Agro-Colonialism, Control Over Life, and Imposed Spatio-Temporalities

This article examines a key point of inequality between many rich states and poorer states: while rich states possess the technologies that allow for larger-scale production of food crops, most of the land used for farming is in poorer countries. This wealthy monopoly on technology allows wealthy countries to maintain a position of power over poorer states, which replicates the past's colonial relations. This relates to earlier questions in this course about distributive justice.

4.5: Who Gets the Leftovers: Environmental Racism, Degradation, and Waste Page Some Highlights on the Concept of Environmental Justice and its Use

Read this introduction to the concept of environmental justice. Pay attention to how the negative externalities of environmental degradation are often distributed unequally. The worst impacts fall on marginalized groups.

Page Environmental Justice in Indian Country

This article provides a case study on environmental justice within Indian Country. Native tribes throughout the United States face water pollution problems that could create health problems and put their cultural traditions, often tied to water resources on and off their reservations, at risk.

Page Unjust Coverage of the Flint Water Crisis

This article digs into the media coverage of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. It examines how mainstream media outlets discussed the issue, failed to cover the urgency of the crisis, and failed to center the experiences of the majority-Black population of Flint.

Page Theorizing Indigenous Student Resistance, Radical Resurgence, and Reclaiming Spiritual Teachings about Tma'áakni (Respect)

This article begins with the activism that emerged from the NoDAPL protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline construction that threatened water sources that were essential to the Standing Rock Sioux's physical and spiritual health. The authors use this example to dig into issues of settler colonialism and environmental racism and examine how renewed indigenous activism has the potential to address environmental, social, political, and economic inequalities.

Page Causes and Consequences of Air Pollution and Environmental Injustice as Critical Issues for Science and Environmental Education

The term environmental burden of disease (EBD) describes the health problems that result from exposure to, or contact with, environmental pollutants. An example of an EBD project might be to examine rising asthma rates in public housing in the United States. Rather than address the asthma epidemic as if it emerges within a vacuum, EBD looks at how the location of public housing and their use of lead or other pollutants can interact to increase rates of asthma. The EBD approach comprehensively compares and evaluates health issues that arise from specific environmental measures.

This study assesses how air pollution can be used as an example of environmental justice in science and environmental education.

Unit 4 Current Events Exercise URL Unit 4 Current Events Exercise

While this exercise is optional, you are strongly encouraged to complete it. This activity is designed to deepen your understanding of course material by linking such material to current events. Follow the instructions in the document. It may be beneficial to present your findings and answers to the questions by posting to the course discussion forum and responding to other students' posts.

5.1: Individuals, Communities, and the Pursuit of Justice Page Minority Rights for Immigrants: From Multiculturalism to Civic Participation

This article asks whether governments must provide for and protect immigrants and migrant workers' human rights in their territories. The author argues that international law creates protections for immigrant rights as a minority group, but few practical tools are in place to ensure states respect these fundamental rights. Pay attention to the case studies provided and how they present these issues.

Page Limitations on Human Rights

Read this article, which explores the tensions between individual and collective human rights by examining public health policies surrounding drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis. Public health is one functional policy area where it is virtually impossible to protect individuals' and groups' human rights equally.

5.2: Gender and Sexuality: Female Genital Mutilation Page Some Ethical Considerations Regarding Female Circumcision

This article considers attempts to medicalize traditional practices of female genital cutting to make them safer but still comply with tradition's demands. The author argues that no form of FGC can be ethical due to the procedure's long-lasting negative impact on women's health and their place in society. Consider this issue from the perspective of an individual versus the group.

Page A Repeat Call for Complete Abandonment of FGM

As you read the next two articles, pay attention to the underlying rationale for this practice's existence and perpetuation. In what ways do the authors frame their debate into a human rights context? Are there any inherent tensions in applying a human rights approach to this practice?

Page Cultural Rights versus Human Rights: A Critical Analysis of the Trokosi Practice in Ghana and the Role of Civil Society

This article uses the framework of the Ghanaian constitution to examine how a cultural, religious practice can violate individual human rights and the rights of a specific group: women and girls. In this case, the author argues that the freedom of religion enshrined in the constitution must not override women's and girls' constitutional rights. How does this issue relate to other conflicts between individual and group rights you have learned about? What about the conflict between rights for two groups: followers of a specific religion versus women and girls?

5.3: Gender and Sexuality: Sexual Orientation Page Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Read this introduction to the human rights issues that most commonly impact members of the LGBTI community, and the human rights frameworks used to defend their rights. This is an evolving area in international human rights law. As you read how international human rights law applies to the LGBTI community, consider what changes are still necessary to protect this group.

Page Inequality Based on Sexual Orientation

This article digs deeper into how discrimination against members of the LGBTI community affects them in daily life. The first section studies how anti-LGBTI bullying, harassment, and violence affects youth. This issue demonstrates an overlap of two groups who may need extra protection under human rights law: the LGBTI community and children. Consider how issues affecting the LGBTI community might overlap with other marginalized groups and how this affects individual lives.

Page Our Stories: Gender Identities

This chapter examines how human rights, based on gender and sexual orientation, intersect with indigenous sovereignty and group rights. It examines the history of nonbinary genders among indigenous peoples, and how colonization erased and discriminated against them. How do these legacies continue to affect Native peoples of all genders today? Once again, this situation displays the intersection of group, community, and individual rights.

Page Global Discrimination Against LGBT Persons: 2015 United Nations Report

In 2011, the United Nations issued their first report on the human rights of LGBTI people around the world. In 2015, this report described how states improved their protection of LGBTI rights and the major issues they still need to address.

5.4: Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity: The Identity Bridge between Individuals and Communities Page Statement by the Independent Expert in the Field of Cultural Rights to Human Rights Council

Read this statement, which presents the concept of cultural rights with a report on the author's experience investigating this issue in Brazil. Pay particular attention to who gets to decide what qualifies as cultural heritage and the power relationships involved in that process.

Page The Right to Cultural Identity of Indigenous Peoples and National Minorities: A Look from the Inter-American System

This article digs deeper into the question of how to define and protect cultural rights. Consider the author's arguments about cultural identity not being static. How do we preserve and protect cultures that are in flux?

Page China's Indigenous Peoples? How Global Environmentalism Unintentionally Smuggled the Notion of Indigeneity into China

This article considers the idea of viewing indigeneity as a "natural" versus a political category. As you read, consider the differences between these categories. How does this designation affect indigenous people?

5.5: Self-Determination and Sovereignty Page United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted in 2007 and sought to address some of the specific rights and protections that apply uniquely to indigenous peoples worldwide. As you read the declaration, pay attention to what these rights are and how they compare to other group and individual rights you have studied in this course.

Page Indian Child Welfare Act

Read this overview of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Pay special attention to the history section and its explanation of the need for the Act. How do issues like adoption and family separation affect the sovereignty and cultural rights of tribes?

Page Protection of Indigenous Peoples

This article summarizes the state of indigenous rights today. It discusses how international law, specifically the Rome Statute, was used to defend indigenous rights. Pay particular attention to how Guatemala used the Rome Statute to alter its national laws and address crimes against indigenous peoples. What other rights and issues do they address here? How do these rights intersect with indigenous rights?

5.6: Genocide Page 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Read this document and think about its historical context. This convention was adopted in the immediate aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust. Consider how events shaped the creation of the document. Also, pay attention to other genocides that may seem less obvious, such as "imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group" and "transferring children of the group to another group". How do these measures contribute to the destruction of the kinds of groups the convention identifies? How do these issues relate to the ideas we have discussed in previous units?

Page Forced Sterilization of Native Americans

This short article examines the American government's policy of forced sterilization against Native Americans as recently as the 1970s, and the role physicians and healthcare providers played in perpetuating those policies. Consider this in connection with the definition of genocide the previous source provides, and within the context of the indigenous rights we discussed in the last section.

Page Justice for the Rohingya

Explore this short article from the Coalition for the International Criminal Court which describes the plight of the Rohingya who live in the country of Myanmar (formerly called Burma). Think about the evidence presented in this case, the country's situation, and whether the case has been brought to trial. What does genocide or attempted genocide look like today? How is justice served, or miscarried, in its aftermath?

Page ICC: Jordan Failed to Arrest al-Bashir

Here is a second article from the Coalition for the International Criminal Court to explore. This article decries Jordan's "failure to comply" with its obligation to the ICC "to arrest former Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir during his visit to the Jordan territory in 2017." As with the article you just read, think about the evidence presented in this case, the country's situation, and whether the case has been brought to trial. What does genocide or attempted genocide look like today? How is justice served, or miscarried, in its aftermath?

Page A Rome Statute System for Genocide Awareness and Prevention

Read this short article for the International Criminal Court which looks at the role of international justice and its role in preventing genocide.

Unit 5 Current Events Exercise URL Unit 5 Current Events Exercise

While this exercise is optional, you are strongly encouraged to complete it. This activity is designed to deepen your understanding of course material by linking such material to current events. Follow the instructions in the document. It may be beneficial to present your findings and answers to the questions by posting to the course discussion forum and responding to other students' posts.

6.1: What Does "Think Globally, Act Locally" Mean for Global Justice? Page Intervention and Self-Determination in the Syrian Civil War

Read this article, which examines some complex applications of the laws and rights we have discussed in this course. What does the right to self-determination mean in states where multiple ethnic, religious, and political groups all lay claim to the same territory? What about when the responsibility to protect causes one state to intervene in another state's civil war, where the outside state ends up taking sides in the conflict? How can we differentiate between a legitimate humanitarian intervention and an attempt to turn a conflict into a proxy war? How do we protect human rights and promote justice in such complex situations?

Page The Global Human Rights Movement in the 21st Century

The authors of this article work at a national human rights organization in Argentina. They discuss how international, regional, national, and local approaches to human rights have changed over the decades, and how the promotion of human rights works in their local context.

Page Could Global South Solidarity Finally Ensure Justice for Kenya's Endorois?

This article explores how local, often indigenous, activists are building solidarity with similar communities around the world so they can learn from each others' struggles and support each others' activism and organizing. In this case, the experience of Colombian native peoples helps inform the quest for justice by an indigenous community in Kenya. As you read, think about how these direct, peer-to-peer type activist relationships differ from and change the power dynamic of seeking global justice.

6.2: Socioeconomic Class Page Facebook Live with UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty

This short interview with the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty discusses some of the proposed policies to address the problem of poverty worldwide and addresses how poverty is a political problem everywhere.

Page Poverty and Human Rights

While the Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes "freedom from want" as a fundamental human right, in practice, the global human rights movement has often been separate from movements seeking to address poverty and development. Since the 1990s, there has begun to be some reconsideration of this rift and attempts to connect human rights work with poverty alleviation.

This article discusses three different ways of theorizing about poverty as a violation of human rights. The author argues that the best current argument for this idea conceptualizes poverty as a result of violations of more traditionally-understood human rights. As you read, consider whether you agree with that assessment or whether other ways of thinking about poverty and human rights are more persuasive to you, based on your own experiences and what you have learned so far. Keep in mind your earlier readings, such as Amartya Sen's arguments about freedom as capabilities.

Page Human Rights and Poverty Reduction Strategies

Read section III of this guide, which focuses on how one state, Canada, actually tries to incorporate the human rights law you have been learning about in this course in its programs to alleviate poverty. How well do you think the guidelines here meet global justice requirements as you understand them now?

6.3: Contemporary Slavery and Consumerism Page Modern Slavery, Hidden in Plain Sight

This talk introduces some experiences of people who have been enslaved in modern times. How does it match up to your previous ideas of what slavery looks like?

Page Modern Slavery: Are We Complicit?

This video gives a broad overview of the many forms modern slavery can take. It investigates how slavery impacts our lives due to the products we consume, the sports we watch, and the services we receive in the modern economy. Think about your understanding of slavery before and after this video. How has it changed? How can people interested in global justice and human rights approach this problem?

Page Two Models of Business Responsibility for Modern Slavery

This article discusses two ways of thinking about modern slavery: as relation and as structure. They are not presented as two competing ways to analyze slavery, but as two ways to assess the problem. As you read, pay special attention to the idea of slavery as a structure and how it relates to other ideas in this course. Consider the strengths and weaknesses the authors discuss for centering businesses as a way to address modern slavery. What role do you think businesses play in this process, and what additional societal actors need to be involved? Who is most at risk, and how do we best protect them? What are the biggest obstacles we face?

Unit 6 Current Events Exercise URL Unit 6 Current Events Exercise

While this exercise is optional, you are strongly encouraged to complete it. This activity is designed to deepen your understanding of course material by linking such material to current events. Follow the instructions in the document. It may be beneficial to present your findings and answers to the questions by posting to the course discussion forum and responding to other students' posts.

7.1: Revisiting the Western/Non-Western Discourse Page Global Democracy, Without the State

Read this article for a discussion on rectificatory justice. What are the author's arguments in favor of such a justice scheme? Is it more than righting the wrongs of the past? Does it contribute to our current understanding of global justice?

Page Is Global Rectificatory Justice Feasible?

Read this article for a discussion on the future of human rights in the context of state power. What are Göran Collste's central arguments concerning protecting and promoting human rights and their intersection with sovereignty? What are the potential consequences for global justice?

Page Reconstructing Human Rights

This resource complicates the idea of universality in human rights in its discussion of contradictory ideas about humanity, and the notion that human rights are something practiced by Western states and resisted by non-Western states. The author has worked on human rights issues in the United States, showing that Western states also sometimes fail to support the rights of their peoples. Our conceptions of rights are dynamic rather than static. What implications do these ideas have for global justice? What are the roles, rights, and responsibilities of individuals, communities, and states?

Page Women and the Arab Spring

This article examines the role of women in Egypt's Arab Spring revolution. It pushes back against dominant Western narratives that Nadine Naber describes as culture-blaming or religion-blaming, which often view Islam as the source of women's oppression in Muslim-majority states. Naber examines women's leadership in Egypt during this time, and how they worked to develop the logic of human rights and women's rights in their own national and political context.

7.2: The Compatibility of Global and Justice Page Extent and Limits of Global Justice

This video considers questions about the present and future of global justice, such as how our understanding of global justice must be dynamic and adaptable as our societies change. At its core, the question of global justice asks what we owe each other, across personal, community, and state lines. How has your learning in this course shaped your opinion on that question?

Page A High Road for the 21st Century

This article lays out four pillars for adapting previous ideals about global justice to the 21st century. As you read, consider how these pillars relate to the human rights issues we have discussed, and how they present a vision for a more just global society.

Page Global Ethics and Global Justice

As you watch this video, consider Pogge's arguments on justice versus social justice and the quasi-eternal nature of justice. Do you agree with his definitions? How do they square with ideas about how our notions of justice and rights evolve? What do these ideas all mean for the future of justice?

Page Re-Imagining International Human Rights Education

This article reframes how we think and teach about human rights. The authors complicate stereotypical understandings we may have about global justice and respect for human rights. As you read, think about your understanding of these issues before and after you took this course. What has changed? What ideas have resonated the most with you? How will you think about global justice in the future?

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