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INT504: Human Rights

"An injustice committed against anyone is a threat to everyone." - Montesquieu In this course we will examine the origins of ideas about human rights as well as those documents, such as the Univers

"An injustice committed against anyone is a threat to everyone." - Montesquieu In this course we will examine the origins of ideas about human rights as well as those documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that define contemporary understanding of those rights that assure freedom, dignity and respect for each human being. We will examine United Nations human rights legislation as well as organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, whose work is dedicated to protecting the rights of people around the world. Our work will include case studies and examination of one or more civil and political rights (for example, children's rights, freedom of speech rights, torture and prisoners' rights), and at least one socioeconomic or cultural right (for example water, education or the environment). We may also study genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries in places like Rwanda and Darfur. Reading for the course will include Samantha Power's A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, as well as material particular to the various case studies and documents that make up the course. Films and outside speakers will provide additional resources for our study.