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GLOS 3401W - International Human Rights Law (GP, WI)
This course presents an introductory overview of the idea of human rights, its social and legal foundations and contemporary global issues. In the class, students will learn about the laws and procedures designed to protect the human rights of individuals and groups, with a special focus on the United Nations system. The course explores the conceptual underpinnings of human rights such as who is eligible to have rights, where those rights come from and who is responsible for guaranteeing them. Students will learn about how international laws are made and interpreted, and will consider the geo-political context which shapes human rights laws and procedures. Because of the evolving nature of the laws and issues in this field, students are encouraged to think analytically and ethically about how to address the many human rights challenges in the world today. The course will cover current human rights issues, including the right to health care, housing and other economic and social rights; and the right to life, freedom from torture and other civil and political rights. The course is writing intensive. The required paper for the class is a model complaint to the United Nations about a country and issue of the student's choosing. The class invites discussion and uses class exercises to engage students in the course material by shaping arguments for various legal fora.