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Course E154: ESC Rights in Practice

30 April-10 June 2014 (E15413) | Canceled
Instructor: Paul McAdams 

This certificate course introduces development workers, staff of community-based organisations and NGOs to economic, social, and cultural rights (ESC rights) and how these rights can be applied in their efforts to improve the lives of local communities. Participants will deepen their understanding of ESC rights within the international human rights system. In particular, they will learn about the international human rights framework to respect, protect, and fulfill rights and how it can be practically applied by members of community-based organisations to address ESC rights issues in their work. Participants will learn practical tools to help communities identify, address and claim their ESC rights.

This e-learning course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, interaction with students and instructor on discussion boards, quizzes and webinars. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. The main course text will be Amnesty International-Netherlands' Haki Zetu series of booklets on ESC Rights. The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1: Introduction to the international human rights system (international and regional treaties and standards, treaty bodies and Special procedures)
Week 2: Understanding ESC rights; state obligations with respect to ESC rights; violations of ESC rights
Week 3: Special provisions related to ESC rights for particularly vulnerable groups (children, women and girls, refugees, internally displaced, migrants, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples)
Week 4: Working with communities: learning about the community, analysing problems and identifying strategies or solutions, setting goals and objectives
Week 5: Gathering documentary information and monitoring and fact-finding, keeping records and managing information
Week 6: Additional actions to claim and defend ESC rights

About the instructor

Paul McAdams is Senior Programme Associate at HREA. He is also an editor of Amnesty International (Netherlands) Haki Zetu series of booklets on ESC Rights. Before joining HREA, he was Senior Education Specialist at Equitas-the International Centre for Human Rights Education in Montreal (Canada), where he has managed and facilitated over fifty workshops for human rights educators in Canada, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Before joining Equitas in 2001 he worked for the World University Service in Ghana as a policy advisor on gender and in Malawi as a mathematics teacher. Mr. McAdams also is the instructor for HREA's specialised e-learning course Use of ICTs and Social Media for Human Rights Work.

Who should apply

The course is intended for development workers, staff of community-based organisations and NGOs to economic, social, and cultural rights (ESC rights) and how these rights can be applied in their efforts to improve the lives of local communities. Participants should have at least basic knowledge of human rights. Participants should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. The number of participants is limited to 25 per course. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants. It is also possible to audit the course.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 575; tuition for auditors: US$ 215.

Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal and bank and wire transfer. Bulk rates are available.


There are currently no new sessions of this course scheduled.

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