Rights of Human Beings forms one of the most important branches of international law in the contemporary world. The experience of the 'scourge of war' during and in the immediate aftermath of World War II brought about a new international recognition and focus to the rights of human beings. Today, there are several international treaties guarenteeing a wide range of rights to human beings, both in times of peace and in conflicts. These instruments also impose obligations upon States to respect, protect and fulfil those rights. Under the aegis of the United Nations and regional organizations, several bodies have been established to monitor violations of rights of human beings. Despite these efforts, we continue to live in a world where these rights are rampantly abused. The events of 9/11 have also seriously exacerbated the challenges faced by rights protection. Today, like never before, there is an amplified need for students and professionals from all spheres of life to not only understand and mainstream rights of human beings into their activities, but also to be prepared to meet the growing challenges posed by current and emerging global issues.
This course introduces participants to the international legal regime for protection of rights of human beings. We will focus on both international human rights law and international humanitarian law. The course is divided into two parts. In part one, we will cover a broad spectrum of issues in human rights protection, beginning with the history and philosophical foundations of human rights and ending with contemporary challenges thereto. We will explore the core human rights instruments, the enforcement mechanisms established under international law and will also give special attention to the rights of vulnerable persons and groups. In Part two, we will focus on international humanitarian law which covers rights of human beings, and obligations of States and organized armed groups, during armed conflicts. In both parts, we will have a strong blend of contemporary challenges to the existing protection regime with insights drawn from case studies.
The course will adopt a dynamic pedagogy including required and optional readings, interaction with fellow participants and instructor, listening to weekly presentations by the Instructor and most importantly, critical self-reflection. The course will be covered in ten weeks and each week's theme will require a minimum of three hours of devotion by participants
- Professor: Mihir Kanade