Globalization and Human Rights

3 credits / 9 weeks weeks
2 Aug 2021 - 1 Oct 2021

Professor Mihir Kanade

The 21st century is described as the age of globalization, a phenomenon which is increasingly affecting human beings in every aspect of their lives. While globalization has undoubtedly resulted in significant economic and social integration at the global level, the pace at which it is occurring has also brought with it several unintended consequences for the respect and promotion of human rights at other levels. The principal institutions facilitating this phenomenon such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and business corporations, have often been accused of keeping human rights issues out of their respective domains. The critical challenge, therefore, facing the present world order lies in ensuring that the vehicles of globalization are oriented towards development and promotion of human rights, through appropriate laws and policies. This course will introduce students to the major themes and debates concerning these different linkages between globalization and human rights and explore the new streams of critique that have enabled a confluence as well as a questioning of the globalization-human rights interface. The course will begin with a critique of the traditional understanding of ‘development as economic growth’ using scholarship from both economists and human rights practitioners. With this foundation, the course will critically examine the contemporary issues in our globalized world and their nexus with human rights, by focusing on topics such as the SDGs, international trade, international financial institutions, businesses, traditional knowledge, and multiculturalism.

Mihir Kanade

Dr. Mihir Kanade (India) is the Academic Coordinator of the University for Peace, the Head of its Department of International Law, and the Director of the UPEACE Human Rights Centre. He holds an LL.B. from Nagpur University (India) and a Master degree and Doctorate from UPEACE. He is also an adjunct faculty at Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio (Spain), Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal), and Long Island University (United States). His principal area of academic research and study is International Law, Human Rights and Globalization, covering several themes within that interface including trade and investment, sustainable development, forced migration, indigenous peoples’ rights, public health, amongst others. He has extensive experience in training staff of inter-governmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as professionals, in the field of human rights. He acts as an advisor to several human rights organizations and corporations on issues related to international law and human rights. He serves on the International Advisory Board of the International Bar Association on the topic of Business and Human Rights. He also leads a project of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on promoting the Right to Development. Prior to his pursuit in academia, Mihir practiced for several years as a lawyer at the Bombay High Court and at the Supreme Court of India.

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