Foundations of Human Rights
Human Rights Centre
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
19 June 2020
Requisites for this module
BA V1L2 History with Human Rights,
BA V1L8 History with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA V1LF History with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA V1LG History with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA T7M8 Latin American studies with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA T7M9 Latin American Studies with Human Rights,
BA V5M8 Philosophy with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA V5M9 Philosophy with Human Rights,
BA V5MX Philosophy with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA V6M9 Philosophy with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA VLM8 Philosophy with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA L219 Politics with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L2M9 Politics with Human Rights,
BA LFM9 Politics with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA L3J9 Sociology with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L3M9 Sociology with Human Rights,
BA LMJ9 Sociology with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
LLB MM20 Law with Human Rights,
LLB MM21 Law with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
LLB MM22 Law with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA P570 Journalism with Human Rights,
BA P571 Journalism with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA P572 Journalism with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA LL37 Social Anthropology with Human Rights,
BA LL38 Social Anthropology with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL39 Social Anthropology with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L914 Global Studies with Human Rights,
BA L916 Global Studies with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA L917 Global Studies with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L918 Global Studies with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA L400 Social Change,
BA L401 Social Change (including Foundation Year,
BA L402 Social Change (including Placement Year),
BA L403 Social Change (including Year Abroad)
In this course you will be introduced to the fundamental principles and practices which underpin the protection and promotion of human rights at the international level.
Many facets of human rights will be covered including philosophy and international law. The course is designed to form an interdisciplinary base from which you can go on to further study in the area of human rights.
HU100 offers a comprehensive foundational knowledge of the contemporary phenomenon of human rights. The focus is multi-disciplinary and global in perspective.
After introducing some key conceptual and theoretical elements of human rights we proceed to the study of a selection of key human rights as first formulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Typically, most weeks will involve focusing upon a single and specific Article of the UDHR as a means of focusing and framing your learning. You will learn that the contemporary phenomenon of human rights far exceeds the content of the UDHR but, as the foundation-stone for international human rights law and for many non-legal human rights campaigns, knowledge of the UDHR is essential for beginning to understand and engage with one of our world’s most important components.
As stated, the focus of the teaching will be multi-disciplinary and global. That is to say, we will examine human rights issues through differing academic perspectives set against a global perspective which addresses human rights at home and abroad.
Satisfactory attendance of (and participation in) lectures and classes provides the basis for students developing a knowledge and understanding of the foundations and applications of many key human rights. By the end of the module, students will have gained:
- A knowledge and understanding of the definition of human rights
- A knowledge and understanding of the content of human rights
- An understanding of the evolution of the human rights movement
- An appreciation of how and where human rights intersects with a wide range of disciplines
- A knowledge and understanding of a range of contemporary issues and controversies
- A knowledge and understanding of the conceptual foundations and limits of human rights
- A knowledge and understanding of various critical perspectives upon human rights
No additional information available.
This module is taught through a mixture of pre-recorded lectures and 10 weekly 50-minute small group tutorials. Each week before your tutorials, the module teaching team will make available on Moodle two or more pre-recorded video lectures that they have prepared and produced. In total, the duration of each week’s video lectures will be approximately 50 minutes .In most teaching weeks, you will be expected to have watched these lectures before the tutorials, although some of these lectures may be designed to be watched after the tutorials to recap on material discussed there. The module teaching team will also produce and make available on Moodle short guidance notes for each weekly tutorial. These notes will introduce the readings that must be completed in advance of each tutorial and will contain tips to help you understand and analyse those texts.
You will be expected to have completed the readings in advance of your tutorials. Your tutorials will enable you to discuss the readings in the context of specific tutorial questions, to obtain feedback on your pre-class preparation and to deepen your understanding of key concepts. To help you prepare in the best possible way for your tutorials, you will be completing regular Multiple-Choice Quizzes on Moodle. The quizzes will be based on the reading set for that week so that the quiz forms part of your preparation for each tutorial. The quizzes will enable you to track your progress, understand what you are doing well, and give you clear feedback to help you manage your studies and your progress.
- Ezrow, Natasha M.; Frantz, Erica. (2011) Dictators and dictatorships: understanding authoritarian regimes and their leaders, New York: Continuum.
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cerd.aspx
- Poverty Facts and Stats — Global Issues, http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
- Robinson, David; Garratt, Chris. (2008) Introducing ethics, Thriplow: Icon.
- Landman, Todd. (2013) Human rights and democracy: the precarious triumph of ideals, London: Bloomsbury Academic.
- (1993) Parliament of the World's Religions: Declaration Toward a Global Ethic, Chicago: Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions.
- (no date) The Right to Health: Fact Sheet No. 31, Geneva: World Health Organization.
- Fagan, Andrew. (2010) The atlas of human rights: mapping violations of freedom worldwide, London: Earthscan.
- (1948) Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission, Right to Life, https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights-act/article-2-right-life
- Foster, Steve. (2011) Human rights and civil liberties, Harlow, England: Pearson Longman.
- BBC - Ethics - Torture: The 'ticking bomb' problem, http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/torture/ethics/tickingbomb_1.shtml
- (no date) Amnesty International Fair Trial Manual.
- Hunt, Paul. (2009-03) 'Missed opportunities: human rights and the Commission on Social Determinants of Health', in Global Health Promotion. vol. 16 (1_suppl) , pp.36-41
- Andrew Fagan. (2009) 'The Basis and Scope of Human Rights', in Human rights: confronting myths and misunderstandings, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar., pp.6-25
- Racist Skinhead Project: White Supremacists and Racist Skinheads, https://web.archive.org/web/20160610022919/http://archive.adl.org/racist_skinheads/wsgwssm.html
- Andrew Fagan. (2009) 'Global Economic Inequalities and Human Rights', in Human rights: confronting myths and misunderstandings, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar., pp.117-140
- Hilary Charlesworth. (2013) 'Is There a Human Right to Democracy?', in Human rights: the hard questions, New York: Cambridge University Press., pp.271-284
- OHCHR | Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Environment/SREnvironment/Pages/SRenvironmentIndex.aspx
- Clapham, Andrew. (2015) Human rights: a very short introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press. vol. 163
- Zygmunt Bauman. (2017) A Chronicle of Crisis: 2011-2016, London: Social Europe Edition.
- Runzo, Joseph. (c2003) 'Secular Rights and Human Responsibilities', in Human rights and responsibilities in the world religions, Oxford: Oneworld. vol. The library of global ethics and religion, pp.9-26
- Tomalty, Jesse. (2001-) 'Is There a Human Right to Internet Access?', in Philosophy now, London: Philosophy Now. vol. 118
- Human Rights, http://www.iep.utm.edu/hum-rts/
- Convention against Torture, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CAT.aspx
- (1966) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
- Scruton, Roger. (c2012) 'Nonsense Upon Stilts', in Handbook of human rights, Abingdon: Routledge. vol. Routledge international handbooks, pp.118-128
- Animals and Ethics, https://www.iep.utm.edu/anim-eth/
- (©2019) Environmental rights: the development of standards, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Evans, Carolyn. (2012) 'Religion and Freedom of Expression', in Religion and human rights: an introduction, New York: Oxford University Press., pp.188-203
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx
- Michael Freeman. (2017) 'After 1945: The New Age of Rights', in Human rights, ©2017: Polity., pp.37-61
- DeGrazia, David. (2002) Animal rights: a very short introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press. vol. 57
- Peter Jones. (2013) 'Groups and Human Rights', in Human rights: the hard questions, New York: Cambridge University Press., pp.100-114
- Gender equality: Where are we today?, https://visual.ly/community/infographic/human-rights/gender-equality-where-are-we-today?utm_source=visually_embed
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/generalassembly/docs/globalcompact/A_RES_34_180.pdf
- Marshall, Jennifer A.; Moloney, Daniel P.; Spalding, Matthew. (2008) California Court's Judicial Activism Threatens the Institution of Marriage.
- (1948) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Connors, Jane; Schmidt, Markus. (2018) 'United Nations', in International human rights law, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- UNESCO. (2001) Declaration on Cultural Diversity.
- Background on the right to development, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Development/Pages/Backgroundrtd.aspx
- Pogge, Thomas. (2008) World poverty and human rights: cosmopolitan responsibilities and reforms, Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Mill, John Stuart; Gray, John. (1991) On liberty, and other essays, Oxford: Oxford University Press. vol. The World's classics
- Fagan, Andrew. (2017) Human rights and cultural diversity: core Issues and cases, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Clive Stafford Smith: Guantanamo Bay prisoners have a right to fair trial - Commentators - Voices - The Independent, https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/clive-stafford-smith-guantanamo-bay-prisoners-have-a-right-to-fair-trial-567973.html
- (2007) From Exclusion to Equality: Realising the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: United Nations and Inter-Parliamentary Union.
- Sengupta, A. (2010) 'The Human Right to Development', in Development as a human right: legal, political, and economic dimensions, Oxford: Intersentia., pp.13-44
- Habeas Corpus Explained, https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/habeas_corpus
- Death Penalty | Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/death-penalty/
- (no date) United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: The Rights of the Child Fact Sheet no. 10 (Rev.1).
- Smith, Steve. (2012) 'The Phases and Functions of Freedom of Conscience', in Religion and human rights: an introduction, New York: Oxford University Press., pp.155-169
- History of Natural Law & Basic Freedoms, Cyrus the Great: United for Human Rights, https://www.humanrights.com/what-are-human-rights/brief-history/
- (no date) A/RES/41/128. Declaration on the right to development.
- (2008) Frequently Asked Questions on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. vol. Human Rights Fact Sheet No. 33
- Human Rights Education Association, Right To Culture, http://www.hrea.org/learn/
- Declaration of Responsibilities and Human Duties, http://globalization.icaap.org/content/v2.2/declare.html
- (2007) Defusing the Ticking Bomb Scenario: Why we must say No to torture, always, Geneva: The Association for the Prevention of Torture.
- (no date) UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women: United Nations.
- Michel Rosenfeld; András Sajó. (2012) The Oxford handbook of comparative constitutional law, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Article 19, Freedom of Expression, https://web.archive.org/web/20171120082359/https://www.article19.org/pages/en/faqs.html
- Rex Martin. (2013) 'Are Human Rights Universal?', in Human rights: the hard questions, New York: Cambridge University Press., pp.59-76
- Westboro Baptist Church, http://www.godhatesfags.com/
- David Wong. (1991) 'Relativism', in A Companion to ethics, Oxford: Blackwell Reference. vol. Blackwell companions to philosophy, pp.442-450
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||HU100 Formative Assignment
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mr Abbas Faiz, email: email@example.com.
Dr Andrew Fagan, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Dr Sahar Maranlou
Law General Office, 01206 872529, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Thomas Pegram
University College London
Available via Moodle
Of 154 hours, 145 (94.2%) hours available to students:
9 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
Human Rights Centre
* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.
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