Annual Assessment Report


  1. Students will acquire baseline knowledge about human rights concepts, norms, instruments and institutions including:
  • Knowledge of human rights instruments such as treaties, declarations and resolutions
  • Knowledge of the core human rights treaties as well as their optional protocols
  • Understanding of the historical development of human rights institutions and core concepts
  • Knowledge of the prevailing ways of classifying different discourses of human rights as well as the prevailing debates within human rights discourses
  • Understanding of the role of civil society actors, social movements and international institutions in developing, applying, and enforcing human rights guarantees
  • Knowledge of the functions of human rights mechanisms that are supported by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (including human rights treaty monitoring bodies; special procedures – such as working groups and special rapporteurs; and the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review), as well as regional courts and mechanisms and international criminal courts.
  1. Students will acquire practical skills and experience in the human rights field including:
  • Skills in human rights advocacy and practice such as developing and implementing human rights advocacy strategies and tactics; documenting and reporting human rights violations; interviewing eyewitnesses and survivors of human rights abuse; engaging with government officials; messaging and media work; bringing claims before human rights mechanisms, managing trauma and addressing behavioral change in human rights work; and community organizing and social movement building.
  • Through experiential learning, gain an understanding of the work of human rights organizations and movements, including their strategies, their limitations, and their relationship to larger political, legal, and cultural dynamics
  1.   Students will acquire conceptual, analytic, critical, comparative and integrative abilities and knowledge including:
  • The ability to understand the major critiques of discourses on, and approaches to, human rights and the ability to compare and evaluate these critiques in relation to the justifications of human rights
  • The ability to understand the historical development of the concept of human rights itself
  • The ability to integrate concepts, topics, research methods, and paradigms from related scholarly fields with the study of human rights
  • The ability to think critically about the efficacy of various human rights strategies
  • An understanding of systems, actors and processes that contribute to human rights violations and that in turn must be challenged in order to remedy human rights harms
  • The ability to identify and address questions of ethical and professional responsibility related to human rights work
  1. Students will acquire skills in original research, writing and reporting including:
  • Skills in collecting, documenting, assessing, and presenting evidence of human rights violations and problems
  • The ability to report on human rights violations and advocate for human rights through writing and public speaking.
  • The ability to read and critically evaluate complex sources and to frame successful arguments deploying facts, logic and rhetoric.
  • The development of significant and substantive expertise in one particular topic by conducting original research, analysis and written and oral presentations of a specific conceptual, legal or empirical case study.