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Rights-Based Approaches to Environmental Sustainability

From: RWI


  • Length of study: 3 hours / week

Course Number HR01

Classes Start

Course Syllabus

Massive Open Online Course: Rights-Based Approaches to Environmental Sustainability

Provided by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, in collaboration with the Asia Centre of the Stockholm Environment Institute, in Bangkok, Thailand, funded by Swedish Development Cooperation.

I. Purpose and Target Group

The MOOC targets professionals specialised in fields of environmental protection, climate change and sustainability who are interested in approaching and learning more about human rights aspects of their fields of work. The course is particularly suitable for environmental specialists with limited past experience and knowledge from the field of human rights. The MOOC aims to contribute to bridging the divide between experts in the fields of environment and human rights, to pursue synergies and improve the integration of human rights tools and considerations into environmental action and policy-making.

This MOOC was developed in the context of the SEI Strategic Collaborative Fund programme. For grantees of SEI awards, the MOOC constitutes a first step of support to integrating rights-based approaches in events awarded an SEI grant, and will be followed by RWI coaching to support event preparations.

II. Learning Outcomes

By taking the MOOC on Rights-based Approaches to Environmental Sustainability, participants can expect to gain a basic understanding of:

  1. Where human rights come from and what they are meant to d
  2. What international human rights law covers and how it operates
  3. How human rights can be applied, and relevant, to issues of environment and sustainability
  4. How you can think, and do, to start using rights based approaches in activities and projects
III. Methodology
  1. Each module includes a quiz to let participants assess their knowledge of module contents.
  2. The MOOC ends with a knowledge test that builds on module quizzes.
  3. Filmed lectures present main course contents, complemented with reading materials.
  4. Interviews and case references are provided to exemplify and contextualise course materials.
  5. Three exercises aim to support learning in modules 3 and 6, and practical application of human rights in module 7, where participants will analyse own activities from a rights-based perspective.
IV. Modules
  1. MOOC introduction
  2. Introducing human rights
  3. In this module, RWI Director Morten Kjaerum explains the origins and purpose of the international human rights regime, including how, by whom, and why the system developed and the main ideas and concepts behind it. He also discusses key contemporary debates, and challenges and opportunities for human rights moving forward.

  4. International Human Rights Law – the Scope and Nature of Rights
  5. This module introduces international human rights law and the international human rights system, starting with a brief introduction to Public International Law. We will see what human rights are covered in binding treaties and what this means for States Parties. We then guide you, in the first exercise, to learn more about the core treaties, and in particular CRC.

  6. Human Rights and Environment
  7. This module introduces key links between the human rights regime and environmental protection and sustainability, looking broadly at how the two fields connect and interact.

  8. Human Rights and Climate Change
  9. In this module, we continue to explain links between human rights and environment, looking specifically at climate change where human rights have the same, but also other implications than what we described in module 4.

  10. Monitoring System and Accountability Mechanisms
  11. The module presents the monitoring system of human rights, the UN system, and mechanisms at different levels. We also look at how regional systems include environment and the role of Business in the human rights system. You will then hear reflections of regional actors that work with human rights accountability related to environment. Finally, the second exercise shows how a key UN mechanism – the treaty bodies - work in practice.

  12. Human Rights based approaches
  13. After a brief introduction to human rights principles, this module presents the third exercise of the course, guiding you to analyse one of your activities from a rights-based perspective.
    NB.: If you entered the MOOC as an SEI grantee (SCF2), please complete this exercise around the activity for which you were awarded a grant. It will feed into preparations of your event.

  14. Wrap-up
  15. Here we sum-up the MOOC, and you will have the opportunity to take the knowledge test a second time as well as an evaluation survey. NB: SEI grantees are required to complete both.

Course Number HR01

Classes Start