DWA 229 Introduction to Human Rights: Focus on the Americas

After a review of the historical, legal, and conceptual underpinnings of the international protection of human rights, students in this course will learn about human rights and mechanisms for their protection, within the context of the United States and Latin America. Students will discuss key situations from the last half century, involving challenges to human rights, including the phenomenon of disappearances common in Argentina and Chile in the 1970's, the application of the death penalty in the United States, and the current "war on drugs" in Mexico and Central America. In the course of these discussions, students will learn about national and international mechanisms for the promotion and enforcement of human rights, such as: the incorporation of treaties into national law, the use of the Alien Tort Statute in the United States, and the decisions of the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights. They will also have a chance to examine the United States from a double perspective: on the one hand as a key country with a major interest and impact on human rights conditions in Latin America, and, on the other, as a country with its own policy areas of struggle and progress.

Credits

4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus