Course Description

Course Name

Human Rights in Latin America

Session: VSJW1120

Hours & Credits

48

Prerequisites & Language Level

Overview

CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
Course name: Human Rights in Latin America
Course code: POL 2500
Total contact hours: 48 hours

COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course will provide students with an introduction to the issues surrounding the development and abuse of human rights in Latin America. Students will explore the most recent advances in this field along with the most pertinent problems pertaining to their adoption and implementation. A particular emphasis will be given to the case of Costa Rica, giving the students an opportunity to explore the development of human rights in the following areas: women?s rights, children?s rights, HIV/AIDS, the CAFTA agreement and labor rights, indigenous groups and human rights, disability and age issues, and the prison environment. Specific attention will be given to testimonies of human rights abuses and the development of the Costa Rican legal framework in relation to these aforementioned areas. By analyzing these cases and the issues involved, students will gain an understanding of how human rights are being implemented through Costa Rica?s laws, policy framework and its institutional commitment to human rights.

OBJECTIVES
1) To gain a general understanding of the main human rights issues in Latin America.
2) To explore the issue of human rights within the Costa Rica context.
3) To understand the development of the Costa Rican human rights process.
4) To critically assess to what degree human rights are being implemented and what are the main obstacles preventing their consolidation.
5) To develop a critical understanding of the Costa Rican human rights process through analyzing varying perspectives and human rights issues.
6) To observe and experience Costa Rica?s human rights process at first hand.
7) To undertake a research project in relation to an area of the course (depending on the students interests).
8) To put together a Human Rights blog/Log Book noting experiences and observation about human rights issues. To report and record human rights.
9) To put human rights into action/practice ? building children?s rights educational tools.

CONTENTS
COURSE STRUCTURE AND SESSION CONTENT
SESSION SESSION CONTENT CLASS READING AND
ASSIGNMENTS.
CLASS
READER
PART 1: Human Rights Defined and
an Introduction to the Latin
American and Costa Rican
context
Students to read the reading
pack in conjunction with the
course. Class readers to
summarize and present their
article in class and hand in a
brief summary.
To read
article,
summarize,
and find
additional
material.
1 Introduction
Introduction to course and
each other.
Students invited to talk about
interests and ideas about human
rights issues in Latin America.
** plan human rights school
volunteer session ? teaching
human rights. Video to show.
2 The International Declaration
of Human Rights.
The general framework for the
application of human rights
explored.
READING:
Read The Universal Declaration
of Human Rights. (In reading
pack)
GROUP WORK: To list human
rights priorities for
implementation and identify
those most abused.
ASSIGNMENT
To make and present (next
session) a list of thirty or more
words in Spanish related to
human rights. (For first page of
Log and to develop for school
project and to keep adding to).
3 An introduction to the main
global and Latin American
human rights issues.
Human rights campaigns and
concerns.
Human Rights Institutions
introduced.
Ombudsman/woman/office.
Discuss research paper ideas.
Activity: go to computer lab
and search human rights
organizations and institutions.

READING:
Kimitch, R. New Ombudswoman:
Human Rights Education
Needed. Tico Times. August
2005. San José, Costa Rica.
Quesada Charo (2005)
Protecting the Protector. From -
La Defensoría de los Habitantes.
GROUP WORK: Discussion of
article:
Vargas, O. (2006) Costa Rica es
Zona de Paso para Traficantes
de Mujeres y Niños. La Nación,
Junio 6 2006, San José, Costa
Rica.

4 and 5
FIELDTRIP
City Tour:
In search of Human Rights
ASSIGNMENT: Fieldwork
questions to be completed by
(double session)
abuses in San Jose.
next session.
NB ? remember that next session is free due to this double period.
ASSIGNMENT: Give students the testimony material and task.
6
Human Rights in the Latin American Prison System.
Film Session ? Carandiru.
Students to come prepared with completed questionnaires to discuss.
READING:
Arguedas,C. y Parrales,F. (2006) Celdas de la Policia Carecen de Condiciones para tener Presos. La Nación. Mayo 29, 2006. San Jose, Costa Rica.
*
7
Film Session ? Carandiru.
ASSIGNMENT:
To write a short report discussing human rights abuses and issues in the film and prison human rights issues in general. (to discuss next class).
8
Testimonies:
Human Rights Testimonies presented and discussed.
ASSIGMENT:
To research and present a human right?s famous testimony case.
Research Choices:
1) Guatemala: Rigoberta Menchu / Beatriz Manz.
2) El Salvador: Maria Teresa Tula.
3) Nicaragua.
4) Colombia.
5) Torture.
6) The Disappeared.
7) Prisons (maybe to include extra detail on Carandiru case.
9
Costa Rica and Human rights.
Country Reports and Human Rights Record.
A closer look at human rights issues in Costa Rica: advances and limits.
A critique of the implementation of Costa Rica?s human rights.
READING:
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. (2004) Costa Rica Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2003.
GROUP WORK:
To read, sum up and present a Costa Rican Country Report section.
ASSIGNMENT: (lab session)
Students to find the latest Costa Rican Country Report and bring to class for discussion and comparison.
10
Central American
ASSIGNMENT: (lab session)
Comparison
Central American Country Reports and human rights records compared to Costa Rica.
Students to find country reports on other Central American countries to resume and discuss in class.
11
Research report session.
Define and present outline.
Start to define the practical project. Define groups, work plans, early ideas and advances etc
ASSIGNMENT:
Students to come prepared to introduce their research project. One page outline to be handed in.
12 and 13
FIELDTRIP
(double session ? or visit to the library next class)
The InterAmerican Court of Human Rights and Instituto Interamericano de Derechos
Library research ? El Corte y Casos.
A closer look at the human rights cases presented to the Court.
ASSIGNMENT: All students to work in Court?s Library and outline (to present and discuss class) two human rights cases in the court system.
ASSIGNMENT: Fieldwork questions to be completed by next session.
NB ? next session free to make up for double session.
14
Court Cases
ASSIGMENT:
To present court cases.
15
Human Rights and The Costa Rican Context. Democracies and the Welfare State.
Power Point presentation
PART 2:
Close up on Costa Rican Case Studies.
16
Human rights and indigenous peoples.
A discussion about indigenous people?s rights and human rights abuses.
Indigenous people and access to resources (education and land).
READING:
Stanley,K. (2005) Indigenous Schools Lack Funds. The Tico Times. September 2005, San José, Costa Rica.
Chacón, R. (2003) Justicia Propia Indígena en Costa Rica ? Fundamento Constitucional- II Congreso sobre Pueblos Indígenas. UCR, San José, Costa Rica.
Olguin,G. (2003) Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas. El Derecho a la Consulta y las Mujeres Indígenas. II Congreso sobre Pueblos Indígenas. UCR, San José, Costa Rica.

GROUP WORK ARTICLES:
1) La Nación (2006) Indígenas son Pueblos Invisibles para sus Países. Mayo 2006, San José, Costa Rica.
2) La Nación (2006) UNICEF afirma que istmo ignora a niños indígenas. Junio, 2006, San José, Costa Rica.
17
Costa Rica, Women and Human Rights.
The advancement and limitation of women?s rights.
The political participation of women.
Women and violence.
READING:
Brenes Marin,M. (1998) The Women?s Movement, Its History, Its Struggles, and Its Achievements. The Case of Costa Rica. Lock Haven International Press. Issues 12. Pennsylvania. USA.
GROUP WORK ARTICLES:
Loaiza, V. (2004) Mujeres en Desventaja por Ingresos y Empleo. El País. Oct 2004, San José, Costa Rica.
Gamboa, J. (2005) Crecimiento Económico Excluye a los Pobres. El País. Sep 2005, San José, Costa Rica.
*
18
Children and Human Rights in Costa Rica.
An introduction to the main advances and limitation in the area of children?s rights.
Children and labor rights.
Children and Education.
Possible Site Visit: PANIAMOR
(to confirm)
READING:
Arango Montoya, M. (1992) La Niñez y la Juventud en Riesgo: El Gran Desafió para América Latina y el Caribe. La Educación: Revista Interamericano de Desarrollo Educativo. OAS Washington, USA.
La Nación (2004) Menores Representan el 7% de la Fuerza. Dec 2004. San José, Costa Rica.
La Nación (2005) Estudiantes de Colegio Técnico Protestan por Falta de Pupitres. Mayo 2005. San José, Costa Rica.
GROUP WORK ARTICLE
130 Millones de Jóvenes son Analfabetos.
*
19
Human Rights in Practice Prep Session: Brainstorming and developing ideas for Children?s rights educational tools.
Students to present updates,
Bring ideas and inspiration for designing tools.
Watch Paniamor children?s puppet videos and see other educational materials.
work plans, and advances.
NB - For those who choose to sit the exam note that this session is for individual revision.
20
HIV /AIDS
An introduction to the issues surrounding HIV and human rights
Women and HIV.
READING:
DEHUIDELA. Derechos Humanos IDELA (2003) Antología No. 7. UNA, Heredia, Costa Rica.
*
21
Human Rights and the Environment.
Third Generation Human Rights:
Intergenerational and sustainable Development
Rio + 10 film viewing
ASSIGNMENT
Students to find and bring article or text about environmental issues and discuss it in relation to human rights issues and abuses.
22
Age, disability and human rights.
An introduction to human rights and public access issues.
And /or:
CAFTA and Labor Rights
An introduction to the abuses of human rights in the work place and the global trend of abuses under the free trade agreements.
READING:
El Financiero (2006) Llegó la Hora de Cumplir la Ley 7600. No. 566. Mayo 2006. San José, Costa Rica.
La Nación (2006) MOPT Impondrá Multas por Falta de Rampa en Buses. Mayo, 2006. San Jose, Costa Rica.
GROUP WORK ARTICLES:
(In reading pack) Personas Mayores..
READING:
La Nación (2006) OIT Analizará Convenciones Colectivas de Costa Rica. Junio 2006. San Jose, Costa Rica.
ASSIGNMENT:
Students to find CAFTA and Human Rights related articles to bring and discuss in class. Copy of article with brief summary to be handed in.
*
*
23
Exam or Practical (Day at City or Rural school)
When?? Exam:___________________
Practical: ________________
24
Research report Presentations.
Blog / Log Book presentations.
Hand in Research reports / log books/ educational tools
Please Note:
? Reading articles will be provided and/or instruction will be given on where to find them.
? Special Activities: this course will include fieldtrips which will be confirmed during the first session. These may vary from specified class sessions and times; however students are required to attend all special activities.

Audience
This course is structured for International Students attending the Study Abroad program at Universidad Veritas. However, courses are not exclusive to foreigners so a few native student could enroll in this course.

Attendance
Students are only allowed 2 absences (justified or not). The student will fail the course if he/she has more than 2 absences. Students will have a 0 on any assignment evaluated in class (presentations, evaluations, field trips, etc.) if he/she is absent in this class, unless an official document is presented to justify the absence the class after the absence. In this case the assignment will be done this day. An unjustified absence during a day of fieldtrip will immediately mean failing the course unless you have enrollment on a course with another field trip. You can only have two total absences in your elective courses HOWEVER, if you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course.
If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade.
2% deduction for tardiness and unjustified absences.

Electronic devices:
The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Please turn all devices OFF and put them away when class begins. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor assigns a specific activity and allows the use of devices for internet search or recording. Those who fail to comply with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.

Behavior
Professors have the right to expel a student from the classroom should he / she:
1) be disruptive in the classroom
2) be under the influence of alcohol or even smell like alcohol
3) Behave in a disrespectful way.
If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade

METHODOLOGY
EVALUATION SYSTEM
Participation - 10%
Assignments - 25%
Class readings - 15%
Exam ? Practical (vol session) 15%
Research report - 20%
Research presentation 15%

READING PACK CONTENT
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Centroamérica: Ratificación de tratados internacionales sobre derechos humanos. Segundo Informe Sobre Desarrollo Humano en Centroamérica y Panamá. San José, Costa Rica.
Kimitch, R. New Ombudswoman: Human Rights Education Needed. Tico Times. August 2005. San Jose, Costa Rica.
Quesada Charo (2005) Protecting the Protector. From - La Defensoría de los Habitantes Web site.
Arguedas,C. y Parrales,F. (2006) Celdas de la Policia Carecen de Condiciones para tener Presos. La Nación. Mayo 29, 2006. San Jose, Costa Rica.
Vargas, O. (2006) Costa Rica es Zona de Paso para Traficantes de Mujeres y Niños. La Nación, Junio 6 2006, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. (2004) Costa Rica Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2003.
Stanley,K. (2005) Indigenous Schools Lack Funds. The Tico imes. September 2005, San Jose, Costa Rica.
La Nación (2006) Indígenas son Pueblos Invisibles para sus Países. Mayo 2006, San Jose, Costa Rica.
La Nacion (2006) UNICEF afirma que istmo ignora a niños indígenas. Junio, 2006, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Chacón, R. (2003) Justicia Propia Indígena en Costa Rica ? Fundamento Constitucional- II Congreso sobre Pueblos Indígenas. UCR, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Olguin,G. (2003) Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas. El Derecho a la Consulta y las Mujeres Indígenas. II Congreso sobre Pueblos Indígenas. UCR, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Estado de La Nación (2001) Instrumentos Jurídicos Relativos a los Derechos de las Mujeres Tramitados en la Asamblea Legislativa. 1973-2001. San Jose, Costa Rica.
Brenes Marin,M. (1998) The Women?s Movement, Its History, Its Struggles, and Its Achievements. The Case of Costa Rica. Lock Haven International Press. Issues 12. Pennsylvania. USA.
Loaiza, V. (2004) Mujeres en Desventaja por Ingresos y Empleo. El País. Oct 2004, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Gamboa, J. (2005) Crecimiento Económico Excluye a los Pobres. El País. Sep 2005, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Arango Montoya, M. (1992) La Niñez y la Juventud en Riesgo: El Gran Desafio para America Latina y el Caribe. La Educación: Revista Interamericano de Desarrollo Educativo. OAS Washington, USA.
La Nación (2004) Menores Representan el 7% de la Fuerza. Dec 2004. San Jose, Costa Rica.
La Nación (2005) Estudiantes de Colegio Ténico Protestan por Falta de Pupitres. Mayo 2005. San Jose, Costa Rica.
DEHUIDELA. Derechos Humanos IDELA (2003) Antologia No. 7. UNA, Heredia, Costa Rica.
El Financiero (2006) Llegó la Hora de Cumplir la Ley 7600. No. 566. Mayo 2006. San Jose, Costa Rica.
La Nación (2006) MOPT Impondrá Multas por Falta de Rampa en Buses. Mayo, 2006. San Jose, Costa Rica.
La Nación (2006) OIT Analizará Convenciones Colectivas de Costa Rica. Junio 2006. San Jose, Costa Rica.

*Course content subject to change