Course Description

Course Name

Human Rights in Latin America

Session: VSJW1120

Hours & Credits

48 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.

Overview

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.
This is a social studies and sustainability course, it is elective, theoretical and practical and responds to the professional formation questions: What is the Global and Latin American framework for implementing human rights and how is the region advancing with its adoption? What can the human rights vulnerabilities and testimonies reveal about the quality of the global shift toward human rights as a key mechanism for welfare, equality, security and anti-discriminatory processes and how can these be overcome?
To be able to respond to the above questions the following themes will be covered:
• The central values and principles of human rights and responsibilities.
• Global, regional and local entities and Institutions
• Legal and policy frameworks for the implementation of human rights in Costa Rica
• Definition, type, development and implementation of public policy.
• Civil society, social movements and human rights at a regional level.
• Study and evaluation of vulnerable groups and human rights´ abuses.
• Individual responsibility and human rights
• The Inter-American Court of Human Rights System: Cases and reparations.
• Proposals for solutions, creativity for reparations and the future.
Throughout the course the following competencies will be promoted:
Capacity to use dialogue and collaboration skills.
Capacity to collaborate actively in the group tasks, and develop confidence, solidarity, cordiality, and skills in communal task management.
Contribute to the consolidation of a team and team work, promoting communication, equal distribution of tasks and a working environment encouraging calm and cohesion.
Capacity to communicate professionally with NGOs, State entities and institutions.
Specific Course Competency: Team work development and leadership.
To integrate knowledge, abilities and the necessary attitudes to be able to learn the techniques of team work and leadership (considering the tutorials and evaluations).
The following attitudes and values will be developed:
• How to work and get on with others.
• How to responsibly communicate with others.
• Problem, challenge and goal identification.
• Search for solutions through dialogue and deliberation.
• Management and resolution of conflicts.
• Negotiation to inspire confidence and empathy
• Responsible communication and profound listening.
• Systemic thinking
Competencies, criteria and evidence:
At Veritas University competencies are reflexive and integrated actions that respond to the professional profile and to context issues ideally and ethically through the integration of abilities, skills and knowledge. What follows are the discipline and core competencies and their correspondent key competencies and evidence of learning for this course. What follows are the discipline and core competencies and their correspondent key competencies and evidence of learning for this course.
Discipline Competencies
Key Competencies
Evidence of Learning
Analyze human rights frameworks and mechanisms guaranteeing dignity, welfare, freedom, and security in the Latin American and Caribbean context and appreciate how these are advancing or lacking and need creative solutions for their consolidation.
Apply the values, principles and experiences of the human rights movement in order to propose solutions to the social and environmental problematic and the local and regional context.
• Case study analysis
• Interaction and first hand research with different projects, site visits and fieldtrips.
• Observation and collection of data.
Assess the urgent critical challenges that face the
• Group work comparative research reports
• Interviews
• Essay
multisectoral response with the implementation of human rights.
Critically evaluate successes and failures in the application of human rights and other anti-discriminatory policy approaches through the lens of abuses, experiences and testimonies within a variety of vulnerable sectors.
• Case study analysis
• Research reports
• Design and execute interviews
• Essay
General competencies
Key Competencies
Evidence of Learning
Participate and collaborate actively in the team tasks, strengthening confidence, cordiality, shared goals and team work.
• Work and get on with others.
• Responsibly communicate with others.
• Problem, challenge and goal identification.
• Systemic thinking
Research reports
Site visits
Interviews
Contribute to the consolidation of groups, favoring communication, equal distribution of tasks, with internal cohesion.
Search for solutions through dialogue and deliberation.
Management and resolution of conflicts.
Negotiation to inspire confidence and empathy
Responsible communication and profound listening.
Discussions, group work tasks and organization.
Direct work groups, assuring the integration of all members and group assessment.
Team work and leadership
Research findings and presentation
Content:
(One theme each week, plus conclusions, practical and finals)
Theme 1: The central values and principles of human rights and responsibilities.
• The nature and definition of human rights.
• The history and development of human rights.
• Principle concepts and theoretical fundamentals.
• Principles characteristics in the application of human rights and harmonization of main approaches.
• Major general human rights and the related responsibilities
Theme 2: Global, regional and local entities and Institutions
• Study and analysis of international treaties and conventions.
• Exploration of the work of international and regional NGOs, government institutions and international entities.
• Study and analysis of international conventions, treaties, CEDAW and more…
Theme 3: Legal and policy frameworks for the implementation of human rights in Costa Rica and the justice system
• Human rights, laws, policy and programs
• Application of the law, advances and limits.
• Case study analysis: Prisons, the Death Penalty, Institutional Violence and the Judicial System.
Theme 4: Definition, type, development and implementation of public policy.
• Local, regional and global exploration and overview
• Latin American Country Reports and Human Rights Record.
• Latin American Development Indicators
• Case study focus
Theme 5: Civil society, social movements and human rights at a regional level.
• Agrarian movement
• Envrionmental conflicts
• Mining and human rights
• Defense of water
• The Garifuna Case Study
Theme 6: Study and evaluation of vulnerable groups and human rights´ abuses.
• Human rights and Indigenous Peoples.
• Human Rights, Access to Land and a Healthy Environment.
• Children and Human Rights in Costa Rica.
• HIV /AIDS and Human Rights
• Diversity and Sexuality Issues or/and Age, Disability and human rights. CAFTA and Labor Rights.
• Case study focus: Women, human rights and access to a healthy environment
Theme 7: Individual responsibility and human rights
• 7-SesALL framework – steps for everyday sustainability for All
• Transversalising tools and transversal themes: human rights, democracy, equity, good governance, sustainability.
Theme 8: The Inter-American Court of Human Rights System: Cases and reparations.
• Country reports
• Case study and court case analysis
• The case of Costa Rica
Theme 9: Environmental Rights and human rights
• Agriculture – conventional, organic and GMOs
• Gender, equity, risk and climate change
• Biodiversity, Environmental services and management of ecosystems, forests and seascapes.
Theme 10: Conclusions and future outlooks
• Proposals for solutions, creativity for reparations and the future.
• Innovations and Future Challenges.
• Latin American and Caribbean data and Indicators for the comparison of cases.
Methodolgy:
For this course the activities are planned at an intermediate level and stimulate learning through research and preparation of interviews, field trip research, case studies, essays, discussions and through consideration of the basic aspects of the fundamentals in strategic and systemic thinking.
The methodology encourages learning through student interaction with real life scenarios, problem identification, and problem solving with an aim to detect opportunities for learning and self-development. Finally, the method focuses on providing students with situations that they will go on to encounter in their professional lives and careers, thus enhancing competency and experience. An experiential and exploratory method will be applied – to encourage the student to thoroughly explore and evaluate related course issues in the present day Costa Rican context – and make the most of the experiential opportunities provided by the course and the broader study setting. Theory will be considered and analyzed in relation to the Costa Rican context. Individual research on a chosen course relevant theme.
Learning strategies
The following learning strategies will be executed:
Case Studies and Interviews
Learning through case studies educates students in three essential aspects: knowledge management, reflective practices, and the ability to adapt to change. Knowledge management seeks that the student acquires strategies and techniques that allow him/her to learn by him/herself; this implies the awareness of assimilation, reflection, and
interiorization of knowledge so the student can finally value and deepen from a personal choice.
Argumentative Essay
An argumentative essay as an academic writing tool allows each student to express opinions, interpret, and evaluate one or more topics by formally including adequate justification. The point is to show evidence of research and to demonstrate the ability to compose argument explanations clearly.
Group Work and Workshops
Workshops, involving role play, will promote shared spaces in which students, working as a team, will develop their oral and written communication skills, synthesis, leadership, listening and relating well with others when dealing with sustainability issues.
Presentations
Individual and group presentations will provide opportunities to communicate orally and iconically, share the results of research, and demonstrate the appropriation of topics of interest.
Reports and discussions
Students will exercise the capacity of critical thinking, and oral and written expression through the presentation of reports and discussions about videos or documentaries with respect to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Presentation of results
Individual and group presentations of the results of analysis and research of almost all activities will develop in students the ability to communicate orally and graphically to demonstrate knowledge assimilated through assignments. Students must also present their action proposal in order to demonstrate their convincing communication skills in English or Spanish (depending on their native language)
Educational resources
In order to guarantee good development of the course, therefore to guarantee learning, the following resources are available: an updated bibliographic database, multimedia equipment that students can use for their individual presentations; whiteboards and other school equipment for weekly sessions, and readings provided by the educator. All of these complement the suggested projects and provide the students with higher possibilities of knowledge own ship. Most of the lessons will take place in the classroom.
During independent work periods students will be able to attend the institution
A campus library, study rooms, and computer labs are available for the students´ independent work time. Free Wi-Fi connection for students, educators, and staff is provided on campus, which gives students the possibility to work not only in the library or computer labs, but also around campus.
Evaluation Table:
RUBRIC
WIEGHT/GRADE
3 Case Studies: (10% each) Choices:
• International conventions, treaties, covenants and declarations
• Diversity and Sexuality Issues
• Age, Disability and human rights
• Human rights and labor rights
• HIV /AIDS and Human Rights
• Children and Human Rights in Costa Rica
• Human Rights, Access to Land and a Healthy Environment.
30%
2 Interviews and/or site visits to NGOs or Institutions (10% each) Choices:
• Human rights and Indigenous Peoples
• Children and Human Rights in Costa Rica
• Envrionmental and human rights NGOs
• Defense of water
• HIV /AIDS and Human Rights
• Defender of the People
20%
Workshop:
• 7-SesALL framework – steps for everyday sustainability for All
• Transversalising tools and transversal themes: human rights, democracy, equity, good governance, sustainability.
20%
Essay and presentation:
• Theme of choice in relation to human rights in Latin America or the Caribbean
10%
Group Work:
• Investigation and comparison of the court cases, country reports, case studies, Latin American Indicators
• Investigation and comparison of a selection of case studies, format, implementation and outcomes.
20%
TOTAL
100%
 

*Course content subject to change