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Human Rights and Advocacy

Start Date

6 February
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Fee on application

This module runs on 10 Tuesday evenings (6.00 – 8.30 PM) from 6 February to 10 April 2018.

Note: This is a module on our MA in International Development programme. It can be taken as part of the Master’s programme or as a single module. Single Modules are ideal for learners who wish to update professional knowledge, enhance their career, or sample the MA/PG Dip programme. This option involves submitting assignments etc. for recognised academic credit (see fees for Single Modules). Please contact our Registrar for information on attending this module for academic credit.

This module will develop participants’ understanding of a human rights based approach to international development with a critical exploration of advocacy as a tool for realising human rights.

Course Objectives

  • To critically understand debates related to human rights, globalisation and development in general
  • To explore the application of human rights based approaches to development and programming issues
  • To examine the role of advocacy in realising human rights and acquire skills on how to advocate for community-based issues using various tools

Course Content

Conceptualising Human Rights and Human Rights-based Approaches to Development

Introduction to Human Rights

  • Historical and philosophical antecedents of Human Rights
  • Introduction to Human Rights Instruments and Principles
  • Critiques of and debates about Human Rights as a normative framework for development

Exploring the relationship between Development and Human Rights

  • Development – critical issues regarding human needs and human rights
  • Globalisation, human rights and development
  • Is development a human right?
  • Development, poverty and human rights

Human Rights Based Approaches to Development

  • Introduction to HRBA
  • Benefits and Challenges of a HRBA to Development (Critical Analysis of Theory and Practice)

The Actors and players in Human Rights

  • A critical exploration of the role of Rights Holders and Duty Bearers
  • Power relations and human rights
  • Does a HRBA help communities to address the structural causes of poverty?

Programming for human rights based approaches to development

Building the agency of rights holders for respect for human rights

  • Building Awareness
  • Consciousness Raising with Rights Holders
  • Steps in Empowering Rights Holders
  • Organising and Mobilising Rights Holders

Taking action through Advocacy

  • Introduction to advocacy
  • Basic understanding of advocacy and related concepts
  • What is Advocacy?
  • A critical exploration of advocacy as a tool for realising human rights
  • Advocacy Processes (Advocacy Planning Cycle, Issue Analysis, and Identifying potential issue for advocacy, Key Players; Setting Objectives and Message development, Choosing Approaches to advocacy work)
  • Basic Tools for Advocacy (Lobbying, Use of Social Media, Projects and Site visits and Letter Writing)
  • Advocacy Strategy Development (Drawing up an Advocacy Plan, Goal; Objectives; Activities; Resources)


If you have any queries please contact the Applications office at applications@kimmagedsc.ie.

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Human Rights and Advocacy

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