Seminar in Human Rights

L793 is taught by C. Ochoa

What is the link between your cell phone and human rights in Africa? Between electric cars and civil conflict in Bolivia? Are local communities better or worse off when corporations open new factories? This seminar will focus on the relationship between global commercial activity and human rights. It will cover three main topics: theories of human rights and corporations; inquiries into the effects of commercial activity on states and the various incentives states have to accommodate commercial activity and/or protect human rights; and mechanisms to mitigate the harms that come from commercial activity or compensate victims for injuries. The course will as also examine the role of international law and organizations in balancing human rights and commercial activity, the role of corruption as an obstacle to development and human rights protection, the role of commerce in funding conflict situations and the role of civil society in claiming respect for human dignity as a vital component of commercial activity. This course will make use of innovative technology to link with classrooms and experts in the United States and abroad to diversify both the sources of our knowledge and the content of our discussions. There are no prerequisites for this course, though some exposure to corporate law, international law or human rights will be beneficial. (3 credits)