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More than 25 free online courses in human rights, grassroots organizing, nonviolent action, (and more) to enroll in today

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There is an exhaustive list of online courses and trainings that offer education about human rights. We’ve compiled a diverse list of practical, online (and free) courses for you to explore and enhance your learning experience.

Introduction to Human Rights

These three human rights online courses are offered in Spanish, French, and English; suitable for anyone, anywhere, regardless of knowledge level. Through a combination of readings, videos and multimedia dynamics, participants can learn a general introduction to international human rights, its history, the legal framework and begin to identify specific issues on the human rights agenda. The courses are offered by Amnesty International, Udemy and the University of Geneva.

Grassroots and Community Organizing

Learn key strategies for becoming an organizer for social change in your community, and how to tell your own personal story in a compelling and engaging way! Also discover how to use the internet for effective grassroots activism, Courses are taught by Dem Labs via Udemy and compiled by the Net Actions Project of the Tides Centre.

Non-Violence, Civil Resistance, Social Justice

Understand how people “without power” have creatively disrupted traditional conventions; fearlessness as a strategy for resistance; and the application of non-violent activism in everyday life. These courses feature civil rights leader Dr. Bernard LaFayette, founder of the Center for Teaching Peace, Colman McCarthy, Anne Firth Murray of Stanford University, the Metta Centre for Non- Violence; and Drs. Lopez Jerez & Useche Aldana of the Minuto de Dios University Corporation. Expect teachings by respected voices in the field on, peace and conflict, non-violent communication, and the strategic planning of civil rights movement campaigns.

Activism, Art, Oral History

Interested in the fusion of art and activism? These courses explore the artistic practices of resistance and positive change crafted by music in communities around the globe. Thoughtful illustrations of diverse social movement methods and outcomes are provided. It also features a Listen Up webinar for community educators, devoted to harnessing the power of storytelling. The courses are led by Curtin University, Yale University, the University of Kent and Voice of Witness (VOW).

Gender Inequality, Health, Children

Expect information on issues concerning children’s rights and the programs/organisations promoting them. The courses teach about women’s health and human rights issues from infancy through old age; the nexus between access to water, gender inequality and human rights; and how to challenge the entrenched attitudes of violence against women. Featuring courses from the University of Geneva, Stanford University, Colorado State University and the University of Strathclyde. Subtitles available in Slovak, Russian and Spanish.

Open Societies, Fundamental Freedoms, Public Spaces

Explore the use of public spaces in protests, through discussions on: the Arab Spring, Occupy movement, civil rights movement and the Northern Ireland peace process. Learn about international standards that define and protect  fundamental rights and freedoms, the human rights bodies responsible for enforcing them and how to leverage. In some cases, expect contributions from journalists, human rights defenders and press freedom activists. This category includes English courses offered by Queen’s University Belfast, Columbia University and Utrecht University.

Slavery, Armed Violence

Featured as “the world’s first massive online course,” you will have the unique opportunity to debate and offer solutions for contemporary antislavery and controlled proliferation. This category includes an English and a Spanish course, and is offered by the University of Nottingham and Amnesty International.

LGBTQ Rights

These courses teach the basic notions about non-discrimination through videos, readings, and dynamics. They examine the many ways LGTBQ individuals have faced and surmounted oppression in the workplace, laws designed to protect their rights and the most assertive measures that can be taken to eradicate discrimination. A Spanish and English course are offered by the University of Pittsburgh and Amnesty International.

Did we forget to include a course? Send an email to [email protected], browse our organizations and initiatives on our online library, leave us a comment on Facebook or tweet us @rightsconnected.


This blog post was created by members of the HRC team: Research and Operations Intern Nnenna Mazi with support from Nicola Barrach-Yousefi and edited by Sabrina Sanchez.

Featured image by Martin Dedaj via Global Campus of Human Rights.

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