Course: Application of Human Rights Framework – The Basics

Application of Human Rights Framework – The Basics

  • Life Time Access
  • Certificate on Completion
  • Access on Android and iOS App
  • Self-Paced
About this Course

Are you a human rights professional or social activist or a student seeking to strengthen your skills in applying the human rights framework?

Or, are you someone who has an interest in daily news and has noted the worldwide concern for human rights? Have you been following the debates on human rights? Have you wanted to learn about the basics of human rights yourself?

If one of these categories describes you, then this course will help you in your quest! 

What will you get from this course?

Very briefly, the course introduces you to the basic concepts and principles of human rights, the different categories of rights, the notion of State obligations, the basics of applying the human rights framework to issues, and an overview of strategies for promoting and protecting rights. 

How is the course taught? 

  • Lectures, with lots of examples to help you connect
  • Questions for reflection
  • Case studies
  • Practice exercises based on case studies
  • Lesson-end quiz
  • One 60-minute assignment

Each lesson begins with a statement of what you will cover in that lesson and ends with a reinforcement of what you have learned. There are lots of info-graphics in the course to help understand the complex concepts and what’s more, to make it exciting for you, we have converted each of them to a poster, which you can download at your end.

Similarly, you can download the case studies and practice questions along with the model answers as well!  

You can use all the downloadable materials to conduct your own trainings and workshops or as ready reckoners. 

What else do you get? 

This course is a basic course on human rights, hence each component discussed in this course needs further in-depth inquiry and learning. Therefore, it is likely you will have clarifications and questions. Simply post your questions and the instructor will respond to them promptly.

If all this sounds exciting to you, then get ready to add this course to your cart and make it a part of your knowledge-acquiring journey – ‘knowledge’ that you can put into action for a better world!


Content and Overview 

This course is divided into four lessons:

Lesson 1: Fundamental Concepts and Principles of Rights – In this lesson, you will get to know what we mean when we say, “I HAVE a right” and from where and how these rights have evolved. You will get a close look at systems at the national, regional, and international levels that provide recognition and protection to these rights. You will also understand how “rights holders” and “duty bearers” are defined under the international human rights system

Lesson 2: Categories of Rights – This lesson will cover the meaning and scope of rights guaranteed in the International Bill of Rights. So, here we will examine the fundamental characteristics of rights, including a discussion on “discrimination.” Finally, you will get a glimpse into the different categories of nights namely – civil liberties, political, economic, social, and cultural rights along with an understanding of the common features that bind them

Lesson 3: Understanding State Obligations – In this lesson, with the help of a case study and a practice exercise with a model answer, you we will get to examine the content of obligations of States to ‘respect’, ‘protect’, and ‘fulfil’ with regard to any right

Lesson 4: Applying the Human Rights Framework – In the concluding lesson, you will have the opportunity to learn about how to conduct a human rights assessment. Case studies and practice sessions will help you fortify your learning. Finally, we will wind up reflecting upon strategies for human rights work

Who this course is for:

  • Human rights activists
  • Social activists
  • Young academics and lawyers
  • Anyone who has an interest in learning about how the human rights framework is applied in practice
Basic knowledge
  • An inquisitiveness about how the human rights framework works in practice
What you will learn
  • Strengthen understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles of rights
  • Identify the different categories of rights
  • Strengthen understanding about State obligations
  • Examine how the human rights framework is applied to different situations
Number of Lectures: 33
Total Duration: 01:34:03
Course Introduction
  • Expert Talk  

    In this session, you will get introduced to the instructor, Kalpalata Dutta and the Asian Institute for Human Rights (AIHR) that she is associated with. You can also access her resume from the resources section.

Fundamental Concepts and Principles of Rights
  • What We'll Cover-1  

    This session will explain the meaning of rights, its sources, and what provides rights their recognition and protection.

  • Meaning of Rights and Its Sources  
  • Evolution of Human Rights  
  • Where Human Rights are Codified  
  • Rights Holders and Duty Bearers in the International Human Rights System  
  • Key Takeaways-1  
  • Check Your Understanding-1  
Categories of Rights
  • What We'll Cover-2  

    This session will describe the fundamental characteristics of rights and the different categories of rights.

  • Fundamental Characteristics of Human Rights  
  • Categories of Rights  
  • Questions for Reflection-1  
  • Key Takeaways-2  
  • Check Your Understanding-2  
Understanding State Obligations
  • What We'll Cover-3  

    This session will help examine the content of obligations of States to ‘respect’, ‘protect’, and ‘fulfil’ with regard to any right.

  • Generic Obligation to Respect, Protect, & Fulfil  
  • Case Studies: Generic Obligation to Respect, Protect, & Fulfil  
  • Practice with Solution for Generic Obligation to Respect, Protect, & Fulfil  
  • Obligation of Progressive Realization  
  • Question for Reflection-2  
  • Obligation with Regard to Non-Discrimination  
  • Derogations from Obligations  
  • Limitations on the Enjoyment of Rights  
  • Key Takeaways-3  
  • Check Your Understanding  
Applying the Human Rights Framework
  • What We'll Cover-4  

    This session will help you to conduct a human rights assessment with the help of a case study and practice exercises.

  • Basic Steps to Conduct a Human Rights Assessment  
  • Case Study: Steps to Conduct a Human Rights Assessment  
  • Practice 1 with Solution for Steps to Conduct a Human Rights Assessment  
  • Practice 2 with Solution for Steps to Conduct a Human Rights Assessment  
  • Afternote: Steps to Conduct a Human Rights Assessment  
  • Use of International Human Rights Law in the Domestic System  
  • Strategies of Human Rights Work  
  • Key Takeaways-4  
  • Analysing 'War on Drugs' from a Human Rights Perspective  

    This session will help you analyse the case of 'War on Drugs' from a Human Rights Perspective.

    The case background is presented to you. Read the details and answer the questions. The questions are given in a file under resources.

    You can take upto 60 minutes to think about your answers.

    The model answers or solutions to each question is also given in a separate file under resources.


    The President of Country ‘A’ has announced a 'War on Drugs' to address the problem of drug abuse in society. 

    Are measures adopted by the State in accordance with human rights principles? Why is adherence to human rights principles important?

    The assignment helps to reflect on these questions.

    Details of the case

    Country ‘A’ is experiencing a drug problem. It is very easy to buy illegal drugs and many young people have become addicted to methamphetamine. The President, executive head of the country, decides to take strong action to stop the illegal drug trade.

    His words: “Law enforcement will launch operations against illegal drug trade till the last drug lord and last pusher have surrendered or are put either behind bars or below the ground.”

    As part of this program, the police in every local administrative unit, have been asked to identify those engaged in drug trade, and take action against them. To facilitate this, every police unit has been asked to prepare a ‘drug watch list’, compiling the names of people whom they suspect to be trading in drugs. The President, through his public speeches, has indicated that if action against suspects results in their death, police officers involved in such action would not be questioned.

    In the two years of the operation, approximately 7,000 people have been killed in police action. The police claim that the deaths were lawful as they happened in ‘self-defense’ when the suspects retaliated against the police. As proof, the police show the drugs and weapons that they found on the body of the person.

    Fearing for their lives, more than 300,000 people have surrendered themselves. The prisons/jails have become over crowded. For example, the central jail/prison in the capital city has the capacity to hold a maximum of 25,000 prisoners. However, at the end of two years, the prison has 130,000 detainees, most of them awaiting trial.

    There are also not enough drug treatment and rehabilitation centres in the country. Most drug treatment centres focus on ‘stopping usage of drugs’ through the use of force (keeping the person in restraints). Mostly such centers do not offer support to persons to remain drug free. 

    Majority of people in Country A have welcomed such policy. The growing drug trade had made life very unsafe. Parents had fears that their children would be lured into using drugs. Further, the people feel that by raising questions, the morale of the police would be dampened. And so they offer their unquestioning support.

    Further, in country A, under the law on Prevention and Suppression of Drug Trafficking, death penalty is the highest punishment for the trafficking and smuggling of drugs.

  • Course Conclusion  
Reviews (0)