Thursday 31 August 2017

10,000 Participants for MOOC on ECHR

Returning after the summer break, it is my pleasure to announce that the MOOC we developed here at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) at Utrecht University, featuring colleagues Janneke Gerards, Paulien de Morree and myself, has - since its start last year - attracted over 10,000 participants from across the globe. It is humbling to realise one reaches so many more students this way than with all one's face-to-face teaching combined. Next week, on Monday 4 September we will launch its fourth edition. Enrollment can be done here. This is the official announcement: 

'For the fourth time Utrecht University launches the highly successful MOOC 'Human Rights for Open Societies - An Introduction into the European Convention on Human Rights'. This course is for everyone who is interested in the protection of human rights and the idea of open societies. More than 10.000 enthusiastic learners participated in the course so far. The new edition of the MOOC starts on September 4, 2017. 

Human rights are under pressure in many places across the globe. Peaceful protests are violently quashed. Voting is tampered with. And minorities are often excluded from decision-making. All of this threatens the ideal of an open society in which each of us can be free and participate equally. A solid protection of human rights is needed for an open society to exist and to flourish. But it is often an uphill battle to work towards that ideal.

In this course, Prof Antoine Buyse (Human Rights), Prof Janneke Gerards (Fundamental Rights Law) and Dr Paulien de Morree introduce you to one of the world’s most intricate human rights systems: the European Convention on Human Rights. This international treaty is one of the most successful instruments for protecting human dignity and it is a crucial tool for achieving an open society. In this course you will discover what this treaty is and how it aims to advance human rights and the idea of an open society in Europe.

You will learn when and how people can turn to the European Court of Human Rights to complain about human rights violations and how the Court deals with the difficult human rights dilemmas of today. You will look, amongst other things, at the freedom of expression and demonstration, the right to vote, and the prohibition of discrimination. This course also addresses the rights of migrants, refugees, and other vulnerable groups. And, of course you will see whether and under what conditions human rights may be restricted.

Find more information about the MOOC Human Rights for Open Societies at Coursera.