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Human Rights and Development - 2024

May 27, 2024 - Jun 14, 2024

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$1,705 Enroll

Full course description


*The total course cost indicated on this page includes the course value and all application and administrative fees.

We are thrilled to share another one of our courses for the Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: "Human Rights and Development", taught by these two recognized experts on business and human rights:

Margaret Roggensack, Co-Director of the global Teaching Forum on Business and Human Rights and former Interim Executive Director of the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, and Duygu Çiçek, Environment & International Law Practice Group (LEGEN), Counsel at the World Bank, Legal Vice Presidency.


Come to Washington, D.C. this summer, and get the unique opportunity to focus on business and human rights. Examine the United Nations-led development of the “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework and the efforts of the UN, multilateral, IFIs and aid organizations to integrate human rights considerations, including accountability measures, development finance, and assistance. 


Don´t miss this opportunity!


Course: Human Rights and Development - American University Washington College of Law

Human rights and development have evolved largely in separate tracks, and even, to a large degree, separate worlds. However, times have changed. There are now clear spheres of convergence between these fields in theory, applied research and practice.

In September 2015, UN member States concluded a new global agreement on development cooperation including a set of “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In the same year, two other global agreements were concluded: the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action arising from the third International Conference on Financing for Development. Human rights considerations and commitments have featured far more prominently in these agreements than their predecessors. However, the hard work in translating these commitments into action has only just begun and their ultimate impact cannot yet be foreseen.

The institutional landscape for human rights and development is similar, a varied and complex one. Many bilateral and multilateral aid organizations, non-governmental organizations and development workers now profess to implement “rights-based approaches” to development, while others have resisted. There are still debates about the implementation and impact of such approaches. At the same time, governments, development agencies and others are facing increasing demands for accountability for human rights violations carried out in development’s name. With the myriad influential actors involved in development, and with the increasing involvement of the private sector, the locus of accountability seems increasingly diffuse.


The infiltration of human rights into development thinking and practice has been embraced in many, but by no means all, quarters. No less a figure than Amartya Sen has remarked: “The suspicion is that there is something a little simple-minded about the entire conceptual structure that underlies the oratory on human rights.” Other commentators have derided rights-based approaches to development as mere “rhetorical repackaging.”The Human Rights and Development course will critically examine key features of this dynamic landscape, through a mix of lectures, case studies, group work discussions and practical exercises. The course will explore the contemporary conceptions and meanings of human rights and development, laying the ground for a more detailed examination of the points of convergence - as well as tensions - between these fields in both theory and practice. Consideration will be given to how international human rights standards and principles have emerged and how they have influenced public policy debates concerning international aid, development financing, infrastructure investment, engagement with fragile states, the MDGs and the SDGs and climate change. There will be a strong institutional focus within the program, with a close look at the roles and functions of international and regional development banks and other financing institutions, the Group of 20 industrialized countries (G20) and business entities, set against political debates on human rights and development in the United Nations’ inter-governmental and human rights bodies.

Policies and Processes


The following is the refund policy for courses registered through our Professional and Lifelong Learning Portal (

Learners will be eligible for a refund (minus any non-refundable fees) if they drop a course and request a refund no later than a week before the start of the course. If a learner registered for a course after the start date, they will be ineligible for a refund.

Learners registered for on-demand courses without a start date will be eligible for a refund if the course is dropped and a refund is requested within 24 hours of registration and when there is no record of page views or participation in the Canvas Platform.

Refund requests will be denied if requested after a course’s start date, or when there is a record of page views or participation in the canvas Platform.

Payments and fees:

For payments with credit cards, debit cards or bank accounts, the tuition cost includes a non-refundable 4% administrative fee. In case an eligible refund is requested, the net funds returned will be the tuition minus 4%. 

Notice about AU Non-Credit Courses:

Non-credit courses are not recorded in American University transcripts. No credit is earned from these courses and grades are not posted. Learners enrolled in Non-Credit courses will not receive an AU ID or have access to services and or facilities reserved for AU students. Access to the AU library system will be available to all members of the greater Washington DC area through visitor services. See the link for more information

For Information about this course:

Please contact

Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

(202) 274-4295