Human Rights Online Courses

Take free human rights online courses offered by the United Nations (UN), leading NGOs and top universities. Learn how the United Nations and other human rights organizations tackle the most pressing human rights issues of our time.

Related topics: United NationsHumanitarian Action | Diversity and Inclusion | Refugees and Migration | Social Justice | International Law | Peace and Conflict | Sustainable Development | Global Health | Human Rights

Top 10 Human Rights Courses You Can Take Anywhere, Anytime

1. International Human Rights Law
Université catholique de Louvain
Learn how an individual’s human rights are protected from both public and private power by international laws.
2. International Women’s Health and Human Rights
Stanford University
Learn about women’s rights and human rights from infancy through old age, including about positive interventions relating to those issues.
3. Human Rights: The Rights of Refugees
Amnesty International
Learn about the human rights of refugees and explore what you can do to protect them.
4. International Humanitarian Law
Université catholique de Louvain
Learn about the laws that govern war and armed conflict. Explore how humanitarian law protects vulnerable groups against war crimes.
5. Global Diplomacy: the United Nations in the World
SOAS University of London
Learn about the key functions of the United Nations and develop analysis, policy and communication skills.
6. Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice
Harvard University
Learn how to protect children from violence, exploitation, and neglect through law, policy, and practice in a human rights framework.
7. Social Norms, Social Change I
Learn how to make the distinction between social norms and social constructs, like customs or conventions.
8. Refugees in the 21st Century
University of London
Learn about the ‘global’ system of refugee protection and how UNHCR tackles one of the most severe human rights crises of our time.
9. International Organizations Management
University of Geneva
This course has been specifically designed for those who are interested in, collaborate with, or work with international organizations.
10. Confronting Gender Based Violence
Johns Hopkins University
Learn how the World Health Organization (WHO) is confronting gender based violence in this free online course by Johns Hopkins University

What are Human Rights?

Human Rights are the basic rights that belong to everyone simply because they are human beings. These fundamental rights apply to everyone equally regardless of gender, sex, age, sexual orientation or any other status. First established through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948, today human rights are codified in legally binding covenants such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Human Rights are enforced by international courts such as the European Court of Human Rights or the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. States have the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil human rights but many fail to live up to their obligations.

Human Rights Courses

On this page we compiled a list of free quality human rights courses offered by the United Nations, Non-governmental Organisations and world-class universities. The list contains both, introductory level courses and advanced courses on specific human rights issues. Learn about the laws that govern the international human rights regime, the tools and tactics of human rights activists and the mechanisms in place to tackle the most pressing human rights issues of our time.

All courses in our list are available for free. You may choose to opt-in for a paid verified certificate issued and accredited by the course providers that include Harvard University, Columbia University, UNICEF, Amnesty International among others. The courses are designed to be as accessible as possible including for people with special needs.

Most of the human rights courses listed on this page are self-paced. You can enrol yourself anytime, anywhere it suits you and start with your learning experience instantly.

Frequently asked questions

How can i register?
The registration is not difficult. First you choose the course you would like to take. Click on the title or picture of the course. You will be redirected to a more detailed description of the course. On the course description page you will find a blue button to register. Once you clicked the button you will be redirected to the official page of the course provider. Depending on the platform the button will say “Enroll now”, “Join now” or a similar statement. Fill in the requested details and you are ready to start the course.

Are the courses really free?
All course contents are available for free. You can additionally choose to obtain a verified certificate issued by the course provider such as Harvard University, UNICEF or Amnesty International. You can add the certificate to your CV or resume.

How much is a certificate?
The fee for the certificate varies between $25 for short courses and $900 for a micromasters. The most common price for a certificate is between $49 and $99 USD. Financial aid is available for those who qualify through the hosting platforms. Please note that the processing of the application for financial aid may take several weeks.