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SOLUTIONS TO HUMAN RIGHTS PROBLEMS

Sarita Cargas, cargas@unm.edu

Course Description

Over 20 million people are thought to be enslaved today (some in the United States). Several billion people experience hunger regularly including 14% of Americans. 1 in 6 children on the continent of Africa are dying before the age of five due to preventable diseases. Dictators who deny their citizens basic freedoms rule 70 countries. 125 countries have been found to torture people. And yet, humanity is making progress. In the past one hundred years, life spans have increased, literacy is on the rise, and dozens of new democracies have been created. This class will focus on humanity’s solutions to human rights problems. It will therefore focus on the positive. Many entities contribute to problem solving and we will study their methods. We will learn about the United Nations, non-governmental agencies, and what multinationals contribute. Thus, students will learn about humanities failures – the human rights abuses around the world – and humanities considerable achievements.

Readings and Texts

The readings are a compilation from books including: An Introduction to Human Rights, NGOs in International Politics, Human Rights at the UN, Business and Human Rights.
Students are also assigned reading from a good international daily newspaper.


Films and Other Course Materials

This course includes film clips from numerous sources.


Student Requirements

This course will have short written assignments about the readings. Each student will be required to make one short presentation to the class about an NGO of their choice, and there will be two 5-8 page papers. Class discussion is, of course, a required feature as well.

About the Instructor

Sarita Cargas, D.Phil. Oxford University, MA Theology Aquinas Institute of Theology, MA Psychology Georgetown, BA St. John’s College (ed. Encyclopedia of Holocaust Literature). My main research area is human rights, and I am currently writing a textbook on human rights. I have been teaching human rights for eight years (including in Geneva, Switzerland). Another interest is the pedagogy of critical thinking.