In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of the professor. This project-based practicum course will focus on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and bodily diversity from an international human rights law perspective. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professor.
SEMINAR: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons are victims of multiple human rights violations, which are directly linked to the lack of acceptance (by societies and the State) of their non-normative sexualities, gender expressions or gender identities. Some of the most common human rights violations of LGBT persons include killings, torture, ill-treatment, “corrective” rape, discrimination in schools, workplace and in accessing health services, among many others. Intersex persons face human rights violations related to the lack of respect towards their bodies, which differ from the socially accepted standards of “female” and “male” bodies, including irreversible non-consented genital surgery at the early stages of infancy and forced sterilization. The course will take a close look at some of these violations, and the corresponding States’ obligations under international human rights law. In seminar, students will analyze landmark and recent decisions emerging from regional and international human rights monitoring bodies, which have developed standards for the interpretation and application of human rights to sexual orientation, gender identity and bodily diversity. This analysis will provide a solid legal foundation for students to develop their projects for external partners.
PROJECT WORK: Students will work, under the direction of the professor, with external partners on legal and policy projects, including but not limited to, legal research (statutory and case law), drafting memoranda on specific human rights issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) persons, preparing shadow reports to present before international human rights bodies, conducting analysis of legislation or a case pertaining to the rights of LGBT persons, among others. External partners include international and domestic leading human rights organizations working on the promotion and protection of the rights of LGBTI persons at the international level.