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, gender expression and sex characteristics 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.
Background: Every day, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people are victims of multiple human rights violations, which are directly linked to the lack of acceptance (by society and the State) of their non-normative sexualities, gender identities or gender expressions. Some of the most common human rights violations of LGBTQ people include killings, torture, ill-treatment, “corrective” or punishing rape,"conversion therapy," discrimination in schools, in the workplace and in accessing health services, among many others. Intersex persons face human rights violations because of the general lack of acceptance of their bodies that differ from the socially accepted standards of “female” and “male” bodies. Because of their sex characteristics, intersex people often face human rights violations including irreversible non-consented and non-medically necessary genital surgery at the early stages of infancy and throughout childhood, as well as forced sterilization, among others.
SEMINAR: The course will take a close look at some of the human rights violations faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people, or other people perceived as such, as well as the corresponding States’ obligations under international human rights law. The students will analyze landmark and recent decisions emerging from regional and international human rights monitoring bodies, which have developed standards around these categories. 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 conducting legal research and drafting memoranda on specific human rights issues faced by LGBTQI people, preparing shadow reports to present before international human rights bodies, conducting analysis of legislation or a related case, among others. External partners vary every year, and include international and domestic leading human rights organizations working on the promotion and protection of the rights of LGBTQI people at the international level.