About this Course
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Subtitles: English, Slovak, Russian

Skills you will gain

JusticeChild PsychologyInternational LawHumanitarian

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level


Subtitles: English, Slovak, Russian

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

2 hours to complete

International standards and monitoring systems

The module begins with the presentation of the background, origins and main content of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and provides details about the preparatory work and the international political context in which the Convention was drafted. The content of international human rights norms are discussed using the subdivision between civil and political rights on the one hand, and economic, social and cultural rights on the other. Furthermore, the general UN human rights monitoring mechanisms will be introduced, followed by the presentation of the CRC monitoring system. A discussion on the importance of regional human rights monitoring systems for children in Africa, Asia and Latin America will be the subject of a specific round table. Within the monitoring framework a particular attention is dedicated to role of key actors: Independent National Human Rights Institutions (INHRIs) on Children’s rights, Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) and children.

11 videos (Total 108 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
11 videos
1.1 Introduction3m
1.2 The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: from drafting to reception.23m
1.2bis CRC General Principles5m
1.3 Main content of the CRC and the related States obligations9m
1.4 UN Committee on the right of the child: role, structure, functioning and method of works8m
1.5 The CRC Communications procedure5m
1.6 Overview regional monitoring system18m
1.7 The role of the INHRIs on Children’s rights in the monitoring process at national and local level8m
1.8 NGOs’ role in the monitoring process7m
1.9 Children's subjective indicators: children’s participation in monitoring13m
1 reading
1 practice exercise
Quiz of Module 120m
1 hour to complete

The history of children’s rights in the context of human rights

This module provides an overview of the evolution of children's rights before the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Based on a chronological approach, it is a comprehensive social and cultural history of children's rights, of the way they developed over the course of the last centuries. While not building on a strict history of diplomatic relations, this module provides an international perspective on this evolution. It aims to underline the multiplicity of actors, networks and organizations involved in the defense and promotion of children's rights, over time. Also, it emphasizes crucial moments of this history, such as the adoption of international legal instruments on the rights of the child, the two World Wars, etc. This module will nonetheless challenge common understandings of the history of children's rights. For instance, instead of describing it as a linear success story, it will highlight progress as well as failures. Also, the idea that the rights of the child are a 20th Century invention will be balanced. By doing so, we aim to provide a complex understanding of the history of children's rights and detailed contexts for the topics they cover (e.g. child labor, juvenile justice, etc.) and that will be studied later in this MOOC.

7 videos (Total 55 min), 1 quiz
7 videos
2.2 History of childhood: a state of the art7m
2.3 Children and Health from the Renaissance to the Revolution4m
2.4 Children during the industrial revolution7m
2.5 Saving the children after WWI and the Geneva Declaration8m
2.6 International Organizations and Human rights: From Protection Rights to Children’s Human Rights9m
2.7 Regional evolution of children's rights: voices from a recent past - Introduction14m
1 practice exercise
Quiz of Module 212m
1 hour to complete

Interdisciplinary Children’s Rights Studies

The module will provide a general introduction to the field of children’s rights studies. It will emphasize the interdisciplinary outlook of the field and will present schools of thought in children’s rights. Furthermore, we will show the links between children’s rights and the sociology and anthropology of childhood and provide some examples of recent children’s rights research and practice.

6 videos (Total 47 min), 1 quiz
6 videos
3.2 Interdisciplinary children's rights studies6m
3.3 Fruits, salads, and smoothies: working together for understanding children's rights9m
3.4 Schools of thought in children's rights10m
3.5 Agency and structure in childhood studies10m
3.6 The anthropology of childhood8m
1 practice exercise
Quiz of Module 322m
1 hour to complete

Juvenile justice

The field of Juvenile Justice (JJ) or of systems of Justice specialized for children in conflict with the law, is the field of children’s rights where the international community has drafted the largest amount of legislation (national, regional and international). It is obviously a very sensitive field where child rights violations are numerous, where violence in institutions must be deplored, and where the response is not always child-friendly, and does not systematically favor individual child development. It is moreover a domain where the State exerts its power in response to child offenses, very often through the deprivation of liberty ; and where the State’s interference also represses non-criminal behavior (running away, breaking disciplinary rules, breaking curfews, …), all of these actions would not be legally reprehensible if committed by an adult (status offence). And, alas this field of JJ sometimes accounts for violations of children’s rights at the hands of States themselves: in the arrest phase, in administrative detention, in the execution of judiciary sentences, but also in institutional care. The issue of JJ also includes children victims and witnesses.

9 videos (Total 61 min), 1 quiz
9 videos
4.2 Overview of the international legal framework on juvenile justice and child protection7m
4.3 Interview on the Council of Europe Guidelines on child friendly justice: background and motivation13m
4.4 Minimum age of criminal responsibility7m
4.5 Protecting children's rights in JJ systems / “What works”: Effective methods to reduce juvenile delinquency9m
4.6 Deprivation of Liberty4m
4.7 Children as victims and witnesses4m
4.8 Restorative Juvenile Justice3m
4.9 Torture7m
1 practice exercise
Quiz of Module 418m
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Top reviews from Children's Human Rights - An Interdisciplinary Introduction

By SDJan 31st 2019

I strongly recommend this for people who are passionately working among children across the globe. This is the need of the hour! Let's educate ourselves and serve the best for our children. Cheers!

By DMJun 17th 2017

I found this to be extremely informative along with being interesting. Children are our future and must be cared for at all costs while maintaining their rights. Thank you for this course.



Roberta Ruggiero

Center for Children's Rights Studies

Philip D. Jaffé

Center for Children's Rights Studies

Jean Zermatten

Dr. h. c.
Center for Children's Rights Studies and International Institute for Children's Rights

About University of Geneva

Founded in 1559, the University of Geneva (UNIGE) is one of Europe's leading universities. Devoted to research, education and dialogue, the UNIGE shares the international calling of its host city, Geneva, a centre of international and multicultural activities with a venerable cosmopolitan tradition....

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