Children at the Heart of Human Rights Summer Schools
June 5 - 17, 2017 (2 weeks)
Geneva has long been one of the world’s capitals of international law and the headquarters of international institutions dedicated to human rights. This inspiring context naturally has led to one of the core strengths of the University of Geneva to be within the domain of international human rights laws and policies.
The Summer School ‘Children at the Heart of Human Rights’ is a unique opportunity for students and young professionals to engage with leading experts in a dynamic scientific interdisciplinary environment. It is the perfect academic and professional preparation experience for those students interested in children’s rights and international human rights organizations.
The course is shaped to bring out the best of current issues in the international debate on children’s rights studies and policies. It will examine these issues with an interdisciplinary perspective and investigate different international legal instruments such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other human rights treaties and standard-setting instruments. This programme is characterized by a deep dive into the following :
the interplay between theory and practice in the field of children's rights,
the international perspective promoted by the lecturers from different regions of the world,
field visits to several UN Agencies, international humanitarian organisations and NGOs, located in Geneva
The blending of all these features will favour a vibrant, challenging and fruitful interactive learning atmosphere.
Equivalence of 4 ECTS
Please note: Changes to the draft program may be made at any time prior to the start of the course.
The summer school is organized by the Art-Law Centre and the UNESCO Chair in the International Law of the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the University of Geneva, in collaboration with the University of Miami School of Law.
The summer school aims to develop the students’ awareness and general understanding of the main substantive themes of international cultural heritage law, namely: the trade in cultural objects; the restitution of stolen or looted artworks; the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict; the protection of the built heritage from natural and human-induced disasters; the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage and of the diversity of cultural expressions.
The lecturers will examine the legal instruments adopted by UNESCO and the United Nations, such as the ‘Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict’, the ‘Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property’, the ‘Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage’, and the ‘Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’.
In order to offer an up-to-date glance at international cultural heritage law, the lecturers will describe its complex relationship with other fields of law – namely general international law, human rights law, and intellectual property law – and with the issue of dispute settlement. Moreover, the lecturers will provide an overview of the different ideological positions of the relevant stakeholders and of the risks and liabilities in the art trade.
Finally, the summer school will bring out the challenges to cultural heritage that emanate from new threats. To name but a few: reduced protection of sites and monuments due to lack of public money and political support; natural catastrophes; art forgeries.
The summer course includes lectures at the University of Geneva and at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), as well as one field trip to one Swiss UNESCO World Heritage site, either the city of Berne or Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces.
This summer school provides participants with an understanding of the main stakes and questions in humanitarian action and contributes to building critical thinking.
The first week introduces the main concepts of humanitarian aid – including elements that should be considered (or not) when defining humanitarian action – and presents the humanitarian principles and framework in which assistance activities take place. Besides history, law and geopolitics of humanitarian action, we also analyse the context and the characteristics of humanitarian crises and the various types of responses.
Through case studies from contexts such as Philippines, Syria, Haiti or Afghanistan, the main operational challenges faced by international and national organisations will be identified during the second week. Finally, working on a concrete scenario during two days, participants will partially experience the tasks undertaken by humanitarian workers and get the opportunity to practically apply their newly acquired knowledge.
Overall, the three weeks allow participants to capture the complexity and diversity of humanitarian action.
Assessments are based on active participation and an assignment carried out during the two days. Upon successful completion of the course, participants are evaluated based on a group presentation on the last days of the two-weeks summer school (equivalence of 4 ECTS). Students wanting to acquire 6 ECTS have the opportunity to do so on the basis of a satisfactory take-home paper, to be written within a week after the end of the summer school.