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American University Washington College of Law    
  Feb 22, 2018
2017-2018 Catalog

LAW - 989 International Protection of Vulnerable Groups

(2 hrs.)

An introduction to the concept of vulnerable groups: who they are, why they are considered “vulnerable,” and what their rights under International Human Rights Law are. We will appraise state and non-state actors’ responsibility vis-à-vis vulnerable groups. We will analyze in detail the tripartite typology of state obligations in the field of human rights and a framework detailing obligations of non-state actors. The first vulnerable group that we will examine will be children. To this aim, we will explore the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the mandate of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. The examination of the practice of some regional human rights bodies that have enforced children’s rights will complete the overview of the protection of children under International Human Rights Law. Subsequently, the course will focus on the protection of people living with HIV/AIDS by analyzing Article 12 of the 1966 UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the practice of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights. We will also tackle challenges of the protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs), both under International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law, and the legal protection of disabled persons at the UN, African and European level. The course will conclude with an analysis of the human rights of the Roma Population and the protection afforded to the human rights of the poor and destitute by the South African Constitutional Court and the Indian Supreme Court.