This course introduces students to contemporary, global human rights issues. The course examines the international, moral, ethical, and legal issues that emerge when accepted human rights principles clash with political, social, cultural, and economic interests; customs, traditions, and religion; and informal and formal policies and laws. Course topics include the identification and definition of human rights under international statutes; due process and accepted international human rights principles; genocide and “ethnic cleansing”; indigenous groups and land rights; xenophobia; gender, ethnic, racial, class, caste, religious, and other minority group discrimination and violence; sexual morality, culture, and laws; human rights in conflict zones; torture and killings by police, soldiers, or militias; international corporations, globalization, and exploitation of labor and natural resources; poverty and exploitation; contemporary slavery; and the impact of government and private corruption on human rights. We will analyze the efforts by the UN, national governments, human rights NGOs, recent war crimes tribunals, and the international community to promote and protect human rights and deter human rights violations. This course will rely on case studies from port countries.
Field WorkCountry: Ghana
Date: April 3, 2019
The destruction of land to create cocoa farms/plantations, the use of child labor and slaves on those farms, and the issues of fair wages, fair trade, and poverty of workers are all issues surrounding cocoa production and the chocolate industry in Ghana. Tony’s Chocolonely is a Ghanaian company committed to “100% Slave Free Chocolate”. Our field class will include a visit to Tony’s Chocolonely company; a tour of a cocoa growing region and a cocoa farm; and a visit with at least one local NGO working with cocoa farmers to promote and protect their welfare and/or monitoring different concerns connected with the sourcing and exporting of cocoa. Learning Objectives:
- Gain a deeper understanding of the human rights issues, such as exploitation of children, workers, and the environment, connected with cocoa growing and production in Ghana and how these issues are linked to the global chocolate industry.
- Understand the role of the workers, social justice NGOs, government agencies, multinational companies, and other stakeholders, including consumers, in advancing or hindering human rights, “fair trade”, supply chain problems, and environmental issues present in cocoa growing regions.
- Enhance your knowledge of the challenges faced by workers, the government, NGOs, and companies with regard to large-scale production of global agricultural products.