freccia sinistra


Photo © Untitled - Margherita Vitagliano
Global Campus “PRISMA” Human Rights Photo Contest 2015

Course dates:

10 June – 21 July 2019

All the way through cross-border movements of people, gender is an important factor: it might determine causes and consequences of migration, impact on asylum procedures, and be a key element in human rights violations.

For refugees and migrants, especially women and girls, moving and crossing borders often comes with heightened risks such as physical harm, sexual and gender-based violence (GBV), psychosocial trauma and exploitation, including trafficking.

Addressing the root causes of forced and economic migration and ensuring that human rights are protected throughout the whole process are essential steps towards a stronger recognition of equal dignity for all.

International, regional and national laws protect women and girls, men and boys, from violence and breaches of their human rights. To what extent do such laws apply in the context of migration? What are the gender-related challenges in this area? Where can we find prospects for improvement?

By answering these questions, this MOOC provides participants with knowledge, multiple perspectives and examples of practices that can help them develop and reinforce their critical understanding and effective action in a field that is at the crossroads of gender, migration and human rights studies.



Learning objectives

On completion of the course, participants will be able to gain:

  • Knowledge of international developments, legal instruments and practices to prevent, combat and eradicate GBV.
  • Knowledge about GBV concerns associated with the gender-related dimensions of forced and economic migration.
  • Insights on the role of key actors, and the challenges they are facing in enforcing and promoting a violence- and fear-free world.


The course encompasses a 6-weeks period. Participants are expected to engage in approximately 30 hours of active learning through readings, videos, podcasts, discussions, and quizzes. The course is based on a participatory approach aimed at developing and reinforcing personal critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Case studies will be used to identify cross-regional and cross-cutting issues and enable a multidimensional understanding of practical application.



This MOOC is divided in three modules.

Module 1 starts with a discussion on real-life examples of violations of the human rights of migrant and refugee women and girls and then goes on to introduce key concepts, definitions and elements of GBV with attention to the development of the international discourse and related human rights instruments on the topic.

Module 2 is dedicated to the interplay of migration, gender and violence analysed through a human rights lens and examples from different regions of the world.

Module 3 concludes the course with a look at practical implications, challenges but also positive examples and opportunities for change.


Target Audience

We designed this course for ‘leaders of the future’ who envision a world where cross-border movement is free from GBV: upper year undergraduates; postgraduates; NGO activists and practitioners interested in interdisciplinary human rights, gender equality, women empowerment, migration; young lawyers and social scientists; active and motivated citizens from around the world.


Certificate of participation

The course is self-paced so participants can study in their own time. However, to enhance peer learning, interactive participation and self-assessment, weekly discussions and module quizzes are proposed at set dates. To successfully complete the course and receive a free certificate of participation, students must take part in 4 weekly discussions and pass 3 quizzes.