Course dates:

From 7 February to 6 March 2022

Free enrolment until 27 February 2022

In recent decades, we have witnessed a multitude of increasingly urgent demands for social and economic justice whereby every human being should have equal access to health, well-being, wealth and opportunity. If “the age of rights” propelled some hopes in that direction, a series of recent global crises (financial, environmental, socio-political and medical) have instead propelled anxiety, reinforced inequalities, inflamed cleavages and negatively affected economic growth and social development. 

We take the view that it is in times of crisis that human rights become more important and transformative. Far from being resolved, the current crises actually offer the opportunity to reclaim a fundamental role for the promotion, protection and implementation of human rights. From equality between women and men to dignified living and working conditions, from social movements to attempts at radical participatory democracy, from social protection to education, many are the areas where a rights-based approach - and socio-economic rights in particular - can and should intertwine with economic and social justice. Good practices and case-law already exist that call for a more attentive study of how social and economic justice can be enhanced through human rights.

This MOOC explores current developments in implementing economic and social rights and their role in redressing unjust distribution of resources and powers. It looks at legal frameworks and current political, social and economic challenges to better understand their links with a rights-based approach to socio-economic justice. Through regional examples and case studies, it provides a global overview of difficulties and obstacles but also possible alternatives and solutions.



The course runs over 4 weeks and is organised in 2 modules:

Module 1 introduces a rights-based approach to socio-economic justice, with a focus on legal, political and social perspectives on rights, justice and equality.

Module 2 is dedicated to Socio-Economic Justice through human rights in practice and aims to suggest ways forward by looking at specific themes and rights such as poverty, gender, education, socio-economic justice for children.


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course participants will have gained:

  • Knowledge about key international standards, documents and initiatives on a rights-based approach to socio-economic justice
  • Understanding of progress and obstacles in the implementation of such standards
  • Ability to identify multi-faceted aspects of current debates on the link between socio-economic justice and human rights
  • Capacity to discuss specific issues and rights from a theoretical and practical perspective
  • Awareness of multiple avenues for accountability and redress, as well as support for rights-based changes in the fight for socio-economic justice


The course encompasses a 4-weeks period with approximately 24 hours of active learning through readings, videos, discussions, polls and quizzes. The course is mostly asynchronous but does feature some live webinars and is based on a participatory approach aimed at developing and reinforcing personal critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Examples from different areas of the world and on different themes allow the identification of cross-regional and cross-cutting issues and enable a global and multidimensional understanding of the topic.


Certificate of Participation

At the end of the course, participants who have actively participated in all required weekly discussions and successfully completed all quizzes will receive a free certificate confirming their participation.


Target Audience

This course is for participants around the world who are actively interested and engaged in socio-economic justice and wish to deepen their knowledge about the theory and practice of applying a rights-based approach to analysis, assessment, redress and change in this area.