Global Poverty, Human Rights and Development

Global Poverty, Human Rights and Development

Course dates:
4 August, 2020 to 20 August, 2020
990 €
Social Sciences
Application deadline:
Monday, 15 June, 2020
University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland

University-level education (Bachelor, Master, or equivalent), including career professionals, with a strong interest in human rights, poverty and development.

No prior knowledge of the subject matter required.

The course explores the nexus and different dimensions of the crisis of poverty, (under)development and human rights from a historical, institutional and policy-making perspective.

Conceiving poverty alleviation as an essential human rights obligation, this course examines domestic and international variables that have occasioned and exacerbated world poverty, inequality and underdevelopment. The course also formulates and highlights what duties states and international institutions owe to the poor and the victims of global injustice.

The course is led by George Forji Amin (PhD candidate/tutor), International Law, University of Helsinki. Two guest lectures, one by Professor Lauri Hannikainen and the other by Dr Manuel Fonseca, both specialists in International Law at the University of Helsinki.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the correlation between the three concepts (Poverty, Human Rights and Development), especially with regard to global order and global governance.
  • understand reasons behind the failures of development initiatives during the last half century.
  • demonstrate an understanding of theories of development, and current policy debates geared at addressing the crisis of poverty and underdevelopment.
  • understand the role and politics of institutions (international organisations and international financial institutions) in driving the discourse and debates around the three concepts.
  • understand actors (both domestic and international) responsible for the crisis of poverty and underdevelopment, especially in the third world.
  • develop independent opinions on the subject with a possibility to carry out independent research on topics of interest.


  • case study analysis
  • videos, short documentaries and commentaries
  • moot court / group work
  • debate / Panel Talk
  • PowerPoints

For key themes, students will be provided with three relevant articles, to freely choose one. Students are expected to submit a half-page summary of one of the articles prior to some of the sessions. The summaries must be uploaded on the university platform (Moodle).

More instructions will be provided during the first lesson.


  • Degree and PhD students: Early Bird 900 EUR (until 28 Feb 2020) / normal fee 990 EUR
  • Professionals: Early Bird 1400 EUR (until 28 Feb 2020) / normal fee 1490 EUR
  • Students of the University of Helsinki and the students doing their exchange at the University of Helsinki before or directly after summer school 1 ECTS=15 EUR
  • Helsinki Summer School and University of Helsinki
  • Alumni receive a 50 EUR discount of the course fee, provided they do not already study at the University of Helsinki.