The International Center for the Promotion of Human Rights (CIPDH-UNESCO) presents the third edition of its International Course on Human Rights, which will take place at UNESCO Villa Ocampo Observatory, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between September 23rd and 27th, 2019.

The topic this year will be Development and Human Rights: Friends or Foes?

Since the end of World War II, it has never been so imperative to discuss the universal ideal of human rights, the serious challenges that are posed, the possible solutions to the severe global problems that threaten them, the improvement of protection systems and conditions for their exercise. This primary objective is the starting point of CIPDH’s International Course on Human Rights.

The development of nations is a key factor in securing human rights, while, at the same time, it can represent a potential threat to them. The 2019 International Course aims to analyze and study these phenomena, in line with UNESCO’s contemporary agenda on Human Rights and Sustainable Development Goals.

This year’s edition has received over 480 postulations from 65 countries, from which 40 students coming from 28 nations have been selected based on their experience and entailment with human rights issues, aiming to assure gender, geographic procedence and/or institutional membership equality when conforming the participant’s group.

Keynote Speech

The course will begin on Monday, September 23 with a Keynote Speech by Professor Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes. This event, open to the public, will take place in the University of Palermo Auditorium, Mario Bravo 1050, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. It requieres previous registration and will be streamed through Facebook Live on CIPDH’s official profile and this website.


This course is addressed to professionals with experience in the human rights field, whether in activism in non-governmental organizations, at the government level, in academia, or at international organizations.


Development and Human Rights: Friends or Foes?

The concept of development has been, and still is, controversial. It has been developed throughout history from different perspectives, associating it with the economy, democratic institutions and, more recently, with human rights. The relationship between human rights and development, however, is not a peaceful one. On the one hand, rights have been identified with the determiners of development, but they have also been identified as their consequences, or even as synonymous. On the other hand, development is perceived, in some circumstances, as a hindrance to the exercise, the validity, or the protection of human rights. The course will explore both points: that of the necessary relationship between development and human rights and that of the relationship of tension and conflict between both ends. Therefore, the following core topics will be explored:

  1. Equality, poverty, development and human rights: The relationship between equality and development will be analyzed in different sessions. In particular, the problems arising from structural inequalities (for example: gender inequalities), geographical or social inequalities and the way in which development may be unequal with respect to different groups in an adverse situation. Reference will also be made to the relationship between the exercise and the protection of economic, social, and cultural rights and development. The relationship between poverty and development, with special attention to welfare policies compared to those aimed at empowerment (development and political rights, freedom of expression, participation) will be addressed. Finally, concepts of development associated to the expansion of freedom and to the improvement of the quality of life will be explored.

  2. Development, rights and international cooperation: The development agenda has been influenced by the resources and strategies of the international cooperation areas of governments –usually from the richest countries– by the work of multilateral organizations and by the actions of non-governmental organizations that promote and guide development. For this reason, the different underlying reasons of these strategies will be addressed in the course, both those associated with human rights and development and those that, on the contrary, oppose that relationship.

  3. Development, rights and accountability: During the course, the relationship between citizen participation and development will be studied. The decisions of national and international courts will be analyzed as either promoting or hindering development. The relationship between transparency and development will also be discussed, in particular between development and the State obligation to produce and enable access to public information.

  4. Development: rights or public policies?: The course will explore the link between development as an exercise of human rights and the problem of political rigidity imposed on the State that, according to some people, arises from this view. The course will also address the need to evaluate public development policies (accountability, transparency, production and use of information, access to information and data protection, etc.) and design indicators to measure such policies and ensure accountability.


The course will begin on Monday, September 23rd, with a keynote speech (the only session open to the public). Authorities from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina will be in attendance at this opening event, which will take place in the City of Buenos Aires.

The rest of the week, the course will be delivered at UNESCO Villa Ocampo Observatory, located 40 minutes away from the city. There will be four sessions, each of them aimed at the analysis of an emblematic case, which will present the necessary –and at the same time potentially conflicting– relationship between development policies and the relevance, exercise, and protection of human rights. Specialists directly involved in the cases and devoted to the specific study of these problems will take part in each session.

Additional sessions will include two classes taught by experts and academics. a public interview with a prominent personality in the field of development and human rights, and a simulation exercise that will expose the attendees to the real dilemmas of a hypothetical case related to development and human rights.

The course aims to build ties among the attendees, as well as between them and instructors; therefore, continual attendance during the course is mandatory.


Sessions will be delivered in Spanish and in English with simultaneous interpretation.