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76099 Applied Human Rights Fieldwork

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2018 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Law
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Pass fail, no marks

Requisite(s): 70616 Australian Constitutional Law
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 94680 Entering Professional Life (6cp) AND 94681 Entering Professional Life (8cp)


Students undertaking this subject must first be accepted into the 40K Globe Program. This program offers students the opportunity for practical experience in social entrepreneurship and education within an impoverished community in India.


This subject involves a placement with 40K Globe together with academic learning about human rights law, and social and economic rights in particular. 40K Globe is a unique internship that offers students the chance to spend one month in rural India helping local villagers develop a sustainable solution for better access to education and employment. Students work in teams with students from other faculties and universities on a social impact project provided by 40K Globe in consultation with local communities. This subject links the study of human rights law with the practical implementation of social and economic rights, and the right to development. This equips students with an understanding of and critical thinking about the role and value of human rights in the context of a developing country. It also promotes cross-cultural awareness, adaptability and collaborative practices, and encourages self-awareness and ethical behaviour. The subject, like other internship subjects, provides a valuable supplement to students’ academic program that can enrich and enliven the classroom experience. As an international practical subject it also prepares students for global professional practice, particularly in the development and human rights fields.

The subject is taught at master's level. Students achieve the advanced subject learning outcomes of ethical judgment, critical reflection and professional responsibility through the following three components:

  • self-study – through selected readings students examine certain topics of relevance to the practical component (the right to development, economic and social rights, and the practice of human rights), providing both a fundamental level of knowledge in each area and the ability to apply that knowledge to their experience in the field
  • practical experience – four-week 40K Globe program where students work on a social impact project focused on health, education, employment, energy, food, water or other specific needs
  • reflective journal – students consider the application of their legal knowledge to their practical experience by writing a critical reflection based on the first two components of the subject.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Apply their understanding of the role of human rights law, especially the right to development and economic and social rights, to the needs of people living in developing countries.
2. Collaborate: (i) with colleagues in relation to the project of creating and implementing a self-sustaining social enterprise with the aim of enhancing human rights; and (ii) with people from the local community, in terms of defining the nature of their needs and the means by which the project can deliver outcomes that meet those needs.
3. Work professionally in a foreign environment with an appreciation of the social, economic and cultural factors that affect the operation and fulfilment of that work, and an understanding of the social and ethical issues raised by the practice of human rights.
4. Communicate effectively: (i) orally, with respect to the collaborative work involved in the Social Impact project and in the relationships with individuals from the local community; and (ii) in writing, by critically reflecting on their practical experiences within the context of human rights law.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes which reflect the course intended learning outcomes:

  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility
    A capacity to value and promote honesty, integrity, accountability, public service and ethical standards including an understanding of approaches to ethical decision making, the rules of professional responsibility and, an ability to reflect upon and respond to ethical challenges in practice. (2.0)
  • Communication and Collaboration
    Effective and appropriate communication skills including highly effective use of the English language, an ability to inform, analyse, report and persuade using an appropriate medium and message and an ability to respond appropriately. (5.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

Strategy 1: Self-directed study on human rights

Students are provided with prescribed readings on the right to development, social and economic rights, and human rights in practice via UTSOnline at the start of the session. Students are expected to read these materials to inform themselves of the human rights law and critical scholarship that should serve as an academic backdrop to their practical experience work with 40K Globe. This preparation requires students to develop their ethical awareness, sensitivity, accountability and professional responsibility before undertaking work in a developing country context.

Strategy 2: Participation in the activities of the 40K Globe Program

Students participate in the 40K Globe program for four weeks in rural India by working with other students and community members on a social impact project provided by the organization. This practical experience enables students to think about their academic knowledge of human rights in a real world context where state resources are limited. Students learn to collaborate with other students as well as community members on practical work aimed at realizing human rights. Within this setting, students develop their communication skills by working in a foreign context where they are faced with language and cultural barriers. Students immerse themselves in a work/life context that requires them to display ethical behaviours and demonstrate integrity and professionalism.

Strategy 3: Critical Reflection

On their return students write a reflective journal in which they engage critically with their practical experience in relation to their academic study of human rights. This builds their written communication skills by requiring them to write a form of writing that they are unlikely to have encountered before in their law degree that combines personal observation, self-reflection and critical insights into practical development work informed by human rights theory.


Assessment task 1: Reflective Journal


This task gives students the opportunity to reflect critically on their practical experience with 40K Globe in India with reference to their self-study of human rights materials provided in this subject.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1 and 4

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

2.0 and 5.0

Weight: 100%

2,500 words

  • Reflection: effective discussion of selected experiences written in narrative style.
  • Critical analysis and evaluation: thoughtful and insightful ideas connecting student experience with the human rights literature provided.
  • Discourse and argumentation: development of logical and persuasive argument/s.
  • Structure and style: lucid structure; written expression in correct grammar, punctuation and conformity with academic style.
  • Referencing: accurate footnote referencing and bibliography.

Minimum requirements

Students are required to participate in the 40K globe program for one month on the ground in rural India to the satisfaction of the program coordinator in consultation with the subject coordinator. Students must also complete the assessment involving the writing of a reflective journal (See Assessment Task 1).

Required texts

Readings for the study component are provided in 'Subject documents' on UTSonline.

There is no prescribed reading for the practical experience component, excepting any informative or instructional material provided by the Program Coordinator.

Recommended texts

Aguirre, The Human Right to Development in a Globalized World (Ashgate, 2008)

Alston & Goodman, International Human Rights: Text and Materials (Oxford University Press 2013)

Alston & Robinson, Human Rights and Development: Towards Mutual reinforcement (Oxford University Press, 2005)

Brems, Beco & Vandenhole eds., National Human Rights Institutions and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Intersentia, 2013)

Bunn, The Right to Development and International Economic Law: Legal and Moral Dimensions (Hart Publishing, 2012)

de Schutter, International Human Rights Law (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Gauri & Brinks, Courting Social Justice: Judicial Enforcement of Social and Economic Rights in the Developing World (Cambridge, 2010)

Goldblatt and Mclean, Women's Social and Economic Rights - Developments in South Africa (Juta, 2011)

Goldblatt, Developing the Right to Social Security - A Gender Perspective (Routledge, 2016)

McBeth, Nolan & Rice, The International Law of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2011)

Marks, Human Rights and Root Causes (2011) 74(1) Modern Law Review 57-78

Moyne, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010)

Murphy, Health and Human Rights (Hart, 2013)

Nolan, Children's Socio-Economic Rights, Democracy and the Courts (Hart Publishing, 2011)

Young, Constituting Economic and Social Rights (Oxford University Press, 2012)

Other resources


  • Human Rights Quarterly
  • Human Rights Law Journal
  • Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights
  • Human Rights Law Review
  • American Journal of International Law
  • International and Comparative Law Quarterly
  • Leiden Journal of International Law
  • European Journal of International Law