Working at the Nexus between Human Rights and Conflict Transformation

from UN System Staff College
Registration deadline: 27 Aug 2018 Training date: 03 Sep 2018 to 28 Sep 2018 More Information

Human rights, conflict, peace and development are closely linked, but the linkages are not always evident in practice. Misconceptions exist; such as that conflict prevention involves making unacceptable compromises or that human rights engagement means delaying lasting peace. Even though they engage with similar national partners and both aim to build just and peaceful societies, conflict prevention practitioners and human rights practitioners do not always work together and at worst the divide can lead to them working against each other.

This 4-week online course offers insight on how conflict transformation and human rights approaches complement one another, and how practitioners can utilize these linkages concretely in their work. Practical examples and case studies are used to demonstrate how to address the issues and challenges to planning and programming and how working across disciplines can enhance development practice.


By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Explain the concepts, focus areas, and strategies in the fields of conflict transformation and human rights;
  • Describe the relevance of linking human rights and conflict transformation and appreciate the UN practice in this area;
  • Identifye challenges and dilemmas related to linking human rights and conflict transformation;
  • Apply the knowledge to a generic case by incorporating elements from both perspectives in their analysis of conflict-related situations.

Course Contents

In the first part of the course we examine the role and orientation of the practitioner and the degree to which our training in a particular discipline shapes our engagement with a situation. Every discipline has some underlying assumptions; in pursuit of a common objective, those underlying predispositions might lead us to make different choices.

The second part of the course will deal with some key challenges of working at the intersection of human rights and conflict: How does one deal with expressions of power (and the relative lack thereof)? What is the importance of Human Dignity for working at the intersection? How can one build networks of resilient relationships? What is the relative importance of notions such as Truth, Justice, Peace and Mercy in the pursuit of durable peace? We also offer you a framework for working in a way that maximises working at the intersection between conflict and human rights without conflating the disciplines.

In the final part of the course we turn to matters more practical. We will look at how an awareness of the value of respective disciplines might enhance both our planning and programming / implementation agendas.

Fee information:
500 USD (subsidized fee)
How to register:

Register through the 'Sign Up' button on the course page: