Summer 2016 Course Schedule

RghtsofDisadv&Vulnrbl Grps (LAW-989-001)
Rosenthal, Alfredsson

Meets: 02:30 PM - 04:20 PM (MTWTHF) - Capital - Room C317

Enrolled: 7 / Limit: 20

Administrator Access


5/31/16-6/17/16 Class is cancelled on June 8, a make up session has been scheduled for June 4, 2 - 3:50 pm.


In the first half of this course, we will be looking at the applicable international human rights standards, monitoring procedures and the case-law concerning certain disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Some of the issues are of a general character, like the equal enjoyment of all human rights, the prohibition of discrimination in that enjoyment, and the question of individual and group rights. Other issues concern special rights and/or special measures (also called preferential treatment or affirmative action) that have been designed and put in place in order to achieve equal rights for some of the various groups. The groups affected include national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, indigenous and tribal peoples, gays and lesbians, internally displaced persons, asylum seekers and refugees, migrant workers, immigrants, disabled persons, and AIDS-victims. What are some of the strategies that will allow the realization of the rights and measures designed for these groups? How do these rights and measures relate, if at all, to democracy, good governance, sustainable development, the environment, and conflict prevention? The second half will examine the rights of another vulnerable group: children and adults with disabilities. The class will focus especially on the concerns of 10 million children detained in orphanages worldwide as well as an even larger number of adults with disabilities in psychiatric facilities, social care homes and other closed facilities. The course will examine the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) and the way disability rights and human rights activists have used this new international human rights convention to address abuses against institutionalized children and adults. Topics to be included will be: (1) drafting of the CRPD and the new anti-discrimination framework; (2) segregation of people with disabilities worldwide and the right to full participation in society (3) protections against torture in healthcare settings (4) the right to legal capacity for people with mental disabilities (5) obligations of international donors and the need establish inclusive international development programs, and (6) trafficking, gender-based violence, and the reproductive rights of women with disabilities. In addition to examining new legal protections under the CRPD, the class will examine the use of international oversight bodies, media, public education, policy-advocacy and community organizing to promote rights enforcement. The main textbook for the second half of the course will be Arlene Kanter, “The Development and Adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities,” The Development of Disability Rights Under International Law (2015). As helpful background for the class, students are encouraged to read Joseph P. Shapiro, No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement (1993). Reports and publications by Disability Rights International are available on the web at

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

Arlene Kanter, “The Development and Adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities,” The Development of Disability Rights Under International Law (2015)

First Class Readings

Not available at this time.